Sunday, March 30, 2008

Gul and Iftikhar included for first two ODIs

Cricinfo staff

Umar Gul and Rao Iftikhar Anjum have been recalled for the first two one-day internationals against Bangladesh, but there is no room for Shoaib Akhtar in a near-full-strength Pakistan squad. Three finds from the ODI series against Zimbabwe at home recently - Nasir Jamshed, Sohail Khan and Wahab Riaz - were handed another opportunity to impress, while there was a recall for Bazid Khan after a fine Pentangular Cup.

Gul, who travelled to Australia for a medical check-up on a longstanding back problem that prevented him from taking any part in the Test series against India last year, and Iftikhar - who had a poor series against Zimbabwe - return from injury to boost the bowling. With Mohammad Asif ruled out and Shoaib waiting to be cleared by the PCB's disciplinary committee, Pakistan's bowling attack also included Sohail Tanvir, Sohail Khan and allrounders Fawad Alam and Shahid Afridi, who make up the spin quotient.

Bazid, who played one Test and three ODIs in 2004-05, finished as the Pentangular Cup's second-highest run-scorer with 522 at 74.57, including three hundreds.

In the ODIs against Zimbabwe, Pakistan tried out opener Jamshed and bowlers Sohail Khan - who shot to fame in his debut first-class season by grabbing 65 wickets in his first nine matches - and Riaz, among other young hopefuls. Jamshed impressed with 197 runs at 39.40 as did the two bowlers. Both wicketkeepers from that series, Kamran Akmal and Sarfraz Ahmed, have been retained.

While announcing the 16-man squad Salahuddin Ahmed, head of the selection committee, said that players such as Yasir Hameed, Yasir Arafat, Faisal Iqbal, Naumanullah, Abdur Rauf, Kamran Hussain, Junaid Zia, Yasir Ali, Umair Khan - who have all performed well on the domestic circuit - would be considered for the next three ODIs.

The five-match series runs from April 14 to May 5.

After Australia decided to postpone their tour of Pakistan, the PCB searched for a team to replace them for a five-match ODI series. The PCB was keen on India to play the matches but the BCCI could not fit another series in to an already jam-packed itinerary.

Pakistan squad Shoaib Malik (capt), Salman Butt, Nasir Jamshed, Younis Khan, Mohammad Yousuf, Misbah-ul-Haq, Shahid Afridi, Kamran Akmal (wk), Umar Gul, Sohail Tanvir, Rao Iftikhar Anjum, Sohail Khan, Wahab Riaz, Fawad Alam, Bazid Khan, Sarfraz Ahmed (wk).

Cyrus is Kids Choice winner - twice

By JOHN ROGERS, Associated Press Writer

LOS ANGELES - It was the best of both worlds at Saturday's Kids Choice Awards for Miley Cyrus, who took home trophies for favorite female singer and TV actress and rocked the show with a spirited performance of her hit song, "GNO — Girls Night Out."

It was also a slime spectacle for the Nickelodeon children's television network, which broadcast the 21st annual show live from UCLA's Pauley Pavilion in front of 10,000 screaming fans, almost all of them teens and preteens.

Akon crashed a dune buggy into giant containers of Nickelodeon's trademark green slime, Usher blasted a sumo wrestler several yards with slime fired from a cannon and supermodel Heidi Klum, attached to a bungee cord and wearing a specially equipped "butt spike belt," flung herself into a wall covered with slime-filled balloons.

"Don't try this at home," boxer Laila Ali said as Usher turned the cannon on the sumo wrestler.

The slime stunts and other assorted foolishness — which included a soundtrack of celebrities burping as an instrumental version of the Village People song "YMCA" played in the background — took up so much time that presenters never got around to announcing three awards.

In the categories that were announced, teen heartthrob Drake Bell was another double winner, collecting his third consecutive orange blimp-shaped trophy for favorite TV actor and another for favorite TV show for "Drake and Josh."

"Drake and Josh" upset Cyrus' hit program "Hannah Montana" in the TV show category.

Other winners were Eddie Murphy for favorite voice from an animated movie for "Shrek the Third," "American Idol" for favorite reality show and, one of the biggest crowd favorites of the night, the Jonas Brothers for favorite music group. The ever-polite Jonas Brothers each offered brief thank-yous. Chris Brown won for favorite male singer.

Ryan Seacrest accepted the reality show award saying he looked forward to presenting it to "two of the three" of the show's judges.

Cyrus, in a black dress with silver spangles, thanked several people, including her mother, father, agent, manager "and my lord and savior Jesus Christ."

She returned a few minutes later to perform her song, and had a camera crew scampering to get out of the way when she charged into the audience, microphone in hand.

The Naked Brothers Band also performed a song from their forthcoming album "I Don't Want To Go To School."

Cameron Diaz injected one serious moment into the 90 minute show when she accepted a silver blimp as this year's Wannabe Award winner, for the person kids most want to be like. After a montage of clips from both her movies and her efforts on behalf of environmentalism was shown, she encouraged the crowd to do their part to protect the planet.

"You're going to change the world. Every one of you kids is the future," she told the audience. "Everybody go out and make the world a better place."

Diaz, who was the first ever Kids Choice Awards burping contest winner, has long said that was the favorite of all her awards. She said this one trumped it.

Jason Lee accepted the favorite movie award for "Alvin and the Chipmunks" and said it was one of his biggest thrills.

"I'm going to hang this from the ceiling because it's the greatest award anyone could receive because it was voted on by the kids," he said as he held his blimp.

Awards are voted on by people who cast their ballots at Nickelodeon's Web site, with voting continuing until the day of the show.

The show's host, Jack Black, announced that 88 million votes were cast this year, more than twice last year's record number of 40 million.

The show concluded with Black and Orlando Bloom sitting in chairs high above the audience being drenched with what Black claimed was 27 million gallons of green slime.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Ledger's passing stokes Joker mania


LOS ANGELES - Heath Ledger's frenzied reinvention of the Joker had fans and colleagues buzzing. His dreadful clown face was seen online by millions, and stood as the goosebump-raising image upon which nearly all early marketing of "The Dark Knight" hinged.
All this, while Ledger was still alive.

Now the Batman archfiend stands as Ledger's next-to-last performance. And while it's not the first, "The Dark Knight" has already emerged as arguably the biggest movie featuring a posthumous role in Hollywood history.

Major stars including James Dean, Clark Gable, Carole Lombard, Spencer Tracy and Will Rogers had high-profile films released after they died. The deaths of others — notably Bruce Lee and his son Brandon — created an eerie allure that heightened interest in their final films.

Yet none had the magnitude of a comic-book franchise with an illustrious 70-year history, and movies in those eras did not arrive with the fanfare of today. Certainly none had the advance word of a delirious, demented turn by an actor completely reimagining of one of Hollywood's greatest villains.

"It was punk, it was `A Clockwork Orange, it was druggie. It was this kind of fantastic, anarchic look to him. This character who had absolutely no rules whatsoever," said Christian Bale, who returns as rich guy Bruce Wayne and his crime-fighting alter-ego Batman. "That's not like any Joker I've ever seen before, what I saw Heath do."

As the sequel to 2005 blockbuster "Batman Begins," "The Dark Knight" already was one of this year's most-anticipated films. Opening July 18, the film's must-see status has only risen since Ledger died of an accidental prescription drug overdose Jan. 22.

"More people will come to see it because of his death," said Bill Ramey, founder of the fan Web site "No doubt some people may be apprehensive about seeing it because there may be a little ghoulish factor about it. But I'm betting that more people now kind of look at it as a tribute to him, and the biggest tribute you could give someone is to go see it and enjoy his performance."

When Dean died in a car wreck in 1955, studio executives lamented "there goes the movie," figuring audiences would be scared away from his final two films, said Wes Gehring, who teaches film at Ball State University. To the contrary: "Rebel Without a Cause" and "Giant" were huge hits.

In today's anything-goes celebrity climate, it's doubtful anyone in Hollywood ever felt Ledger's death might hurt the box-office prospects for "The Dark Knight," Gehring said.

"It's a tacky thing to say, but what would have been a negative in the past now could be a positive thing," Gehring said. "I think we've done a flip-flop on pop culture. Now it might actually be a selling point for a movie where you say, `So and so's dead. Let's go see his movie.' What might have been a hindrance in 1935 now won't be a problem."

In the days after Ledger's death, fans debated how it might affect the film.

Would distributor Warner Bros. make changes or even delay its release? Would the advertising shift away from its early focus on Ledger's demonic Joker and his mocking taunt, "Why so serious?" Would the Joker's ghastly persona disturb fans? Would viewers be able to set thoughts of his death aside as they watch his performance?

"Of course, you find more poignancy in moments, and I'm very, very aware he's not here with us," said Bale in an interview shortly after the film's opening segment — in which Ledger's Joker orchestrates a bank heist — was screened in mid-March at ShoWest, a convention for theater owners. It was the first time Bale had seen the sequence, and Ledger's death weighed on his mind.

"I can't deny that kind of threw me watching that just now," Bale said. "You can't help but have that different feeling when I'm viewing it, especially since he's somebody I was in touch with until just recently and believed would be a future friend."

Director Christopher Nolan, who revived the franchise with "Batman Begins," said he expects the performance will speak for itself, that morbid thoughts of Ledger's death will not affect the way audiences view "The Dark Knight."

"Having seen the movie myself in such heightened and tragic circumstances, no, I don't think that's going to be the case," Nolan said. "What I found in watching the movie myself is that you're not looking at the actor, you're not looking at the friend, you're not looking at the colleague. You're looking at the Joker. ... He inhabits this character, and it's an extraordinary icon, so it's easy to enjoy it on that level, just as a great piece of acting."

Ledger — known for serious films including "Brokeback Mountain," which earned him a best-actor Academy Award nomination — was a surprise choice for the Joker, most famously played previously with Jack Nicholson's giddy performance in 1989's "Batman."

Nolan, Ledger and their collaborators came up with a wildly different Joker, whose ominous clown makeup seems to have been finger-painted onto his face, an outer portrait of the black and twisted soul within.

Ledger's performance floored two-time Oscar winner Michael Caine, who reprises his role as Bruce Wayne's butler, Alfred. Caine's first glimpse of the character came when Ledger emerged onto the set from an elevator; in an interview last September, four months before Ledger's death, Caine said he was so startled that he forgot his lines.

"He came out of the bloody lift like a whirlwind," Caine recalled. "They said, `It's your line, Michael.' I said, `What is it?' Extraordinary. It will be one of the characters of next year, the Joker as played by him."

Warner Bros. executives, who declined to comment for this article, have moved ahead with "The Dark Knight" and its marketing as planned. To do anything differently would have disrespected Ledger's memory, the filmmakers said.

"The greatest testament to Heath's portrayal is to do everything that we were planning on doing with Heath's portrayal," said producer Charles Roven. "His family knew him to feel exactly the same way. They knew how excited he was, knew how much fun he had doing it. When you see the film, it's undeniable how much fun he had playing the character."

While the "Batman" brand-name virtually assures blockbuster status for "The Dark Knight," other posthumous films have had a mixed history.

Rogers scored a posthumous hit with "Steamboat Round the Bend," as did Tracy with "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner."

Bruce Lee's "Enter the Dragon" and Brandon Lee's "The Crow" found broader audiences beyond action crowds because of their deaths. Singer Aaliyah's "Queen of the Damned" overcame bad reviews to become a modest commercial success.

Received coolly by critics, John Candy's "Canadian Bacon" and "Wagons East" were box-office duds, as was Natalie Wood's "Brainstorm."

The final films of Lombard ("To Be or Not to Be") and husband Gable ("The Misfits") earned critical acclaim and have held up over the decades but initially were disregarded by audiences.

Unlike Oliver Reed, whose death during the filming of "Gladiator" prompted the filmmakers to digitally graft his head onto another man's body to complete a scene, Ledger had finished his work on "The Dark Knight."

Ledger died with his final film, Terry Gilliam's fantasy "The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus," only half finished. Gilliam salvaged the production by casting Johnny Depp, Jude Law and Colin Farrell for the fantasy portions, each playing Ledger's character on trips through a magic mirror into a parallel realm.

The snippets of Ledger's "Dark Knight" performance released in trailers have captivated not only the average fan, but also his close colleagues from past films.

"You can tell Jack Nicholson was having fun doing that, but you can see Heath probably put his soul into it," said "Brokeback Mountain" director Ang Lee. "That's why it's scary. You see the trailer, just a few shots of him, you have to see the movie. ... I'm anxious to see it. I'm afraid to see it. I don't know how I'll respond to it, but you have to see it."

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Rowling to Take Witness Stand

LATEST: HARRY POTTER creator J.K. ROWLING will take to the witness stand next month (Apr08) in her legal bid to stop the planned publication of an unofficial encyclopedia. The author and Warner Brothers, which owns the rights to the boy wizard novels, filed a lawsuit against publisher RDR Books in October (07) over The Harry Potter Lexicon, based on fan Steve Vander Ark's website of the same name. The book was due for publication in November last year (07).

On Monday (24Mar08), a New York Federal District Court Judge ordered the case to go to trial on 14 April. A lawyer for RDR Books confirmed Rowling was expected to appear to give evidence in the case.

Rowling herself insists she plans to write her own definitive Harry Potter encyclopedia - including previously unseen material - and will donate the proceeds to charity.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Giant marine life found in Antarctica

By RAY LILLEY, Associated Press Writer

WELLINGTON, New Zealand - Scientists who conducted the most comprehensive survey to date of New Zealand's Antarctic waters were surprised by the size of some specimens found, including jellyfish with 12-foot tentacles and 2-foot-wide starfish.

A 2,000-mile journey through the Ross Sea that ended Thursday has also potentially turned up several new species, including as many as eight new mollusks.

It's "exciting when you come across a new species," said Chris Jones, a fisheries scientist at the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. "All the fish people go nuts about that — but you have to take it with a grain of salt."

The finds must still be reviewed by experts to determine if they are in fact new, said Stu Hanchet, a fisheries scientist at New Zealand's National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research.

But beyond the discovery of new species, scientists said the survey, the most comprehensive to date in the Ross Sea, turned up other surprises.

Hanchet singled out the discovery of "fields" of sea lilies that stretched for hundreds of yards across the ocean floor.

"Some of these big meadows of sea lilies I don't think anybody has seen before," Hanchet said.

Previously only small-scale scientific samplings have been staged in the Ross Sea.

The survey was part of the International Polar Year program involving 23 countries in 11 voyages to survey marine life and habitats around Antarctica. The program hopes to set benchmarks for determining the effects of global warming on Antarctica, researchers said.

Large sea spiders, jellyfish with 12-foot tentacles, huge sea snails and starfish the size of big food platters were found during a 50-day voyage, marine scientist Don Robertson said.

Cold temperatures, a small number of predators, high levels of oxygen in the sea water and even longevity could explain the size of some specimens, said Robertson, a scientist with NIWA.

Robertson added that of the 30,000 specimens collected, hundreds might turn out to be new species.

Stefano Schiaparelli, a mollusk specialist at Italy's National Antarctic Museum in Genoa, said he thought the find would yield at least eight new mollusks.

"This is a new brick in the wall of Antarctic knowledge," Schiaparelli said.

Link :

Friday, March 21, 2008

Happy Holi

Wishing a Joyous Holi to all Hindus.

Easter Celebrations

Wishing Easter to all my Fellow Christians. :)

Happy Clebrations of Eid Milad-un-Nabi

Wishing all the Muslims Milad-un-Nabi Mubarak. The Birthday of Holy Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him)

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Dame Maggie Smith battling cancer

The Telegraph reported today that Dame Maggie Smith (Prof. McGonagall) is fighting a private battle with breast cancer. "She is dealing with it in her typically brave and understated way," says a friend of hers. "She has had a tumour removed and subsequently completed a course of chemotherapy. This was precautionary and the prognosis looks good. The last thing she wants to do is to make a fuss about it."

The article continues, stating that "the 73-year-old Oscar winner insisted on going ahead with filming her role as Minerva McGonagall in the latest installment of the Harry Potter series last month even as she was undergoing radiation therapy."

Our hearts go out to Maggie and her family. We wish her a speedy recovery.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Writer Arthur C. Clarke dies at 90

By RAVI NESSMAN, Associated Press Writer

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - Arthur C. Clarke, a visionary science fiction writer who wrote "2001: A Space Odyssey" and won worldwide acclaim with more than 100 books on space, science and the future, died Wednesday, an aide said. He was 90.

Clarke, who had battled debilitating post-polio syndrome for years, died at 1:30 a.m. in his adopted home of Sri Lanka after suffering breathing problems, aide Rohan De Silva said.

The 1968 story "2001: A Space Odyssey" — written simultaneously as a novel and screenplay with director Stanley Kubrick — was a frightening prophesy of artificial intelligence run amok.

One year after it made Clarke a household name in fiction, the scientist entered the homes of millions of Americans alongside Walter Cronkite anchoring television coverage of the Apollo mission to the moon.

Clarke also was credited with the concept of communications satellites in 1945, decades before they became a reality. Geosynchronous orbits, which keep satellites in a fixed position relative to the ground, are called Clarke orbits.

His non-fiction volumes on space travel and his explorations of the Great Barrier Reef and Indian Ocean earned him respect in the world of science, and in 1976 he became an honorary fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.

But it was his writing that shot him to his greatest fame and that gave him the greatest fulfillment.

"Sometimes I am asked how I would like to be remembered," Clarke said recently. "I have had a diverse career as a writer, underwater explorer and space promoter. Of all these, I would like to be remembered as a writer."

From 1950, he began a prolific output of both fiction and non-fiction, sometimes publishing three books in a year. He published his best-selling "3001: The Final Odyssey" when he was 79.

A statement from Clarke's office said that Clarke had recently reviewed the final manuscript of his latest novel. "The Last Theorem," co-written with Frederik Pohl, will be published later this year, the statement said.

Some of his best-known books are "Childhood's End," 1953; "The City and The Stars," 1956; "The Nine Billion Names of God," 1967; "Rendezvous with Rama," 1973; "Imperial Earth," 1975; and "The Songs of Distant Earth," 1986.

When Clarke and Kubrick got together to develop a movie about space, they used as basic ideas several of Clarke's shorter pieces, including "The Sentinel," written in 1948, and "Encounter in the Dawn." As work progressed on the screenplay, Clarke also wrote a novel of the story. He followed it up with "2010," "2061," and "3001: The Final Odyssey."

In 1989, two decades after the Apollo 11 moon landings, Clarke wrote: "2001 was written in an age which now lies beyond one of the great divides in human history; we are sundered from it forever by the moment when Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin stepped out on to the Sea of Tranquility. Now history and fiction have become inexorably intertwined."

Planetary scientist Torrence Johnson said Clarke was a major influence on many in the field.

Johnson, who has been exploring the solar system through the Voyager, Galileo and Cassini missions in his 35 years at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, recalled a meeting of planetary scientists and rocket engineers, where talk turned to the author.

"All of us around the table said we read Arthur C. Clarke," Johnson said. "That was the thing that got us there."

Clarke won the Nebula Award of the Science Fiction Writers of America in 1972, 1974 and 1979; the Hugo Award of the World Science Fiction Convention in 1974 and 1980, and in 1986 became Grand Master of the Science Fiction Writers of America. He was awarded the CBE in 1989.

Born in Minehead, western England, on Dec. 16, 1917, the son of a farmer, Arthur Charles Clark became addicted to science fiction after buying his first copies of the pulp magazine "Amazing Stories" at Woolworth's. He read English writers H.G. Wells and Olaf Stapledon and began writing for his school magazine in his teens.

Clarke went to work as a clerk in Her Majesty's Exchequer and Audit Department in London, where he joined the British Interplanetary Society and wrote his first short stories and scientific articles on space travel.

It was not until after the World War II that Clarke received a bachelor of science degree in physics and mathematics from King's College in London.

In the wartime Royal Air Force, he was put in charge of a new radar blind-landing system.

But it was an RAF memo he wrote in 1945 about the future of communications that led him to fame. It was about the possibility of using satellites to revolutionize communications — an idea whose time had decidedly not come.

Clarke later sent it to a publication called Wireless World, which almost rejected it as too far-fetched.

Clarke married in 1953, and was divorced in 1964. He had no children.

He moved to the Indian Ocean island of Sri Lanka in 1956 after embarking on a study of the Great Barrier Reef.

Clarke, who had battled debilitating post-polio syndrome since the 1960s and sometimes used a wheelchair, discovered that scuba-diving approximated the feeling of weightlessness that astronauts experience in space. He remained a diving enthusiast, running his own scuba venture into old age.

"I'm perfectly operational underwater," he once said.

Clarke was linked by his computer with friends and fans around the world, spending each morning answering e-mails and browsing the Internet.

At a 90th birthday party thrown for Clarke in December, the author said he had three wishes: for Sri Lanka's raging civil war to end, for the world to embrace cleaner sources of energy and for evidence of extraterrestrial beings to be discovered.

In an interview with The Associated Press, Clarke once said he did not regret having never followed his novels into space, adding that he had arranged to have DNA from strands of his hair sent into orbit.

"One day, some super civilization may encounter this relic from the vanished species and I may exist in another time," he said. "Move over, Stephen King."


On the Net:

The Arthur C. Clarke Foundation:

Link :

Monday, March 17, 2008

Song : No Air - Jordin Sparks Ft. Chris Brown

The Latest Single by 2007 American Idol Winner 'Jordin Sparks' which features Hip-Hop Singer Chris Brown.

Following Are the beautiful lyrics of the song

Tell me how im supposed to breathe with no air (air)

(Verse 1)
[ Jordin S.]
If i
should die
I wake
Its cause
you took
my breath
losing you is like living in a world
with no air
[ Chris B.]
Im here
didnt want
to leave
My heart won't move
its incomplete
wish there
was a way
that i can get you to understand

But How
Do you expect me
To live alone with just me
Cause my world revolves around you
its so hard for me to breathe

Tell Me How im supposed to breathe with no air
Can't live can't breathe with no air
thats how i feel whenever you ain't there
Its No Air No Air
Got me out here in the water so deep
Tell me how you gon be without me
if you ain't here i just can't breathe
Its No Air No Air

No air air (ohhhh)
No air air (noooo)
No air air (ohhhh)
No air air

( Verse 2 )
[ Chris B.]
I Walked
I Ran
I Jumped
I Flew
Right off the ground
To float to you
Theres no gravity
To hold me down

[Jordin S.]
But Somehow
Im still alive inside
You took my breath
But i survived
I don't know how
But i don't even care

So How (How)

Do you expect me (Me)
To live alone with just me (Ohh)
Cause my world revolves around you
its so hard for me to breathe

( Chorus)
Tell Me How im supposed to breathe with no air (ohhhh)
Can't live can't breathe with no air (ohhh)
thats how i feel whenever you ain't there
Its No Air No Air
Got me out here in the water so deep (So deep)
Tell me how you gon be without me (Without Me Yeahhh)
if you ain't here i just can't breathe
Its No Air No Air

No air air (ohhhh)
No air air (ohhhh)
No air air (ohhhh)
No air air (No More)

uhh uhh uhh
No Air (ohhh)
uhh uhh uhh (Baby)
No Air (ohhh)
uhh uhh uhh
No Air

Its No Air No Air
No Aiiiiiir

Tell Me How im supposed to breathe with no air (ohhhh)
Can't live can't breathe with no air
thats how i feel whenever you ain't there
Its No Air No Air
Got me out here in the water so deep (So deep)
Tell me how you gon be without me (Without Me Yeahhh)
if you ain't here i just can't breathe
Its No Air No Air

Do you expect me
To live alone with just me
Cause my world revolves around you
its so hard for me to breathe

Tell Me How im supposed to breathe with no air (ohhhh)
Can't live can't breathe with no air
thats how i feel whenever you ain't there
Its No Air No Air
[ Jordin S.]
Got me out here in the water so deep
[ Chris B.]
Tell me how you gon be without me
[ Jordin S.]
if you ain't here i just can't breathe
Its No Air No Air

No air air (ohh)
No air air (ohh)
No air air (No air)

No Air...

Friday, March 14, 2008

Former Pakistan 'keeper Taslim Arif dies

Taslim Arif, the former Pakistan wicketkeeper-batsman, passed away in Karachi after succumbing to a lung infection. He was 53.

Arif made his Test debut initially as a batsman, scoring 90 and 46 on debut against India in 1980. He went on to play five more Tests as a wicketkeeper though the most significant achievement of his career was his marathon 210 not out against Australia in Faisalabad, which at that point of time was the highest score by a wicketkeeper in Tests. His performance, and a flat pitch it was, that prompted Dennis Lillee to make the famous remark about Faisabalad being a graveyard for bowlers.

It was his misfortune, however, to be a Pakistan keeper during the time of Wasim Bari and by the end of 1980, he had played his last Test. Still, his career figures make for impressive reading: 501 runs from six Tests at 62.62. He also played two ODIs against the West Indies before he signed for the Kerry Packer's World Series in Australia, where he played in one season.

He continued playing successfully for National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) retiring eventually in 1988. After his playing days, Arif remained involved in the game, working as a batting consultant for NBP and a selector for Karachi, his home city, where he was a regular face on the cricket circuit. He also ran an academy with former Test spinner Tauseef Ahmed and was a regular commentary voice for domestic and international matches for local radio and TV.

Pakistan fans would have heard him last a few weeks back, commentating on a Pentangular trophy match between Sindh and NWFP for a local sports channel.

Ledger's Joker Makes Dramatic Entrance


LAS VEGAS - This time out, there's no vat of chemicals to explain how Batman's greatest enemy came to be the twisted sociopath known as the Joker.

Heath Ledger's Joker springs full-blown in this summer's "The Dark Knight," the sequel to 2005's "Batman Begins" that was previewed for theater owners Thursday with a clip showing the new movie's opening sequence.

Unlike 1989's "Batman," in which the deranged, disfigured clown appearance of Jack Nicholson's Joker resulted from a dip in chemical goo, "The Dark Knight" starts right in with the bad guy in all his psychopathic glory.

"I believe whatever doesn't kill you simply makes you stranger," Ledger's depraved Joker cryptically tells an accomplice in the opening scenes, in which he pulls off a daring bank robbery.

In an interview at ShoWest, a theater-owners convention where distributor Warner Bros. showed off footage of "The Dark Knight" and the rest of its summer lineup, director Christopher Nolan said it was almost inevitable that the sequel would pit Christian Bale's Batman against the Joker.

"The psychopathic clown, that's an icon to stand with the guy with the ears and cape," Nolan said. "It's just a wonderful visual relationship, and it's a terrifying image."

Long before Ledger's death of an accidental prescription drug overdose in January, the marketing of the movie had focused on the villain's rise to power and his creepy appearance.

There had been speculation among critics and fans that the studio and filmmakers might take a different approach to selling the film in light of Ledger's death, but the marketing has gone on as originally planned.

"I think he'd be very pleased to see we're just moving ahead as is," Nolan said. "If you try to honor somebody, you honor them by respecting their work and putting it out there for as many people to see. He was immensely proud of the work he did on the film. I feel a great burden to present that in an undistorted form."

"The Dark Knight" is due in theaters July 18.

The last time producer Charles Roven saw Ledger was when he showed the actor the very footage that was screened at ShoWest.

Fans have been buzzing over the anarchic style Ledger brings to the role in the movie's trailer, but the actor himself was utterly taken by what he saw of himself on screen, Roven said.

"He was just blown away by his own performance," Roven said. "He said, `Can I see it again?' So he was really, really thrilled."

Bale — reprising his role as the wealthy Bruce Wayne, who moonlights as the emotionally tormented crimefighter — said he watched the footage Thursday with a heaviness of heart over Ledger. But Bale said he hopes the movie will serve as a testament.

"I hope that this can be seen as a celebration of his work," Bale said. "He did a phenomenal job. It was a real joy working with the man. It was a joy knowing him, as well. I liked him a great deal, and I liked also how seriously he took his work."

Link :

Final "Harry Potter" movie split into two parts

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Warner Bros. has conjured up some Hollywood magic for the final installment of the wildly popular "Harry Potter" movies, splitting the seventh and final book into two films, the movie studio said on Thursday.

Part one of "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" will debut in late 2010 and be followed months later by part two.

"We feel that the best way to do the book, and its many fans, justice is to expand the screen adaptation of 'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows' and release the film in two parts," Jeff Robinov, president of Warner Bros. Pictures Group, said in a statement.

The first five films in the series have been huge hits with a total global box office nearing $4.5 billion. The sixth movie is now being filmed.

The movies are based on British author J.K. Rowling's best-selling fantasy novels about the adventures of boy wizard Harry Potter and his friends as they grow from kids into teenagers at the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

"Deathly Hallows," the seventh and final book in Rowling's series, was published last July to huge fanfare, selling some 11.5 million copies in its first 10 days in the United States.

But the final volume is a long saga at more than 750 pages, and it is filled with many twists and turns as Harry and his friends Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley wrap up their story lines. Harry faces -- once and for all times -- the dark Lord Voldemort who murdered his parents.

Because of the many adventures in "Deathly Hallows," Rowling, the movies' producers and Warner Bros. all agreed that two movies were necessary to truly tell the end story.

"'The Deathly Hallows' is so rich, the story so dense and there is so much that is resolved that after discussing it with Jo, we came to the conclusion that the two parts were needed to do it justice," said producer David Heyman, who first took the project to Warner Bros. in 1997.

The books and movies also have been a huge money maker beyond theater box offices and DVDs. They have spawned products from toys to T-shirts to a planned theme park.

By some estimates, "Harry Potter" represents a $20 billion business, so an eighth film will likely only expand the enterprise.

Daniel Radcliffe, who plays Harry, and his co-stars Emma Watson (Hermione) and Rupert Grint (Ron) are now filming the sixth movie -- "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince." All three have said they would appear in "Deathly Hallows."

Warner Bros. is a unit of media giant Time Warner Inc.

(Editing by Jill Serjeant and John O'Callaghan)

Link :

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Never Took The Time - Akon

"Never Took The Time" by Akon

A moment ago it seemed
It was yesterday
You were here with me
And everything seems to be the same

What am I supposed to do
With all these empty rooms?
Sit here in solitude
With the smell of your perfume

Ya never took the time to know me
Ya never took the time to understand
Ya never took the time to know me
Cause lovin' you is all I ever had
Still lovin' you is all I ever have

This wasn't what I wanted to be
A man in misery
Girl I look back a thousand times
And can't believe that you left me
Why you leave me baby
Why can't you understand my pain
How can I explain
Girl I don't know what I'm doin' wrong
I can't believe that your love is gone

Cause you never took the time to know me
Said you never took the time to know me
You never took the time to understand
Oh yeah
Said you never took the time to know me
Said you never took the time to know me
See lovin' you is all I ever had
Baby lovin' you is all I ever had

Ooh yeah
You're all I need
You're all I see
And I wish that we could do it again

Cause you never took the time to know
Baby you never took the time to know me
You never took the time to understand
Oh oh
Said you never took the time to know me
Because of you now I'm just a lonely man
Because of you now I'm just a lonely man

One of the most beautiful song by Akon.

Humour : Ticket Please!

Three engineers and three accountants are travelling by train to a conference. At the station, the three accountants each buy tickets and watch as the three engineers buy only a single ticket. "How are three people going to travel on only one ticket?" asks an accountant. "Watch and you'll see," answers an engineer. They all board the train. The accountants take their respective seats but all Three engineers cram into a restroom and close the door behind them. Shortly after the train has departed, the conductor comes around collecting tickets. He knocks on the restroom door and says, "Ticket, please." The door opens just a crack and a single arm emerges with a ticket in hand. The conductor takes it and moves on. The accountants saw this and agreed it was quite a clever idea. So after the conference, the accountants decide to copy the engineers on the return trip and save some money. When they get to the station, they buy a single ticket for the return trip. To their astonishment, the engineers buy no tickets at all. "How are you going to travel without a ticket?" says one perplexed accountant. "Watch and you'll see," answers an engineer. When they board the train the three accountants cram into a restroom and the three engineers cram into another one nearby. The train departs. Shortly afterward, one of the engineers leaves his restroom and walks over to the restroom where the accountants are hiding. He knocks on the door and says, "ticket please."