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That Extra Calendar Day

Once in 4 years, like the Olympics, like the World Cup (and if you ask which World Cup, there is only one true world cup) the elusive & shy February 29th has come on by for a visit. 2012 being a leap year we get an extra day in February, making it 366 days instead of 365. A leap year (or intercalary or bissextile year) is a year containing one additional day (or, in the case of lunisolar calendars, a month) in order to keep the calendar year synchronized with the astronomical or seasonal year.

I’m gonna be on the look out and dressed in my best today – traditionally, women take the ring into their own hands and propose on Leap Day! So do not hesitate or you will be beaten in the race to propose. Yes that is a British Isles tradition. In Denmark, the tradition is that women may propose on the bissextile leap year day, February 24, and that refusal must be compensated with 12 pairs of gloves. In Finland, the tradition is that if a man refuses a woman’s proposal on leap year day, he should buy her the fabrics for a skirt.

However in Greece, marriage in a leap year is considered unlucky.One in five engaged couples in Greece will plan to avoid getting married in a leap year.

What about those folks who were born on February 29th? Only getting to celebrate their birthdays every four years :_( Although a lot of the do celebrate every year, just on the 28th of Feb or the 1st of March. Who can wait 4 years for another birthday? The only good thing would be is if you didn’t age during that gap, which ofcourse is too good to be true.

Many happy returns to the three children of Norway’s Henriksen family – Heidi (b. 1960 ), Olav (b. 1964) and Lief-Martin (b. 1968 ) – the most siblings to have their birthday on Feb 29th! Here are some famous people who were born on this day:

  • Former Prime Minister of India, the late Morarji Desai
  • Cam Ward, hockey goalie
  • Darren Ambrose, English footballer
  • Simon Gagne, hockey player
  • Khaled, singer
  • Henri Richard, hockey legend
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Castle Season 3

So we are now in Season 3. Summer has passed on by and still no Castle. Beckett and the team seem to miss him. Turns out that immediately after finishing his latest book and sending it for publishing, Castle was pulled into a publicity tour. When Beckett, Ryan & Esposito are at a crime scene the see Castle – only it’s a lifesize effigy of him at a big book store. As they move on by Ryan says – “He really is ruggedly handsome” (mirroring Castle dialogue in season 1 that they used throughout season 2 in the opening theme) – that cracked me up!

Beckett and her team burst into an apartment on a murderer’s trail, only to be surprised when they find Castle, who they hadn’t seen or heard from in months, standing over the dead woman’s body holding a gun. Beckett has no choice but to arrest Castle until he proves he is innocent.  This episode is great as a season opener. Next it’s the case of a fake psychic who was killed by her own daughter. We also run into Beckett’s first Training Officer, Mike Royce, now working as a bounty hunter and chasing their murder suspect on a warrant for missing his court appearance. While they investigate a murder of a young executive involving antique guns, a 200-year-old bullet, and New York’s steampunk subculture, we are introduced to Beckett’s new romantic interest, a surgeon (played by Victor Webster).

They also find that the Triple Killer has come back and struck again but while investigating & apprehending their suspect who confesses, Ryan & Castle are tied up by the real killer – a felon who they gave immunity to from jail and was helping them on the case. This shakes both Castle & Ryan up. We get some lighter moments during the murder of a male stripper dressed a cop. Castle and Beckett investigate the murder of a dockworker turned bar owner whose body is found floating in the East River, leading to the discovery of a secret that dates back to Prohibition. This leads to a special aged whiskey and Castle also buys the bar. Much hialrity & a wee bit of insecurity & jealousy occurs when Natalie Rhodes (Laura Prepon) playing Nikki Heat in the film adaptation of Heat Wave, joins Castle and Beckett in their next investigation of a high class match-maker, Stacy Collins. Natalie goes to extremes during her “character research,” making herself into the exact image of Beckett, much to Castle’s delight and Beckett’s dismay. Ryan tries to find the best way to propose to Jenny. Next a magician’s death and an older detective brings new evidence for Beckett’s mother’s murder, he & another cop were involved with the circumstances leading to her death, but he is killed before he can reveal all.

Castle breaks things off with his ex-wife Gina, Ryan gets engaged and Lainey & Esposito are having a romance of their own. Castle has to reluctantly lead his former close friend is a killer. Beckett & Castle have to join forces with omeland Security agent Mark Fallon (Adrian Pasdar) in a two parter episode involving a terrorist attack attempt with a deadly chemical weapon. Our duo almost run out of time when Castle, thinking that there is nothing to lose anyway, pulls all the wires and stops the bomb from detonating. One of my fav episodes is the one with the 4 Nick’s Pizza – Authentic Nicks, Original Nick’s, Original Authentic Nick’s & Authentic Original Nick’s – in the same block. When a future Olympic swimmer is found dead in the pool, Castle and Beckett travel into the world of sports, drugs, and drug dealers. Against orders, Beckett travels to Los Angeles while investigating the murder of her training officer Michael Royce, last seen being arrested in the Under the Gun episode; Castle questions Beckett’s motives. Castle and Beckett are called to investigate when Amber Middleberry, a contestant in a beauty pageant, is found strangled and every suspect has a motive to commit murder.

Which brings us to the finale; Beckett’s mom’s murder that the duo are still investigating, reveals that there was a 3rd cop involved. An assassin, with knowledge of the details behind Beckett’s mother’s murder, escapes from custody during his trial leaving Castle and Beckett to track him down. Tensions mount when investigations by Ryan & Esposito reveal that the 3rd cop was Captain Montgomery, then a young cop. He soon got out of it but still is contacted by the assassin. Montgomery agrees to deliver Beckett to the assassin & his cohorts but instead spends time with his family, kisses his wife & kids goodbye and kills the assassin & his group. Before he does so, he confesses to Beckett off his early involvement during the situation but does not who ordered Mrs. Beckett’s death. At Montgomery’s funeral, Beckett is shot and Castle tells her that he loves her. Thus ends the season.

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Beer Types – Blonde Ale

“Gentleman prefer blondes” – this week I am featuring the Blonde ale. They are usually pale in colour Light yellow to deep gold in color. Clear to brilliant. Low to medium white head with fair to good retention.

The term “Blonde” for pale beers is popular in Europe – particularly in France, Belgium and the UK, though the beers may not have much in common, other than colour. Blondes tend to be clear, crisp, and dry, with low-to-medium bitterness and aroma from hops, and some sweetness from malt. Fruitiness from esters may be perceived. A lighter body from higher carbonation may be noticed. In the United Kingdom, golden or summer ales were developed in the late 20th century by breweries to compete with the pale lager market. A typical golden ale has an appearance and profile similar to that of a pale lager. Malt character is subdued and the hop profile ranges from spicy to citrus; common hops include Styrian Golding and Cascade. Alcohol is in the 4% to 5% abv range.

The UK style is attributed to John Gilbert, owner of Hop Back Brewery, who developed “Summer Lightning” in 1989, which then won several awards and inspired numerous imitators. Belgian blondes are often made with pilsner malt. Some beer writers regard blonde and golden ales as distinct styles, while others do not. Duvel, Leffe Blonde, Affligem blonde ale and, the one pictured here, Blonde de Chambly from Unibroue are examples of Belgian blonde ales.

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The Switch

The Switch is a romantic-comedy movie starring Jennifer Aniston and Jason Bateman. Will Speck and Josh Gordon (Blades of Glory) directed the comedy from the screenplay written by Allan Loeb. The film is based on the short story “Baster” by Jeffrey Eugenides.

The story is a simple one and I would say somewhat predictable as these movies goes these days. Kassie & Wally are best friends who live in New York. Kassie decides that she wants to have a baby and as she has almost lost hope of finding the right guy and marrying him, she chooses to do so alone, with the services of handsome and charming sperm donor Roland (Patrick Wilson). Wally tries to talk her out of it, mainly because he is in love with her but unable to profess it to her. As his boss / friend Leonard (Jeff Goldblum) points out, Wally is so established in the “friend zone” and has missed his chance.

Kassie organizes an “insemination party with her other close friend Debbie (Julliette Lewis),” where Roland produces the sperm in the bathroom, and leaves behind the cup. After a while a drunk Wally enters to use the bathroom and sees the cup, and not happy with it, he plays with the cup and accidentally spills it into the sink. Not knowing what to do he replaces the sperm – with his own! Totally drunk he forgets about the incident after sleeping the night. The insemination is successful but Kassie has to leave New York because of her work; still believing that she is pregnant with Roland’s child. The two friends try to keep in touch but 7 years pass by with them barely exchanging a few words to each other.

Now, Kassie is back to New York, bringing her young son Sebastian with her. She contacts Wally as she settles in a new place back in NYC and although slowly & awkwardly, Wally & Sebastian form a strong bond with each other. However Kassie meets up with Ronald, who is now single and they start dating. Because she thinks he is Sebastian’s father, Kassie thinks a relationship for the 3 of them will be good for Sebastian, who however is uncomfortable with Ronald. As Wally slowly remembers what he did,  reveals to Kassie that Sebastian is his son, along with his true feelings for her at a party where Ronald plans to propose to Kassie. Hurt & embarrassed Kassie breaks off contact with Wally. At first she is angry, and does not want to see him again, but Sebastian misses him and so does she; finally she breaks up with Roland. Wally proposes to her, and Kassie accepts.

It’s predictable as hell and maybe even corny in places but still sweet. The kid is fabulous and is sure to win your heart in this movie. I’ll watch anything with Aniston in it (yes there is a crush hidden in me). It’s also nice to see Jeff Goldblumm as I haven’t seen him in a anything in a while. 6 out of 10!

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84th Academy Awards Winners List

The 84th Academy Awards was held at the Hollywood and Highland Center in Hollywood, California last night for the US & today morning for us here in India. Hosted by Billy Crystal, his 9th such outing, the awards this year was marred slightly by a little controversy when Eddie Murphy stepped down as host after Brett Ratner resigned as producer, following Ratner’s use of a gay slur when discussing rehearsals. Also Sasha Baron Cohen was banned from the awards ceremony, only to be told that he could not attend in one of his various character alter egos. Still he did show up dressed up as The Dictator, holding an urn which The Dictator said was filled with the ashes of Kim Jong Il. During his interview with the E! Red Carpet, he spilled the urn of ashes onto E! Red Carpet Host Ryan Seacrest.

Here is the list of some of the winners (I leave out categories that do not interest me):

Best picture: “The Artist.”

Actress in a leading role: Meryl Streep, “Iron Lady.”

Actor in a leading role: Jean Dujardin, “The Artist.”

Actress in a supporting role: Octavia Spencer, “The Help.”

Actor in a supporting role: Christopher Plummer, “Beginners.”

Directing: Michel Hazanavicius, “The Artist.”

Foreign language film: “A Separation,” Iran.

Documentary feature: “Undefeated.”

Animated feature film: “Rango.”

Visual effects: “Hugo.”

Original score: “The Artist.”

Original song: “Man or Muppet” from “The Muppets.”

Documentary (short subject): “Saving Face.”

Animated short film: “The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore.”

The lovely Meryl Streep wins Best Actress for the 3rd time and Chris Plummer becomes the oldest ever Oscar winner at 82!

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Pope Calls IVF Arrogant

The Vatican & the pope are obsessed with sex it seems. According to the pope, artificial methods of getting pregnant, like the in-vitro fertilization (IVF), were simply “arrogance” and making babies through sex was the only way to make a baby. Speaking at the end of a three-day Vatican meet on infertility in Rome on Saturday, the Pope reiterated Vatican’s stance against artificial procreation and urged infertile couples to refrain from trying to conceive through any method other than conjugal relations. He also told the specialists in his audience to resist “the fascination of the technology of artificial fertility’, warning against “easy income, or even worse, the arrogance of taking the place of the Creator”.

Is he calling the couples who have tried to have a baby on their own and have to try IVF to start their own families, arrogant? Is that arrogant Mr.Pope? Well, you know who I think is arrogant and which religious institution is arrogant & makes a mockery of humanity arrogant! Take a look in the mirror!

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Criminal Minds – Season 1

Criminal Minds, is an American police (in this case FBI) procedural television show which premiered in September, 2005. The series follows a team of profilers from the FBI’s Behavioral Analysis Unit (BAU), which is part of the FBI National Center for the Analysis of Violent Crimes, based in Quantico, Virginia. The series is based on special agents  Jason Gideon (Mandy Patinkin), Aaron Hotchner (Thomas Gibson), and the rest of the Behavioral Analysis Unit, hereafter referred to as the BAU team. For the first season, that team is composed of Elle Greenaway (Lola Glaudini), Derek Morgan (Shemar Moore), Dr. Spencer Reid (Matthew Gray Gubler), Jennifer “JJ” Jareau, (AJ Cook), and computer / data expert Penelope Garcia (Kirsten Vangsness). When the series premiered, Vangsness was not in the regular cast, appearing instead as a guest star.

The season starts with agent Gideon rejoining active duty by joining the BAU team led by supervisor Hotchner. Elle is a new member of the team who is made permanent after the first case of a serial killer in Seattle. From the second episode onwards agent Jennifer joins the team.  JJ acts as the team’s liaison with the media and local police agencies, usually hanging out with Garcia if the two are in the office. As the series progresses, JJ moves more into the filed, liaisoning in the different cities they travel to. The team soon is in the thick of things, solving a serial arsonist case in one episode and a copycat bomber before traveling to San Diego to help stop a serial rapist and murderer called the “Tommy Killer” by the local media because he glues his victim’s eyes wide open after raping and murdering them.

One of the more disturbing cases is a serial killer who takes families hostage and spends time with them acting as a father figure during what is supposed to be their family vacations. Then we have Elle, along with four civilians, is held hostage on a train in Texas by a paranoid schizophrenic who is convinced that the U.S. government are monitoring him through a microchip in his arm. Reid and Gideon are forced to play into the man’s fantasy to save the people he has taken hostage. This episode is based on a real person’s case. Then there are the murders in a small town which the killer, a teenage frames to look like that of a Satanic cult who are based in the area. There are cases of cannibalism, child abduction, a vigilante, a sexual serial killer in Mexico who targets older women and a charmer who dates women and then drown them. But my favourite is the one of two serial killers, where the woman is innocent but faked her 2 year old son’s death so she could save him from her psycho killer husband. 15 years later Gideon tries to save her but she blames herself for not being able to save the girls her husband killed and is happy that her now 17 year old, living with adoptive parents, is healthy & growing up safe. Very moving.

The season ends on a cliffhanger in the Fisher King, a burnt victim man who has abducted his own daughter. While on their separate vacations, each member of the BAU receives a clue from a psychotic killer obsessed with Arthurian legend who challenges them to save his next victim. Elle is shot critically in her home by the killer, who is enraged when they break one of his “rules”. The second part of this two parter will be the first episode of the second season.

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My Most Treasured Possession

My laptop is my most treasured possession. Why is it important to me? It’s the window to my universe.

It’s what I browse the internet with and on what I type, send, receive & read emails on. It’s the tool I use to connect to Social Networking Sites like Facebook & Twitter. It’s what I use to entertain me and has replaced tv for me as I watch Youtube videos throughout the day on it. It’s on what I blog and write out my thoughts, the things that happen in my life and review movies, tv series & my fav music. It’s where my secrets are stored. It’s where my images are collected from all over the internet are stored. It’s also where my simple collection of digital photos are stored.

I rarely watch anything on the large screen tv anymore as all my dvds are played on my laptop. It’s also where I play the movies & tv series that I have downloaded. I spend hours & hours on my laptop. My soul’s oxygen – rock n’roll, heavy metal & hard rock is saved here! It’s where I write my fictional stories. It’s where I have created and saved a whole different universe filled with wonder & adventure & excitement which I hope I will be able to share with the world someday.

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And Soon The Darkness

And Soon The Darkness is a remake of a 1970 British film of the same name. Instead of English girls in France, this movie is American chicks in Argentina. This Marcos Efron directed movie stars Karl Urban, Amber Heard & Odette Yustman. It’s the 70s & 80s style of horror movies where young girls and young couples in some movies get into trouble in a foreign country when they are not too careful and tragedy happens.

Stephanie (Amber Heard) & Ellie (Odette Yustman) are two friends from the US who are on a holiday in Argentina. On their last day in the country, they decided to stay on their own, away from the tourist group, cycling to a small town and staying in a hostel. After freshening up the girls head to a bar nearby where Ellie, in true horror movie fashion, decided to become the life of the party and changes the songs on the jukebox and proceeds to put the spotlight on her, cooing and dancing seductively with two local guys she just met. Why on earth do these American girls do this when they go out of their home country, I will not know or is it just movies that give me this impression? It’s either the loud flirtatious girl dancing or grinding away on the dance floor or it the loud boorish jock who drinks two beers and is all “yeah, wooo” like Rick Flair on meth!

Anyway, I digress. Ellie is pinning away for a boyfriend she just broke up with and sits mostly by herself at their table. The girls also run into an American male, who acts all brooding & suspicious so obviously he is not the villain right? Anyways, Ellie does a little too much flirting with one of the locals guys, Pedro, gets a little too rough for Ellie’s liking and Michael comes to the girls’ rescue. Pedro is chased away and the girls go to sleep. Unfortunately they oversleep due to an electronic clock getting unplugged in the mele and they miss the bus that was supposed to take them to their destination. Rather than wait for another bus, they begin their trip and head down to the nearby river to relax and enjoy their extra day off. So they cycle to a secluded area and find a lake and outcome the bikinis. Girls sun tan in said bikinis and listen to mps3 on their ipods.  The trip takes a turn for the worse when the two are separated after a heated agrument between the two best friends and Ellie is kidnapped.

Stephanie is distraught and goes to find her and runs into Michael who says he will help. But our girl prefers that a cop comes to her aid so the sole cop in charge of the town & area comes and he says that he will draw up the papers for the missing friend. Stephanie goes off to do her own search and finds an abandoned town in ruins. While there she runs into Michael so says that he is searching for his  girlfriend who disappeared months before. Stephanie finds the hide-out where the kidnapper (the guy who got rough with Ellie the previous night) has taken Ellie, who is disheveled and scared. Stephanie manages to rescue her, but Ellie is later killed by the man who kidnapped her. Later, it is revealed that the lone police officer was behind all the missing girls along with the other guy. The policeman offers to make a trade for Michael’s girlfriend, Camila, if he hands over Stephanie. The trade does not materialize and Michael gets shot.

Stephanie is captured and taken by boat across the border to Paraguay to be sold (it is also revealed that Michael’s girlfriend was also sold like many other girls into slavery) but she escapes and manages to kill the corrupt cop. She stumbles and walks her way back into town where a lady cop who was searching for her (alerted by the hostel owner) comes and gets her and takes her to safety.

6 outta 10! Not really worth getting.

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Saturday Spent Outside

There was a couple of things I wanted to do today. And both had a clash in timings. Damn if I couldn’t change the timings for both! It would mean shifting the venue of one meeting and meeting the other person post lunch. Or whatever! I decided to just roll with it and see what happens.

I arranged for a friend to meet me at Cafe Coffee Day for a quick bite in between as I had some free time. I felt hungry as it was almost 1pm by then. We went in and sat at my favourite corner table. Before we could order, he got a call from home asking him to rush back as his uncle was ill, so I was on my own. I thought, no problem, I shall sit by myself and enjoy an hour of relaxing. I ordered a sandwich and a cold coffee and went to my table, waiting until they served me.

As you can see, Cafe Coffee Day seems to have run out of proper plates and served me my sandwich in a paper plate. How far down the social ladder have I fallen? Kidding! In terms of serving aesthetics the red serving tray more than made up for the looks or lack therefore of my paper plate. It’s blood red and looked much more sexy than the photo here.

My coffee was a cold Mochachillo with more ice than coffee it seems. Funny thing is this drink seems to have some milk added separate to the coffee. And the first sips are always great – as you wind towards the middle it gets a bit watery and yucky, no matter how much you stir & mix the drink. Oh well! Atleast it was cold and refreshing against the hot sun.

My sandwich, as seen here, was another thing altogether. In a class of it’s own, it’s the corn & spinach sandwich with lots of cheese. And it was piping hot, melting cheese just bursting in my mouth as I took a bite – yummy! I love this sandwich and it is consistently awesome the way CCD makes it, although not always this hot & fresh. I was sad when I was done and wanted more but I was to join my good friend Anil Alapatt for beer and snacks later so it would not be good to fill up.

Later that afternoon Anil & I met at the Volga bar & restaurant in Kadavanthara. The sun was blazing hot by then and we were both glad to sit in the cool air conditioned bar. We had a Kingfisher beer each, in these new cute looking tumblers from Royal Challenge. We ordered garlic prawns, dry chilli fish & chicken fry and sat for 2 hours talking about stuff. We tried calling up Madhu (now in Qatar) but he was at the bank and suffering spotty cell service, so we said we’d call him later. Anil & I chatted about the good memories and things coming up ahead until it was time for him to head on towards Thrissur. I went for a brief walk and then came back home.

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My All-Time Favorite Authors

Anne Rice : I love her books which I discovered after watching the movie version of her book Interview With The Vampire. But it was a few years down the line when I first got any of her books. I started with Interview, then The Vampire Lestat, Blackwood Farm, Merrick, The Queen Of The Damned, The Vampire Armand, Blood Canticle and Blood & Gold. I enjoy all the books although some are a bit dragging. I’ve always enjoyed reading Anne Rice’s books a a bar near my apartment when I would have either a couple of beers or vodka and then some lunch. The bar is reasonably well lit and with enough sunlight coming in from the large windows, it was a swell place for me to sit & read in their comfy, cushioned chairs while drinking and eating.

John Grisham : It took me a while to get into Grisham because his books deal with the law but after reading a couple, I got into his stuff big time. I have all of his legal drama books uptil 2009 and have read The Painted House, which I didn’t care for. His books are amazingly engaging and I just love The Firm, The Client, the King Of Torts, The Partner, A Time To Kill, The Pelican Brief, The Chamber, The Rainmaker, The Street Lawyer, The Testament, The Brethren, The Summons, the Last Juror, The Broker, The Appeal & The Associate. Whew, that’s a lot of books! I often read his novels multiple times as it is easy reading and the stories flow well.

The late Michael Chrichton : Like most people I became a fan of Mr. Chrichton post the Jurassic Park movie which was based on his novel of the same name. Since then I have read his Jurassic Park, The Lost World, The Andromeda Strain, Disclosure, Eaters Of The Dead, Timeline, Congo, Sphere & Rising Sun. I really enjoy all these books and have read them multiple times. Thank you for giving us such amazing works of words Michael!

Stephen King : And finally, my all time favourite, the King of Authors, the Master Of Macabre – Mr. Stephen King. Responsible for writing my favourite novel of all time – IT! I just love this giant book and have read it 16 times. I also love Carrie (which I first read on a 16 hour train journey from Bangalore to Cochin), Salem’s Lot, Christine, The Shining, Night Shift, Cujo (and the movie), The Running Man, Pet Sematary, Thinner, Skeleton Crew, The Eyes Of The Dragon, Misery, The Tommyknockers, The Dark Half, Four Past Midnight, Gerald’s Game, Needful Things, Dolores Claiborne, Insomnia, Rose Madder, The Green Mile, The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon, Hearts In Atlantis, Dreamcatcher – Whew!!! That’s a lot and I still want more. I want the Dark Tower series which is 7 novels.

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Game Of Thrones – An Exploration Part 1

When you look at watching an epic medieval times tv series look no further than Game Of Thrones. I rarely watch HBO series, although I have heard that HBO series are usually good, but this one is fucking awesome. Game Of Thrones is an American medieval fantasy television series created for HBO by David Benioff and D. B. Weiss, based on author George R. R. Martin’s best-selling A Song of Ice and Fire series of fantasy novels, the first of which is called A Game of Thrones. Based on watching this I definitely need to get my hands on the books and read it at my leisure.

Looking at the cast I was wondering wow – Sean Bean, Mark Addy & Lena Headley! That’s a good list of leading actors to have. Sean Bean – I dunno, is this guy just made for medieval style movies? It seems like that to me. This is also one of the series that, whatever your genre tastes may be (scifi, cops & detective, horror, drama, romance, comedy etc), this is something everyone must try and watch. But beware as there is plenty of nudity & fornication and some violence in it, so it’s not for children or the easily offended.

At the heart of the series are two families – the Starks are led by Lord Eddard “Ned” Stark (Bean), patriarch of the Stark family. His wife, Catelyn Stark née Tully, is played by Michelle Fairley. Their children are Robb (Richard Madden), Sansa (Sophie Turner), Arya (Maisie Williams), Bran (Isaac Hempstead Wright) and Rickon (Art Parkinson). Kit Harington plays Ned’s bastard, Jon Snow, and Alfie Allen plays Theon Greyjoy, political hostage and ward of Lord Stark. The royal family King Robert Baratheon is played by Mark Addy, and his wife, Queen Cersei Lannister, is played by Lena Headey. Cersei has two brothers; her twin, Ser Jaime Lannister (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau), and the clever dwarf Tyrion (Peter Dinklage). Cersei’s oldest child is Prince Joffrey Baratheon (Jack Gleeson), and his bodyguard is Sandor “The Hound” Clegane (Rory McCann). Aidan Gillen plays Petyr “Littlefinger” Baelish, Master of Coin for King Robert’s Small Council.

Across the Narrow Sea, Viserys (Harry Lloyd) and Daenerys “Dany” Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) –exiled children of the previous king that King Robert overthrew – are on the run for their lives and trying to win back the throne. Dany is married to Khal Drogo (Jason Momoa), the leader of the Dothraki. Iain Glen plays exiled knight Ser Jorah Mormont, who is sworn to help and protect the siblings. Viserys has arranged the marriage between Dany & Drogo in exchange for the promise of the latter’s ferocious army in order to win back the throne. The way he looks at his sister as just an object to achieve his goals (even examining her naked body before presenting her to Drogo) is evident of his arrogant & self-importance and his single mindedness of getting the throne back. Drogo, a rough & silent king takes a liking to Dany and marries her, taking her roughly in evening sex sessions from behind. Dany learns to give pleasure from a Dothraki prostitute and soon wins over Drogo and is pregnant with his son.

King Robert visits the Starks at their castle & land along with his wife, oldest son & heir and the queen’s brothers Jaime & Tyrion. During the visit Robert tells his friend Ned about his proposal to unite the two families by having Joffery marry Sansa. Sansa herself is thrilled at this news although her parents don’t reciprocate this feeling. It is during this visit that Ned’s 10 year old son while climbing a tower sees Queen Cersei engaging in sex with her twin brother Jaime! They catch him in the act and Jamie speaks to him and pushes the young lad down to the ground, as they fear that the rest of the people will come to know of this little incestuous affair. The Starks are in despair over the little guy who is in a coma & as a result of the fall his legs are broken beyond healing. Ned is called away to the capital of King Robert’s kingdom to serve as the hand of the King, taking his two daughters with him while leaving his sons & wife behind. Jon Snow leaves to join the Night’s Watch at the wall protecting the 7 kingdoms.

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11 Babies Hoax Story

In one of the most ridiculous stories that I have read online, I saw this pic in Facebook along with the information that a woman gave birth to 11 kids and allah is great, god is great. Check out the name of the Facebook account.

The hoax story started off, it seems in Nigeria, first circulated by tumfweko.com, a website that shares gossip around the world. It showed a photograph of 11 new born babies along with hospital staff claiming that they all were born to a woman in single delivery, calling it a miracle of god. This is the actual test “An Indian Woman gave birth to eleven 11 kids baby boys few days ago. Resources have been told that few of them were test tubes babies but it really seems strange at once. It was also rumored that 6 were twins. Doctors were really surprised, shocked and glad to have successful delivery. Well it’s a blessing of God who give 11 baby boys to one woman. 21st century record of 2012 year.”

Now the truth – the top part of the pic is true; I don’t know who the pregnant woman in the lower section is in the Facebook pic. The below pic is of staff of a Surat hospital (21st Century Hospital & Test Tube Baby Centre in Surat, India) and 11 babies born to different mothers on 11.11.11.

What the story, spun in the name of spreading the glory of religion did is get a bunch of believers to comment “yes god is great”! What a sorry figure god cuts if he/it needs such hoax stories to survive! The question I would ask is “What the fuck does god need with a football team?”

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Anderson Injures Hand; Out Indefinitely

The Ottawa Senators season was dealt a massive blow when Craig Anderson suffered a serious cut while preparing food at his home late Wednesday following a victory over the Washington Capitals. GM Bryan Murray could be forced to go shopping for a goalie — with Monday’s trade deadline fast approaching – after the club’s No. 1 netminder suffered his injury which could possibly put him out for several weeks.

While the Senators confirmed Anderson is out “indefinitely” but is expected to make a full recovery, sources told the Ottawa Sun he’ll be gone 10 days and possibly more, and has to be examined by a specialist. A source said the worst-case scenario for this type of injury is 6-8 weeks. A source said surgery was required on the 30-year-old Anderson, who was still in hospital Thursday. He was supposed to sign autographs at an Orleans car dealership Thursday night and didn’t show. The Senators are expected to recall goalie Robin Lehner from their AHL affiliate in Binghamton in time for practice Friday in Ottawa.

One of the NHL’s busiest goalies, he has played in 27 of the club’s past 28 games and 56 overall. A major part of the Senators’ success, Anderson has a 29-19-6 record with a 2.86 GAA and .913 save percentage. He’s also coming off a 32-save performance in the 5-2 victory over the Capitals. Backup Alex Auld, meanwhile, has started just seven games this season, going 2-3-2 with a 3.28 GAA and a .883 save percentage.

Lehner’s numbers with a young Binghamton team haven’t been sparkling, either. After helping the Baby Sens win the Calder Cup last spring, Lehner is 8-16-1 this season with 3.38 GAA and .905 save percentage. As the Senators prepare to face the Boston Bruins Saturday at home, Murray has to decide whether he’ll go get another goalie as insurance or stick it out with Auld and Lehner until Anderson is ready to return. The goalie market is thin – possible targets are Josh Harding, Evegni Nabakov or Antero Niittymaki.

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FUBAR

I had known about FUBAR for a long, long time, almost 5 years before I watched this movie a few weeks back.  First of all, for those who don’t know, is a military term which is short for  “fucked up beyond all/any recognition/repair/reason/redemption”. Pick & choose the R according to the situation & individuals. The movie is a mockumentary about the headbanger lifestyle and focuses on two lifelong friends who are living out their lives, constantly drinking beer and not really doing much in life. The Michael Dowse directed film was a Sundance film festival entry and achieved a cult status in North America.

The movie is shot & based near Calgary, Canada which is where the protagonists & objects of the mockumentary live. The lead characters Terry & Dean are partly based on a comedy routine performed by David Lawrence and Paul Spence that they developed based on the head-banger subculture. Terry & Dean grew up together and spend all of their free time listening to their favourite rock & metal bands and drinking beer. They usually drink beers by making a hole on the side of the can and drinking it in one shot as it pours out (shotgunning is the term, I guess) and prefer a brand called Molson’s Old Style Pilsner which is also known as ‘Saskatchewan Champagne’.

The duo are approached by director Farrel to be the subjects of a documentary, although the duo themselves don’t really understand why they were chosen. Dean, who is an unemployed musician having trouble growing facial hair, and Terry, a the dock loader,  agree to let Farrel film their lives. Terry has a ex-girlfriend with whom he also has a baby girl. Terry instead lives with Dean living irresponsibility through gratuitous scenes of shotgunning beers, vandalism, punching each other and wrestling furniture scattered with food cartons. When Terry and Dean meet up with their recently married friend Troy, they try to get him to come over later for a party. Troy (known as Tron in his headbanging days) promises he will, but his wife forbids him later on the grounds that he has to be responsible. Farrel contrasts Troy and his old friends by showing Terry and Dean getting drunk and insulting their friend when he doesn’t show up.

Later Dean informs us that Terry has testicular cancer and he has to consult with Dr. Lim (who is Dowse’s real doctor) after pressure from his ex-girlfriend. After the biopsy, Terry learns they will have to remove one of his testicles, and decides to have a final wild weekend before going under the knife. With his best friend Dean, Terry takes Farrel & his crew on a camping trip in a car with lots of beer & a couple lawn chairs. After Farrell offers to pay for a hotel the next night as he had gotten wasted and tried to fight the duo. At the hotel they meet up with many other real Canadian metalheads who fight for the camera. The next day Farrel dies when he is dared to jump into a river and hits his head on a rock. This seems to sober up Terry in particular.

Terry undergoes the surgery and later has chemo treatment shaving his head bald before doing so. He scares Dean at the end by saying that he doesn’t have much to live and Dean believes him for a few minutes before realizing that his friend is just pulling his leg. Some of the more hilarious scenes involve Dean’s poem “Woman is a Danger Cat,” Terry’s speech about bowling alley cuisine, and of course all the drunken shenanigans, which includes running away after demolishing a bus shelter with an oil drum. The soundtrack is also awesome. I’ll give the movie an 8 out of 10!

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The River : Ep4 “A Better Man”

When we catch up with the crew we see them sharing lighter moments. They are having a barbecue, grill meat & fish and buying food & vegetables from a local guy who sells his wares off his boat. The sun is shining, they are drinking beer and the food is being cooked. Post lunch Lincoln picks up his guitar and starts playing a tune and singing. Lena soon joins him playing her accordion. The makers of the series did a good job of making this all calm & serene – heck this might be a group of friends going on a lazy cruise. But yes there is also a discussion about having a leader for the expedition. Suddenly Jahel (why is she always the harbinger of doom) starts screaming and points to something in the jungle. The crew looks at where she points and sees the corp of  white man hanging from a vine off a tree. As they approach the young man springs to life, struggling against the creepers and Kurt shoots the vine and it breaks and releases him. The young man turns out to be Jonas Beckett, Dr. Emmett Cole’s former camera man and who was hired by Lena to go along with Emmett’s crew.

He is sick with symptoms of malaria and the crew take him to the boat and treat him. Turns out that the ambitious Jonas followed a native elder into the jungle against Emmett’s explicit orders to try to capture on film his sacred funeral ritual only to be cursed for doing so, damned to perpetually hang from a vine-noose in eternal pain and agonizing regret. The myth of the hanging man is discussed among the crew mainly filled in by Jahel. She also tells them that unless Jonas leaves the boat the rest of the crew will also die. Soon they have to take shelter as a large storm is heading their way. They are bombarded first by birds that hit against the boat in a supposed suicidal run, killing themselves by hitting the glass or other parts of the boats at high speeds and later by a hail storm of bugs that crawl all over the boat and they have to lock themselves inside. Back in Emmet’s voyage, the spirits covered the ship in vines, which Emmet solved by letting Jonas hang. In earlier footage we find Emmett cutting off large chunks of vines only for it to reappear a moment later and almost forcefully take a female crew member away by dragging her.

Soon it is apparent that in order for the crew to survive they might have to sacrifice Jonas back to the jungle just like Emmett & his crew did. Lincoln, who is a medical graduate is appalled and refuses to allow that to happen. However Jonas in a bout with remorse on seeing Lincoln’s attempts to keep him alive, decides to sacrifice himself in order to save the rest of the crew. The spirit is appeased and we see a form being released from his phone – on which Jonas had recorded the funeral.