Tuesday, January 22, 2008
Adam Gilchrist, who revolutionized the role of the wicketkeeper-batsman, has retired from Tests barely 24 hours after taking the world record for dismissals. The shock news means Gilchrist will depart on a global high at the end of the fourth match against India on Monday and his last ODI appearances will come in the CB Series, which finishes in March.
Over the past couple of years Gilchrist has been worn down by the grind of international touring and has been desperate to spend more time with his wife Mel and their three children. Despite his family circumstances, Gilchrist's announcement at the end of the third day came as a surprise after he had spent much of the previous evening denying he was close to walking away.
He told the team in the morning that he was leaving. "I've come to this decision after much thought and discussion with those most important to me," Gilchrist said before boarding the team bus. "My family and I have been fortunate to have had an amazing journey full of rich experiences throughout my career."
Gilchrist played 96 Tests, the same number as Rod Marsh, and has collected 414 dismissals, currently one more than South Africa's Mark Boucher. However, his glovework, which has diminished over the past month, will not be why he is remembered as one of Australia's most significant players.
Matthew Hayden, who has been a team-mate of Gilchrist for the past eight years, called it "massive news" and said he would be "deeply, deeply missed". "He is one of the greatest to have ever played the game," Hayden said. "He was incredibly positive and his flamboyant nature equals the greats of Viv Richards and other calypso characters over the years.
"He entertained everyone globally and has done it in a statesman-like way. He changed cricketers throughout the world and is a tremendous individual."
Gilchrist brought a limited-overs approach to Tests, becoming the first man to launch 100 sixes in the format, and scoring at a phenomenal strike-rate in the low 80s. Apart from posting almost 6000 runs, he was also responsible for the more aggressive approach to a game where three runs an over was previously considered reckless.
Growing up in New South Wales, he moved to Western Australia to collect a first-class opportunity and made his Test debut to a chorus of boos after replacing Ian Healy in Brisbane. He scored 81 against Pakistan and brought up his first century in the following match in a miracle chase in Hobart. From 1999 the Australia team was never the same, winning 16 Tests in a row under Steve Waugh, a streak that was matched by Ricky Ponting's outfit over the past three years.
One of only three players to have won a trio of World Cup titles, Gilchrist was picked to open on a Waugh hunch over a bowl of ice-cream and quickly became one of the most threatening limited-overs players of all time. Others have tried to adopt his style but none has managed it for a decade, which is a tribute to the traits developed by a country boy from northern New South Wales.
"I am now ready and excited to move into the next phase of my life, which will include much more time with Mel, Harrison, Annie and Archie," Gilchrist said. He thanked his state and country associations and his team-mates for the "most enjoyable, fun career anyone could hope for". Brad Haddin, the New South Wales wicketkeeper, has spent the past couple of years with the limited-overs team and should get his first taste of Test action if the March tour to Pakistan goes ahead.
Two more wickets need to fall before Gilchrist will appear at Adelaide Oval and he will be celebrated like Shane Warne, Glenn McGrath and Justin Langer were last year. Adelaide has not been the normal place for farewells over the past decade, but Gilchrist has not been a traditional player.
The Walt Disney Studios is taking the latest advances in digital 3-D technology "to infinity and beyond" with ambitious plans to debut new Disney Digital 3-D(TM) versions of Disney-Pixar's Toy Story on October 2nd, 2009, and Toy Story 2 on February 12th, 2010, it was announced by Dick Cook, chairman of The Walt Disney Studios. Both of these beloved animated features are being newly converted to 3-D in advance of the June 18th, 2010 release of Disney-Pixar's Toy Story 3, which is being produced as a 3-D motion picture and will represent the state-of-the-art for the genre. Veteran Pixar filmmaker Lee Unkrich (co-director Toy Story 2) is directing.
Academy Award®-winning filmmaker John Lasseter (director of the first two "Toy Story" films and chief creative officer for Disney and Pixar Animation Studios) will personally oversee the creative side of the 3-D conversions for Toy Story and Toy Story 2 with his acclaimed team of technical wizards handling all the necessary steps in the conversion process.
Commenting on the announcement, Cook said, "We are committed to bringing moviegoers the best and most exciting 3-D movie experience, and we think they're going to love seeing Buzz Lightyear, Woody, and all the wonderful 'Toy Story' cast of characters in an eye popping and dazzling way. John Lasseter and the animation team are putting all their passion and hard work into making this the greatest 3-D experience yet, and we're excited to share their efforts with audiences everywhere."
Lasseter added, "The 'Toy Story' films and characters will always hold a very special place in our hearts and we're so excited to be bringing this landmark film back for audiences to enjoy in a whole new way thanks to the latest in 3-D technology. I am sure that this is going to be nothing short of fantastic and people are going to be blown away by the experience. With 'Toy Story 3' shaping up to be another great adventure for Buzz, Woody and the gang from Andy's room, we thought it would be great to let audiences experience the first two films all over again and in a brand new way. 3-D offers lots of great new possibilities for the art of animation and we will continue to use this new technology to tell our stories in the best possible way."
In converting Toy Story and Toy Story 2 to state-of-the-art 3-D films, the technical team is retrieving all of the original digital elements and rebuilding them in 3-D.
Originally released by Walt Disney Pictures in 1995, Toy Story was the first feature film from Pixar Animation Studios and director John Lasseter. The film went on to receive Oscar® nominations for Original Score, Original Song, and Screenplay, and earned Lasseter a Special Achievement Award "for the development and inspired application of techniques that have made possible the first feature-length computer-animated film." Toy Story 2 was released in 1999, and reunited voice talents Tom Hanks and Tim Allen, in their roles as Woody and Buzz. The film became one of the most popular animated features of all time, and received an Academy Award® nomination for Original Song.
The idea that there may be life on Mars has been around for centuries, but the theory got a dubious boost from recently released photos of the surface of Mars (taken by theSpirit) apparently showing a human-like figure. Several Internet sites have glommed onto the image and suggested the figure could be alive.
But what is it? Just a rock, astronomers say.
It's hard enough to accurately recognize figures and faces across the room. Mars, depending on when you measure it, is about 35 million miles away. The best telescopes aren't of much help in determining surface features, and that's whysent robots with cameras to Mars.
The reason many people see a figure on the Martian landscape is the same reason that people see faces in clouds, Rorschach blots, and coffee stains. This phenomenon, called pareidolia, is well known in psychology, and it is the cause of many supposedly mysterious and miraculous events (including the famous "Jesus in the Tortilla"). Examples are all around us; in fact if you have a New Hampshire state quarter, you have pareidolia in your pocket or purse (take a look).
Strong evidence for this psychological explanation lies in the fact that the Spirit image does not look like Martian life (since we don't know what life on Mars looks like), but instead resembles life here on, specifically human life. The image is the result of human interpretation. If you look around the full image of the area (not just the close-up), you will find several rocks and features that resemble non-human Earth life, such as armadillos and snakes. In the right bottom corner, emerging from the sand, there is what looks like a lizard face wearing goggles and an airman's helmet.
This is of course not the first time that NASA images have been claimed to show evidence of Martian life. A man named Richard Hoagland claimed that 1976 photographs of the Cydonia region of Mars showed a human-like face and was.
According toof the Bad Astronomy Web site, if the image really is of a man on Mars, he's awfully small: "Talk about a tempest in a teacup!" Plait said. "The rock on Mars is actually just a few inches high and a few yards from the camera. A few million years of Martian winds sculpted it into an odd shape, which happens to look like, well, a Bigfoot! It's just our natural tendency to see familiar shapes in random objects."
Even though logic and science suggest that the image is of a rock and not an animal, UFO buffs and conspiracy theorists will continue to speculate.
In fact, it will actually be pretty easy to determine whether or not the image is of alien life. In later photographs of the area, either the same shape will be there or it won't. If it is, it's a rock (unless, of course, little Martian men can hold the same pose for weeks or months at a time).
This is exactly how the "Face on Mars" was eventually disproven. On April 5, 1998, the took photographs of the same region in far higher resolution than was possible in 1976. The new images clearly showed an area heavily eroded, and that the "face" was simply the result of low image quality, pareidolia, and tricks of light and shadow. Hoagland's theory was discredited.
Just don't tell that to the creepy, goggle-wearing Martian sand lizard.
- Video: Looking for Life in All the Right Places
- Top 10 Unexplained Phenomena
- 10 Alien Encounters Debunked
- Original Story: Female Figure on Mars Just a Rock
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Shoaib - not offered a new contract.
The Pakistan Cricket Board have decided not to renew Shoaib Akhtar's central contract.
Shoaib, 32, has paid the price for fitness and discipline problems during the last 12 months.
Fellow fast bowler Mohammad Sami and opening batsman Imran Nazir have also lost their central contracts.
PCB chairman Dr Nasim Ashraf offered the axed trio hope by saying the national team will not exclusively be drawn from the list of contracted players.
"The players not given central contracts have been given special retainers and if they show commitment and form they can come back into the team after a year," he said.
"We want it to be an elite contract. So that players fight and compete to get the contracts.
"It should also serve as an incentive for younger players.
"Not being in the central contracts list does not mean you cannot be selected for the national team. Selectors can consider any player."
There are three categories of central contracts, introduced by the PCB in 2005, with a total of 15 players handed deals.
The main beneficiary of the shake-up is batsman Misbah-ul-Haq, who has been promoted to the A category and appointed vice-captain until the end of 2008.
Pakistan central contracts:
Category A: Younis Khan, Shoaib Malik, Misbah-ul-Haq, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Yousuf
Category B: Kamran Akmal, Sohail Tanvir, Shahid Afridi, Salman Butt,Umar Gul
Category C: Abdul Rehman, Yasir Arafat, Rao Iftikhar, Danish Kaneria, Fawad Alam.
Zim Downed Again
Nasir Jamshed continued his impressive start in international cricket with a well-crafted 74 as Pakistan beat Zimbabwe by five wickets in Hyderabad on Thursday.
Jamshed hit a half-century as the hosts won the opening encounter on Monday and followed it up with another vital knock against a Zimbabwe side who were more competitive than they were in Karachi.
The tourists made 238 for eight from their 50 overs - Hamilton Masakadza hitting 87 and captain Tatenda Taibu 81 - but could not defend that total as Pakistan cruised home with 22 balls to spare, The Highlights became The Awesome 43 of Shahid Afridi which led the way to Victory of Pakistan and Sohail Tanvir getting Man of the match for 34-4.
Well, This match was really a treat for us, The Hyderabadi residents. It was nice and cheesy match. PCB has promised us to get another match hosted by Hyderabad. Three Cheers for PCB ! :)
The title was revealed to reporters Thursday atoutside of , where the movie is being filmed.
Producer Michael G. Wilson said the title, chosen only a few days ago, was taken from a story by Bondthat appears in the collection "For Your Eyes Only."
"We thought it was an intriguing title and referenced what happened to Bond and what is happening in the film," he said.
is returning as Agent 007. He picks up where 2006's "Casino Royale" left off, with Bond contemplating revenge after his betrayal by his true love, Vesper Lynd.
"It is not a revenge movie," said co-producer Barbara Broccoli. "It's a lot more complicated than that. It has lots of action but it also deals with the inner turmoil Bond is feeling."
Filming began at Pinewood Studios earlier this month. Location shooting is planned in, and . returns as the MI-6 boss M and Mathieu Amalric ("The Diving Bell and the Butterfly") plays the villain. Additions to the cast include Ukrainian actress as Camille.
"Quantum of Solace" is set to open inand the United States on Nov. 7.
NEW YORK - , the talented 28-year-old actor who gravitated toward dark, brooding roles that defied his leading-man looks, was found dead Tuesday in a Manhattan apartment, facedown at the foot of his bed with prescription sleeping pills nearby, police said.
There was no obvious indication that the Australian-born Ledger had committed suicide, NYPD spokesman Paul Browne said.
Ledger had an appointment for a massage at the SoHo apartment that is believed to be the home of the "" actor, Browne said. The massage therapist and a housekeeper found his naked body at about 3:30 p.m. They tried to revive him, but he was already dead.
"I had such great hope for him," said, who played Ledger's vengeful father in "The Patriot," in a statement. "He was just taking off and to lose his life at such a young age is a tragic loss."
Outside the Manhattan building on an upscale street, paparazzi and gawkers gathered, and several police officers put up barricades to control the crowd of about 300. Onlookers craned their necks as officers brought out a black bodybag on a gurney, took it across the sidewalk and put it into a medical examiner's office van.
As the door opened, bystanders snapped pictures with camera phones, rolled video and said, "He's coming out!"
An autopsy was planned for Wednesday,Ellen Borakove said.
While not a marquee movie star, Ledger was an award-winning actor who chose his roles carefully rather than cashing in on big-money parts. He was nominated for an Oscar for his performance as a gay cowboy in "Brokeback Mountain." During filming, he met Michelle Williams, who played his wife in the film. The two had a daughter, now 2-year-old Matilda, and lived together in Brooklyn until they split up last year.
It was a shocking and unforeseen conclusion for one of's bright young stars. Though his leading man looks propelled him to early stardom in films like " " and " ," his career took a notable turn toward dramatic and brooding roles with 2001's " ."
Ledger's publicist, Mara Buxbaum, said in a statement: "We are all deeply saddened and shocked by this accident. This is an extremely difficult time for his loved ones and we are asking the media to please respect the family's privacy and avoid speculation until the facts are known."
In the, where Ledger was born and raised, his father called the actor's death "tragic, untimely and accidental."
"He was (a) down-to-, generous, kind-hearted, life-loving, unselfish individual, extremely inspirational to many," Kim Ledger said, reading from a prepared statement. "Heath has touched so many people on so many different levels during his short life."
Ledger eschewed Hollywood glitz in favor of a bohemian life in Brooklyn, where he became one of the borough's most famous residents. "Brokeback" would be his breakthrough role, establishing him as one of his generation's finest talents and an actor willing to take risks.
Ledger began to gravitate more toward independent fare, including's "Casanova" and 's " ," both released in 2005. His 2006 film "Candy" now seems destined to have an especially haunting quality: In a particularly realistic performance, Ledger played a poet wrestling with a heroin addiction along with his girlfriend, played by Abbie Cornish.
But Ledger's most recent choices were arguably the boldest yet: He costarred in "I'm Not There," in which he played one of the many incarnations of— as did , whose performance in that film earned an Oscar nomination Tuesday for best supporting actress.
And in what may be his final finished performance, Ledger proved that he wouldn't be intimidated by taking on a character as iconic as's Joker. Ledger's version of the "Batman" villain, glimpsed in early teaser trailers, made it clear that his Joker would be more depraved and dark.
Curiosity about Ledger's final performance will likely stoke further interest in the summer blockbuster. "Dark Knight" directorsaid this month that Ledger's Joker would be wildly different from Nicholson's.
"It was a very great challenge for Heath," Nolan said. "He's extremely original, extremely frightening, tremendously edgy. A very young character, a very anarchic presence that taps into a lot of our basic fears and panic."
Ledger toldin a November interview that he "stressed out a little too much" during the Dylan film and had trouble sleeping while portraying the Joker, whom he called a "psychopathic, mass-murdering, schizophrenic clown with zero empathy."
"Last week I probably slept an average of two hours a night," Ledger told the newspaper. "I couldn't stop thinking. My body was exhausted, and my mind was still going." He said he took two Ambien pills, which worked for only an hour, the paper said.
Ledger was a widely recognized figure in his Manhattan neighborhood, where he used to shop at a home and children's store. Michelle Vella, an employee there, said she had frequently seen Ledger with his daughter — carrying the toddler on his shoulders, or having ice cream with her.
"It's so sad. They were really close," Vella said. "He's a very down-to-earth guy and an amazing father."
Before settling down with Williams, Ledger had relationships with actressesand . He met Watts while working on "The Lords of Dogtown," a fictionalized version of a cult classic skateboarding documentary, in 2004.
Ledger was born in 1979 to a mining engineer and a French teacher and got his first acting role playingat age 10 in a local theater company. He began acting in independent films as a 16-year-old in Sydney and played a cyclist hoping to land a spot on an Olympic team in a 1996 television show, "Seat."
After several independent films, Ledger moved toat age 19 and starred opposite in " ." Offers for other teen flicks soon came his way, but Ledger turned them down, preferring to remain idle than sign on for projects he didn't like.
"It wasn't a hard decision for me," Ledger told the Associated Press in 2001. "It was hard for everyone else around me to understand. Agents were like, `You're crazy,' my parents were like, 'Come on, you have to eat.'"
Associated Press writer Sara Kugler contributed to this report.
* Michael Clayton
* No Country for Old Men
* There Will Be Blood
* Paul Thomas Anderson - There Will Be Blood
* Joel Coen and Ethan Coen - No Country for Old Men
* Tony Gilroy - Michael Clayton
* Jason Reitman - Juno
* Julian Schnabel - The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
* George Clooney - Michael Clayton
* Daniel Day-Lewis - There Will Be Blood
* Johnny Depp - Sweeney Todd
* Tommy Lee Jones - In the Valley of Elah
* Viggo Mortensen - Eastern Promises
* Cate Blanchett - Elizabeth: The Golden Age
* Julie Christie - Away from Her
* Marion Cotillard - La Vie en Rose (La môme)
* Laura Linney - The Savages
* Ellen Page - Juno
Best Supporting Actor
* Casey Affleck - The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford
* Javier Bardem - No Country for Old Men
* Philip Seymour Hoffman - Charlie Wilson's War
* Hal Holbrook - Into the Wild
* Tom Wilkinson - Michael Clayton
Best Supporting Actress
* Cate Blanchett - I'm Not There
* Ruby Dee - American Gangster
* Saoirse Ronan - Atonement
* Amy Ryan - Gone Baby Gone
* Tilda Swinton - Michael Clayton
Best Original Screenplay
* Juno - Diablo Cody
* Lars and the Real Girl - Nancy Oliver
* Michael Clayton - Tony Gilroy
* Ratatouille - Brad Bird
* The Savages - Tamara Jenkins
Best Adapted Screenplay
* Atonement - Christopher Hampton
* Away from Her - Sarah Polley
* The Diving Bell and the Butterfly - Ronald Harwood
* No Country for Old Men - Joel and Ethan Coen
* There Will Be Blood - Paul Thomas Anderson
Best Animated Feature
* Surf's Up
 Best Cinematography
* Roger Deakins - The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford
* Seamus McGarvey - Atonement
* Janusz Kaminski - The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
* Roger Deakins - No Country for Old Men
* Robert Elswit - There Will Be Blood
Best Art Direction
* Arthur Max and Beth Rubino - American Gangster
* Sarah Greenwood and Katie Spencer - Atonement
* Dennis Gassner and Anna Pinnock - The Golden Compass
Best Costume Design
* Albert Wolsky - Across the Universe
* Jacqueline Durran - Atonement
* Alexandra Byrne - Elizabeth: The Golden Age
Best Documentary Feature
* No End in Sight
* Operation Homecoming: Writing the Wartime Experience
* Taxi to the Dark Side
* War Dance
Best Documentary Short
* La Corona
* Salim Baba
* Sari's Mother
Best Film Editing
* Christopher Rouse - The Bourne Ultimatum
* Juliette Welfling - The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
* Jay Cassidy - Into the Wild
* Roderick Jaynes - No Country for Old Men
* Dylan Tichenor - There Will Be Blood
* Didier Lavergne and Jan Archibald - La Vie en Rose
* Rick Baker and Kazuhiro Tsuji - Norbit
* Ve Neill and Martin Samuel - Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End
Best Original Score
* Dario Marianelli - Atonement
* Alberto Iglesias - The Kite Runner
* James Newton Howard - Michael Clayton
* Michael Giacchino - Ratatouille
* Marco Beltrami - 3:10 to Yuma
* Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova - "Falling Slowly" from Once
* Alan Menken and Stephen Schwartz - "Happy Working Song" from Enchanted
* Alan Menken and Stephen Schwartz - "So Close" from Enchanted
* Alan Menken and Stephen Schwartz - "That's How You Know" from Enchanted
* Chris Trapper - "This Time" from August Rush
Best Animated Short
* I Met the Walrus
* Madame Tutli-Putli
* Even Pigeons Go To Heaven
* My Love
* Peter and the Wolf
Best Live Action Short
* At Night
* The Substitute
* The Mozart of Pickpockets
* Tanghi Argentini
* The Tonto Woman
Best Sound Mixing
* Scott Millan, David Parker, and Kirk Francis - The Bourne Ultimatum
* Skip Lievsay, Craig Berkey, Greg Orloff, and Peter Kurland - No Country for Old Men
* Randy Thom, Michael Semanick, and Doc Kane - Ratatouille
* Paul Massey, David Giammarco, and Jim Steube - 3:10 to Yuma
* Kevin O'Connell, Greg P. Russell, and Peter J. Devlin - Transformers
Best Sound Editing
* Karen Baker Landers and Per Hallberg - The Bourne Ultimatum
* Skip Lievsay - No Country for Old Men
* Randy Thom and Michael Silvers - Ratatouille
* Matthew Wood - There Will Be Blood
* Ethan van Der Rym and Mike Hopkins - Transformers
Best Visual Effects
* The Golden Compass
* Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End
Best Foreign Language Film
* Beaufort (Israel)
* The Counterfeiters (Austria)
* Katyń (Poland)
* Mongol (Kazakhstan)
* 12 (Russia)
(List of films which received multiple nominations)
* 8 No Country for Old Men, There Will Be Blood
* 7 Atonement, Michael Clayton
* 5 Ratatouille
* 4 The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (Le scaphandre et le papillon), Juno
* 3 Enchanted, The Bourne Ultimatum, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, La Vie en Rose (La môme), Transformers
* 2 3:10 to Yuma, American Gangster, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, Away from Her, The Golden Compass, Elizabeth: The Golden Age, Into the Wild, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End, The Savages
Monday, January 14, 2008
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Irrespective of what has gone in this series and what lies ahead, Ishant Sharma's mesmeric spell to Ricky Ponting will remain one of the highlights of the series, and will be remembered for years to come. Cricket lovers still talk about the working-over Andrew Flintoff gave Ponting at Edgbaston but that lasted only one over. Here at the WACA, the torment continued for an hour. Harbhajan Singh has had his number for some time now but rarely has Ponting been shown up as so vulnerable for such a long period of time since he established himself as Australia's best batsman. That Ishant is 19 and playing his fourth Test only added to the drama and romance.
Ishant had a close lbw against Ponting turned down last evening and, given the ball in the fifth over of the innings, he made it talk. In his first over, an edge from Michael Hussey fell just short of second slip, and in the next over, which was nearly as sensational as Flintoff's, he could have had Ponting twice. One ball jagged in and had Ponting fending; another, that perfect ball which is every right-arm bowler's dream, came in with arm and left Ponting as he shaped to defend, missing the edge by a whisker. And then one came in to trap Ponting in front; it was a decision the umpire wouldn't have been roasted for had he given it to the bowler, but only a doubt about the height will have saved Ponting.
Many would have been excused for thinking that the moment had passed, for an exceptional over such as that would be hard to reproduce, certainly by a bowler of his experience. But Ishant charged on, hurrying Ponting, cutting him in half with a ball that rose and cut off the seam and got him to mistime repeatedly. With every over, Ponting seemed to have weathered the storm for undoubtedly the young man couldn't carry on for ever. Indeed, RP Singh was seen approaching the bowling end after Ishant had bowled seven overs, but a last-minute change of mind - prompted by Virender Sehwag, his Delhi captain - kept Ishant in the fray and the reward came off the very next ball.
It was almost the same ball that got Ponting in the first innings. It pitched around the off stump and rose and left Ponting, who could only edge it to Rahul Dravid at first slip. It was one of those moments where you just had to suspend your national loyalties and rejoice in the triumph of a spirited and skilful youngster over one of the titans of his age. Justice would have got a bad name had he been denied.
Ishant made it to Australia only because of injuries to Sreesanth and Munaf Patel, and played in Sydney because Zaheer Khan went home. But in his short international career so far, he has got better by every Test. Against Pakistan in Bangalore, he shook off a couple of indifferent early spells to claim five wickets in the first innings, and in Sydney, he bowled far better than his returns - no wicket for 146 - suggested. Certainly, he had Andrew Symonds caught behind, only to be denied by Steve Bucknor who failed to hear a thumping edge.
Ishant's ability to get the ball to rise and bowl long spells - last year he bowled 15 successive overs in searing heat in Vijayawada against Andhra Pradesh to earn Delhi a draw they desperately needed - was well known. But in this Test, he showed another facet: getting the ball to hold its line, and even move it a shade away. From the angle he comes in and with the bounce he can generate, that's a deadly ball when he can get the line right. It's no coincidence that all his three wickets in this Test came with that ball.
When they look up the scorecard years later, Ishant Sharma will be found to have only one entry in the wickets column in the second innings. But scorecards don't often tell the story. It was a day when Ishant Sharma shook up Ricky Ponting and set up a famous win.
Sambit Bal is the editor of Cricinfo
The Slim Shady rapper - real name Marshall Bruce Mathers Iii - spent four days in hospital over the festive season suffering from heart problems arising from a bout of pneumonia.
And in her new book My Son Marshall, My Son Eminem, Debbie Nelson fully describes her ongoing fears over the 35-year-old's failing health.
She writes, "I fear for him every waking moment. He's let his blond hair grow out so everything but the ends are dark. His face has broken out in pimples and he's put on so much weight that he's causing all sorts of other health problems for himself."
"Since childhood he's suffered bouts of pneumonia. He's always had throat infections and he's asthmatic. His diet can't help. I worry about his health all the time. He's always had high blood pressure and his cholesterol levels must be sky high. He orders fillet steak takeout from an expensive restaurant almost every evening."
Mathers became estranged from Nelson in 2001 after she filed a defamation lawsuit over the rapper's lyrics which accused her of living on welfare benefits and being addicted to drugs.
Link : http://www.teenmusic.com/d.asp?r=166929
By Matt DeLorenzo • Photos by Marc Urbano and John Lamm
Sometimes a concept isn’t just an idea, but rather a movement. At the North American International Auto Show, these five significant debuts point the way that the industry will reshape itself in the years to come. The Ford Explorer America is proof that the days of the traditional truck-based, body-on-frame sport/ute are indeed numbered. Eschewing V-8 power, this Ford concept uses a choice of 4- or 6-cylinder engines in a car-based unit-body that still retains the rugged styling of a true off-roader. Proof that the conventional compact pickup truck is being rethought comes in the form of the Toyota A-BAT concept, which also uses unit-body construction and the Prius’ hybrid drivetrain. The Fisker, from noted designer Henrik Fisker, also relies on hybrid power and exclusive coachworks to redefine the traditional 4-door luxury sedan. From General Motors, the Cadillac Provoq fuses fuel cell and lithium-ion battery technology to develop the next generation in small luxury crossovers. And the Mercedes-Benz Vision GLK Freeside demonstrates that high technology diesels will become an increasingly important element in achieving high fuel economy and low emissions.
2. Toyota A-BAT
Link : From Here
By PAUL SCHEMM, Associated Press Writer
CAIRO, Egypt - Omar bears a striking resemblance to his notorious father — except for the dreadlocks that dangle halfway down his back. Then there's the . The 26-year-old does not renounce his father, Osama bin Laden, but in an interview with The Associated Press, he said there is better way to defend Islam than militancy: Omar wants to be an "ambassador for peace" between Muslims and the West.
Omar — one of bin Laden's 19 children — raised a tabloid storm last year when he married a 52-year-old British woman, Jane Felix-Browne, who took the name Zaina Alsabah. Now the couple say they want to be advocates, planning a 3,000-mile horse race across North Africa to draw attention to the cause of peace.
"It's about changing the ideas of the Western mind. A lot of people think Arabs — especially the bin Ladens, especially the sons of Osama — are all terrorists. This is not the truth," Omar told the AP last week at a cafe in ashopping mall.
Of course, many may have a hard time getting their mind around the idea of "bin Laden: peacenik."
"Omar thinks he can be a negotiator," said Alsabah, who is trying to bring her husband to. "He's one of the only people who can do this in the world."
Omar lived with the al-Qaida leader in, then moved with him to in 1996.
There, Omar says he trained at ancamp but in 2000 he decided there must be another way and he left his father, returning to his homeland of .
"I don't want to be in that situation to just fight. I like to find another way and this other way may be like we do now, talking," he said in English.
He suggested his father did not oppose his leaving — and Alsabah interjected that Omar was courageous in breaking away, but neither elaborated.
Although there is no way to confirm the details he describes of his childhood and upbringing, the strong family resemblance and Omar's knowledge of Osama's family life have convinced many of his lineage.
"Omar Bin Laden is the son ofand his first wife, Najwa," a U.S. intelligence official said Thursday, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to the media. The official confirmed Omar was raised in Sudan and Afghanistan after his father was forced out of Saudi Arabia.
Omar and his wife insist they have not been bothered by Egyptian officials, who said Thursday that the terror leader's son did not pose a threat.
"He comes and goes just like any other tourist," said a security official, also speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media. "He is taking a line that is totally different from him father."
Omar said he hasn't seen or been in contact with his father since leaving Afghanistan. "He doesn't have e-mail," Omar said. "He doesn't take a telephone ... if he had something like this, they will find him through satellites."
Omar doesn't criticize his father and says Osama bin Laden is just trying to defend the Islamic world.
"My father thinks he will be good for defending the Arab people and stop anyone from hurting the Arab or Muslim people any place in the world," he said, noting that the West didn't have a problem with his father when he was fighting thein the 1980s.
Omar is convinced a truce between the West andis possible.
"My father is asking for a truce but I don't think there is any government (that) respects him. At the same time they do not respect him, why everywhere in the world, they want to fight him? There is a contradiction," he said.
Osama bin Laden, believed to be in hiding in the-Afghan border region, offered a truce to in a 2004 audiotape and a conditional truce to the United States in a 2006 message. In November, he called on European nations to pull out of Afghanistan in a message seen by some experts as an effort to reach out to Europe.
But in a series of messages since last fall, he also has been calling for Muslims to rally around, or "holy war," encouraging fighters in in particular to continue their battles with U.S. and Iraqi forces.
At least two of Osama bin Laden's sons, Hamza and Saad, are believed to have an active role in al-Qaida — with Hamza believed to be in the Pakistan-Afghan border zone and Saad thought to be in, perhaps in Iranian custody.
But most of the's children, like Omar, live as legitimate businessmen. The family as a whole disowned Osama in 1994 when stripped him of his citizenship because of his militant activities.
The family is wealthy: Osama bin Laden's billionaire father Mohammed, who died in 1967, had more than 50 children and founded the Binladen Group, a construction conglomerate that gets many major building contracts in the kingdom.
Since leaving his father's side, Omar has lived in Saudi Arabia, where he runs a contracting company connected with the Binladen Group, but he spends much of his time in. It was during a desert horseback ride at the that he met his wife.
Their marriage in April made them tabloid fodder, particularly in, where headlines touted the "granny who married Osama bin Laden's son." Alsabah, who has married five times, has five grandchildren.
The couple has applied for a visa to Britain. And they are planning their endurance horse race across North Africa, which they hope to start in March. It is in the planning stages — they are seeking approval of governments along the route and need sponsors to help pay for the event and raise money for child victims of war.
Omar said they plan to ride 30 miles a day, with periodic weeklong rests in each country.
Teams from around the world will be encouraged to join in what the couple envisions as an equine version of the Paris-Dakar car rally. That rally was canceled this year due to fears over terrorist threats made by-affiliated groups in North Africa.
Omar, however, said he isn't worried.
"I heard the rally was stopped because of al-Qaida," he said. "I don't think they are going to stop me."
Associated Press writer Pamela Hess in Washington contributed to this report.
The novella follows the life of Luke Matthew. A famous detective. His 'hectic' life changes when he is threatened by a call. Taken as a prank first, this leads to something even more mysterious. Secrets that were lying beneath the breaths suddenly start to unravel. His Father's Past, His Mother's death, an upcoming disaster...All unraveling. Soon He discovers something sinister than the devil itself. Something that can change everything...even Him...
LOS ANGELES - , whose career began promisingly with a childhood role in "The Client" but rapidly faded as he struggled with drugs and alcohol, was found dead Tuesday in his home. He was 25.
Paramedics pronounced him dead at 9 a.m., said Craig Harvey, chief investigator for the. The cause of death was not immediately determined, Harvey said, but an autopsy could be conducted as early as Wednesday.
Renfro had reportedly been drinking with friends the evening before his death, Harvey said.
Renfro's lawyer, Richard Kaplan, said he did not know whether the death was connected to any problems with addiction.
"He was working hard on his sobriety," Kaplan said. "He was doing well. He was a nice person."
Renfro recently completed a role in "The Informers," a film adaptation of anovel that stars , and .
"Brad was an exceptionally talented young actor and our time spent with him was thoroughly enjoyable," Marco Weber, president of the film's production house, Senator Entertainment, said in a statement.
The actor served 10 days in jail in May 2006 after pleading no contest to driving while intoxicated and guilty to attempted possession of heroin.
The latter charge stemmed from his arrest in' area, when he attempted to buy heroin from an undercover officer in 2005.
For several years he was better known for that drug bust and the resulting criminal case than for acting.
After one court appearance, he talked to reporters about drug rehabilitation, saying he was "tired of paying the consequences" for drinking and drug use and eager to get clean.
"It's definitely been an eye-opener," he said of his rehabilitation program.
Other run-ins with the law included a 1998 charge of cocaine and marijuana possession, for which he avoided jail time in a plea deal. He was also placed on probation in January 2001 and ordered to pay $4,000 for repairs to a 45-foot yacht he and a friend tried to steal inin August 2000.
He was arrested again in May 2001 and charged with underage drinking, violating the terms of his probation, and was ordered into alcohol rehabilitation the following March.
A native of., Renfro's film career began when he was 12, acting opposite and in "The Client." His other credits included "Sleepers," " ," " " and "The Jacket."
Friday, January 4, 2008
DURBAN, South Africa (AFP) - all-rounder has announced his retirement from international cricket following the second day's play against West Indies here Friday.
Pollock, 34, said he would retire from Test cricket after the current third and final Test against the West Indies.
He will play in the five-match one-day international series against the same opponents before retiring from all international cricket. His final appearance will be at the Wanderers Stadium inon February 3.
He will then play in the officially sanctioned Indian Premier League Twenty20 competition in April.
He said he had had received offers to play county cricket in England this year but was undecided at this stage whether he would have a third stint in the county game. He played for Warwickshire in 1996 and 2002.
"I'd like to thankfor allowing me the opportunity of repersenting my country for the last 12 years," he said.
"I thoroughly enjoy the honour and privilege of wearing the Protea badge and take with me some remarkable memories having played against some great players.
"I realise I have been blessed by God and feel I have nurtured my talents to the best of my abilities."
Pollock, who was playing in his 108th Test, has also featured in 298 one-day internationals for his country.
He said he had decided at the beginning of the season that it would be his last but he had not made an announcement because he had not been picked for any of South Africa's first six Tests.
"I had wanted to make an announcement at the beginning of the West Indies series but having been left out of thegames (earlier in the season) the last thing I wanted was to catch a game just for sentimental reasons or as a last hurrah," he said.
Pollock said he believed his timing was right.
"It is pleasing to see the wealth of budding (South African) bowling talent in the wings and I am happy that I am finishing on my own terms."
Pollock is playing in his 108th Test. He is South Africa's leading wicket-taker with 420 after capturing four wickets in the first innings against the West Indies at Kingsmead.
He has also scored 3781 runs to rank among the leading all-rounders of all time.
Pollock has played in 298 one-day internationals, scoring 3476 runs and taking 387 wickets.
South African vice-captain Ashwell Prince said Pollock had informed his teammates of his pending retirement before play Friday.
"We were all quite surprised. He will forever be an icon in South African cricket. The way he has carried himself, he has been a role model to youngsters and a role model to myself as well. Besides his cricket ability he is just generally a good person."
BAGHDAD - After weathering nearly five years of war, Baghdad residents thought they'd pretty much seen it all. But Friday morning, as muezzins were calling the faithful to prayer, the people here awoke to something certifiably new.
For the first time in memory, snow fell across Baghdad.
Although the white flakes quickly dissolved into gray puddles, they brought an emotion rarely expressed in this desert capital snarled by army checkpoints, divided by concrete walls and ravaged by sectarian killings — delight.
"For the first time in my life I saw a snow-rain like this falling in Baghdad," said Mohammed Abdul-Hussein, a 63-year-old retiree from the New Baghdad area.
"When I was young, I heard from my father that such rain had fallen in the early '40s on the outskirts of northern Baghdad," Abdul-Hussein said, referring to snow as a type of rain. "But snow falling in Baghdad in such a magnificent scene was beyond my imagination."
Morning temperatures uncharacteristically hovered around freezing, and the Baghdad airport was closed because of poor visibility. Snow is common in the mountainous Kurdish areas of northern Iraq, but residents of the capital and surrounding areas could remember just hail.
"I asked my mother, who is 80, whether she'd ever seen snow in Iraq before, and her answer was no," said Fawzi Karim, a 40-year-old father of five who runs a small restaurant in Hawr Rajab, a village six miles southeast of Baghdad.
"This is so unusual, and I don't know whether or not it's a lesson from God," Karim said.
Some said they'd seen snow only in movies.
Talib Haider, a 19-year-old college student, said "a friend of mine called me at 8 a.m. to wake me up and tell me that the sky is raining snow."
"I rushed quickly to the balcony to see a very beautiful scene," he said. "I tried to film it with my cell phone camera. This scene has really brought me joy. I called my other friends and the morning turned to be a very happy one in my life."
An Iraqi who works for The Associated Press said he woke his wife and children shortly after 7 a.m. to "have a look at this strange thing." He then called his brother and sister and found them awake, also watching the "cotton-like snow drops covering the trees."
For a couple of hours anyway, a city where mortar shells routinely zoom across to the Green Zone became united as one big White Zone. As of late afternoon, there were no reports of violence. The snow showed no favoritism as it fell faintly on neighborhoods Shiite and Sunni alike, and (with apologies to) upon all the living and the dead.
Link : http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080111/ap_on_re_mi_ea/iraq_first_snow_in_memory
Grant died just before 7 p.m. Wednesday, apparently of natural causes, said Officer Jason Lee. Grant was found dead on a bed in the, Lee said.
Grant was perhaps best known as the jolly host alongside more than 500 celebrities he inducted into the.
The lifelong bachelor lived in a 14th-floor suite at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel.
Grant's mission in life was bringing the Tinseltown story to everyone. He hosted red carpet Oscar arrivals and Walk of Fame festivities, appeared in bit parts in movies, and produced Hollywood's annual Christmas Parade.
"I feel I have been the luckiest guy in the world," he often said. "It's been a pretty good ride."
Grant also joined globe-trottingas a USO ambassador, bringing entertainers to war zones to perform for personnel during the Korean and Vietnam wars and battles in the Middle East.
He helped introduce homesick solidiers to, , , Terry Moore, and , among others, leading Hope to once quip that he himself was "the rich man's Johnny Grant."
"You'll never find a more generous soul in your life," Dickinson told The Associated Press in 2006. "He was a ladies man. He's a Taurus. He's a doll."
Another close friend, actress, described Grant simply as "Mr. Hollywood."
"I dated him in my teens," she recalled. "He's one of the greatest people I've ever known, so kind."
Over the years, Grant chatted with, , , , , , and , and was a friend to several presidents, including , and . He counted President Reagan as one of his closest friends.
Born in Goldsboro, N.C., Grant was a cub reporter for radio station WGBR when he hitchhiked to Washington to cover Presidentthird inauguration. The diminutive reporter sat in a tree to write down what he saw for his report.
He joined thein 1943, then came to Hollywood after his discharge, where he landed a small role playing a reporter in "The Babe Ruth Story" (1948), which starred .
He was lured to Hollywood, he once recalled, after seeingin the 1938 film "Boys Town."
"If that little guy can do it, so can I," he remembered telling himself.
Grant also had a part in Irving Berlin's "White Christmas" (1954) with Bing Crosby and played himself in 1966's "The Oscar."
He did Lucky Strike cigarette commercials on radio's "" and radio celebrity interviews at the Ham & Egger restaurant on the corner of Hollywood Boulevard and Vine Street.
He also did radio interviews in the lobby of Ciro's on Sunset Boulevard, now the Comedy Store, which was the personification of glamour and glitz in the 1940s and 1950s. His guests included Eleanor Roosevelt,, and .
"This really was Hollywood," Grant said of those days.
In 1951, he made his first overseas trip to entertain the troops.
Beginning in 1946, he was host of the game show "Stop the Clock," which aired alternately on Dumont Television in, WBGR-TV in Schenectady, N.Y. and WPTZ-TV in .
He also worked for Gene Autry at radio station KMPC as host of the "Freeway Club" from 1951 to 1959, becoming one of the nation's first disc jockeys to mix regular traffic reports between playing records and interviewing celebrities.
The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce named Grant Hollywood's honorary mayor in 1980, a position he held for the rest of his life.
The Associated Press Television and Radio Association honored Grant last March at theAwards in Universal City with a special award for his accomplishments.
During the dozen or so Walk of Fame ceremonies the job called for him to preside over each year, he would gin up the crowd with laughter, jokes, handshakes and an occasional embarrassing moment.
His biggest flub, according to Grant, was when he introduced inducteeto the cheering crowd by shouting, "Here she is, Miss ."
Rivers shook it off, telling the host she had been called much worse.
Grant also liked to recall a flub he had no control over. It happened one year during Hollywood's annual Christmas parade.
The televised event concludes each year with Santa in the final float, waving to the crowd. But on that year, Grant said, a woman just ahead of the float gave birth, bringing the proceedings to a standstill.
On The Net: http://johnnygrant.com
Associated Press Writer Thomas Watkins contributed to this report.
Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) announces the proposed itinerary of Zimbabwe Tour to Pakistan. Zimbabwe team will be arriving at Karachi on January 12th 2008.
The Itinerary is as follows:
Date Match Venue
January 14-17 4 Day Game vs. Patron's XI DHA Ground Karachi
January 21st 1st ODI National Stadium Karachi (D/N)
January 24th 2nd ODI Niaz Stadium Hyderabad
January 27th 3rd ODI Multan Cricket Stadium Multan (D/N)
January 30th 4th ODI Iqbal Stadium Faisalabad (D/N)
February 2nd 5th ODI Sheikhupura Stadium Sheikhupura
(Article: Copyright © 2008 Pakistan Cricket Board)
(Side Notes : Man! My City's Back as a Venue! :))
The PCB is confident that the home series against Zimbabwe will go ahead as planned despite the recent political turbulence that has hit the country. There are likely to be, however, changes to the itinerary.
"The series should take place on the same dates but there is a possibility of some changes being made to the venue list," Ahsan Malik, the board's spokesperson, told reporters after a board meeting.
A board official is expected to contact the Zimbabwe board to discuss the itinerary and venues. Hyderabad has all but been taken off the list of venues to host the five-match ODI series, after the hotel the teams were scheduled to stay in was burnt down by rioters following the assassination of Benazir Bhutto last week. The Indus, the only hotel in the city considered suitable for the purpose, was set on fire last week as violence erupted through the country after Bhutto's death.
"We will not be able to host any match [of the Zimbabwe series] in Hyderabad because there is no hotel in the city where the two teams and the officials could be accommodated after the burning of the Indus," Shafqat Naghmi, PCB's chief operating officer, earlier told The News.
Naghmi said that the PCB will take a decision on a new venue for the first ODI within the next few days, adding that the match could be shifted to Karachi - which is hosting the second ODI - or Lahore, which was not on the venue list for this series.
The burning of the hotel means that Hyderabad, once a Test venue, will once again be deprived of the opportunity to host an international match. The city's Niaz Stadium last played host to an international game almost ten years ago when Pakistan clashed with India in the 1997 series. Zimbabwe are scheduled to arrive in Karachi later this month where they will play two warm-up matches prior to the ODI series.
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