Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Disney's The Princess and the Frog

By The Animation Powerhouse Disney, A fairy tale centered on a young girl named Princess Tiana who lives in New Orleans' French Quarter during the Jazz Age.
To Be Released in 2009

The Boy In The Striped Pajamas

Bruno is an eight year old German boy who leads a very comfortable life in Berlin during the Second World War. His father is a high ranking Nazi officer, and things change when the family has to move due to his father’s new post. In his innocence, Bruno sees the nearby concentration camp as a ‘farm’ and wonders why its inhabitants are always wearing striped pajamas. Eventually Bruno becomes friends with a Jewish boy his own age who lives on the other side of the fence.

All Nightmare Long - Metallica

New Video by the Rock Legends 'Metallica'

Britney Spears' Circus Act Tops the Charts

By David Jenison

Los Angeles (E! Online) – Britney Spears is back at No. 1.

For the first time in more than five years, Britney topped the Billboard 200. Her new album Circus sold more than half a million copies for the week ended Sunday.

This gives Spears the second biggest female bow of the year, topping debut weeks by Mariah Carey, Miley Cyrus, Madonna, Janet Jackson and Beyoncé and only trailing Taylor Swift. Once the final retail receipts are counted, the album should claim the seventh biggest bow of 2008.

Back in October, Britney set the stage for her comeback when "Womanizer" became her first Hot 100 chart-topper since "…Baby One More Time" a decade ago. "Womanizer" also set the record for the biggest digital sales debut by a female artist (286,000 copies) since Nielsen SoundScan started tracking downloads in 2003.

"Imagine a year ago, did anyone think that today she would be able to come out with an album that would, not only just debut at No. 1, but also do half a million copies in its first week?" asks Billboard Senior Chart Manager Keith Caulfield. "It's surprising, but at the same time it's got to be pretty satisfying for Britney and for her record label."

And it's not just album and song sales soaring, because according to her website, "This tour is selling out like hot cakes! In response to overwhelming ticket sales, we have several more dates in cities including Los Angeles, London, Chicago, Toronto and Newark!"

So expect the circus to be coming to your town soon.


Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Humour : Hungry Dogs

( I love this one! )

At a workshop on dog temperament, the instructor noted that a test for a canine’s disposition was for an owner to fall down and act hurt. A dog with poor temperament would try to bite the person, whereas a good dog would lick his owner’s face or show concern.

Once, while eating pizza in the living room, I decided to try out this theory on my two dogs. I stood up, clutched my heart, let out a scream and collapsed on the floor.

The dogs looked at me, glanced at each other and raced to the coffee table for my pizza.

Courtesy : Reader's Digest

Monday, December 8, 2008

NASA delays Mars mission to 2011

By SETH BORENSTEIN, AP Science Writer Seth Borenstein, Ap Science Writer

WASHINGTON – NASA is delaying a mission to Mars that already had been over budget and will get even more costly.

The launch of the massive roving robot with a rock-zapping laser was pushed back Thursday from next year until 2011, adding $400 million to the price tag. More than 10 different problems, all solvable with time, forced the postponement, Mars exploration chief Doug McCuistion said.

The six-wheeled Mars Science Laboratory is designed as the most powerful spacecraft to explore the Martian surface. About the size of a small sport utility vehicle, it will probe the red planet's climate and geology in finer detail than previous missions.

The project has been dogged by cost increases and technical challenges. Just two years ago the lab was supposed to cost $1.6 billion; the launch delay inflates the total price to nearly $2.3 billion.

The biggest major technical problem involves motors and gear boxes that will help the rover drive around and bend its robotic arm to reach out to test soil. One of the most vexing problems: the brake sticks in the on position in cold weather, McCuistion said. Other problems involved cracks in a key pipe, computer glitches and easy-to-fix failures with solar power cells, he said.

The problems couldn't be fixed and tested in time to launch next year, NASA Administrator Michael Griffin said at a news conference.

"Despite the delay, work on the mission really is progressing well with the exception of the motor problem," he said.

Mars and Earth only pass close enough to launch probes every 26 months. The next opportunity is September and October next year; it will be the first time since 1994 that NASA will miss a chance to launch toward Mars.

Sean Solomon of the Carnegie Institution of Washington, who heads a NASA Mercury mission, thinks the space agency made the right choice to slip the Mars launch, but he warned it could hurt other projects.

"That's quite a high price to pay for this delay. We're not in a good place on this mission," said Solomon who chairs the planetary subcommittee of NASA's Advisory Council.

It is the second time in two years that NASA has postponed a Mars mission. Last year, it delayed a planned 2011 launch of a $485 million Mars atmospheric probe by two years because of an unspecified conflict of interest in the selection process.


AP Science Writer Alicia Chang in Los Angeles contributed to this report.


On the Net:

Mars Science Laboratory:


Pakistan arrests suspected Mumbai plotter

By MUNIR AHMAD, Associated Press Writer

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan – Security forces overran a militant camp on the outskirts of Pakistani Kashmir's main city and seized an alleged mastermind of the Mumbai attacks, two officials said Monday.

Backed by a helicopter, the troops grabbed Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi among at least 12 people taken Sunday in the raid on the riverbank camp run by the banned group Laskhar-e-Taiba in Pakistani Kashmir, the officials said. There was a brief gunfight in the camp near Muzaffarabad before the militants were subdued, the officials said.

The officials — one from the intelligence agencies and one from a government agency — spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media.

Indian officials say the sole Mumbai attacker captured alive has told them that Lakhvi recruited him for the mission and that Lakhvi and another militant, Yusuf Muzammil, planned the operation, which left 171 people dead in India's commercial capital.

The capture of Lakhvi was likely to please India as well as U.S. officials, who allege he also directed Laskhar-e-Taiba operations in Chechnya, Bosnia and Southeast Asia, training members to carry out suicide bombings and attack populated areas. In 2004, he allegedly sent operatives and funds to attack U.S. forces in Iraq.

It was not immediately clear what Pakistan intended to do with Lakhvi.

Pakistan and India do not have an extradition treaty. Last week, President Asif Ali Zardari indicated anyone arrested in Pakistan in connection with the attacks would be tried in Pakistan.


Eid Mubarak!

Wishing everybody who celebrates Eid-ul-Adha out there, a heartily and joyous Eid...!