The Space Shuttle is a reusable launch system and orbital spacecraft operated by U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) for human spaceflight missions. The system combines rocket launch, orbital spacecraft, and re-entry spaceplane with modular add-ons. The first of 4 orbital test flights occurred in 1981 leading to operational flights beginning in 1982, all launched from the Kennedy Space Center, Florida. 

The system is scheduled to be retired from service in 2011 after 135 launches. Major missions have included launching numerous satellites and interplanetary probes, conducting space science experiments, and servicing and construction of space stations. Five space-worthy orbiters were built—2 have been destroyed and one has been retired, leaving two currently in service.

It has been used for orbital space missions by NASA, the U.S. Department of Defense, European Space Agency, Japan, and Germany. The US funded STS development and shuttle operations except for Spacelab D1 and D2 — sponsored by West Germany and reunified Germany respectively. In addition, SL-J was partially funded by Japan.

At launch, the Space Shuttle consists of the shuttle stack, which includes a dark orange-colored external tank (ET); 2 white, slender Solid Rocket Boosters; and the Orbiter Vehicle (OV), which contains the crew and payload. Payloads can be launched into higher orbits with either of 2 different booster stages developed for the STS (single-stage Payload Assist Module or two-stage Inertial Upper Stage). The Space Shuttle is stacked in the Vehicle Assembly Building and the stack mounted on a mobile launch platform held down by 4 explosive bolts on each SRB which are detonated at launch.

The shuttle stack launches vertically like a conventional rocket. It lifts off under the power of its 2 SRBs and 3 main engines, which are fueled by liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen from the external tank. The Space Shuttle has a two-stage ascent. The SRBs provide additional thrust during liftoff and first-stage flight. About 2 minutes after liftoff, explosive bolts are fired, releasing the SRBs, which then parachute into the ocean, to be retrieved by ships for refurbishment and reuse. The shuttle orbiter and external tank continue to ascend on an increasingly horizontal flight path under power from its main engines. 

Upon reaching 17,500 mph (7.8 km/s), necessary for low Earth orbit, the main engines are shut down. The external tank is then jettisoned to burn up in the atmosphere. It is, however, possible for the external tank to be re-used in orbit. After jettisoning the external tank, the orbital maneuvering system (OMS) engines may be used to adjust the orbit.

The orbiter carries astronauts and payload such as satellites or space station parts into low earth orbit, into the Earth's upper atmosphere or thermosphere. Usually, five to seven crew members ride in the orbiter. Two crew members, the commander and pilot, are sufficient for a minimal flight, as in the first four "test" flights, STS-1 through STS-4. A typical payload capacity is about 22,700 kilograms (50,000 lb), but can be raised depending on the choice of launch configuration. The orbiter carries the payload in a large cargo bay with doors that open along the length of its top, a feature which makes the Space Shuttle unique among present spacecraft. This feature made possible the deployment of large satellites such as the Hubble Space Telescope, and also the capture and return of large payloads back to Earth.

When the orbiter's space mission is complete, it fires its OMS thrusters to drop out of orbit and re-enter the lower atmosphere. During descent, the orbiter passes through different layers of the atmosphere and decelerates from hypersonic speed primarily by aerobraking. In the lower atmosphere and landing phase, it is more like a glider but with reaction control system (RCS) thrusters and fly-by wire-controlled hydraulically-actuated flight surfaces controlling its descent. It then makes a landing on a long runway as a spaceplane. 

The aerodynamic shape is a compromise between the demands of radically different speeds and air pressures during re-entry, hypersonic flight, and subsonic atmospheric flight. As a result, the orbiter has a relatively high sink rate at low altitudes, and it transitions during re-entry from using RCS thrusters at very high altitudes to flight surfaces in the lower atmosphere.

Posted by imran Friday, April 29, 2011 0 comments

Help for Migrating Birds 

Many bird species migrate to take advantage of global differences of the seasonal temperatures, therefore optimising availability of food sources and breeding habitat. These migrations vary among the different groups. Many landbirds, shorebirds, and waterbirds undertake annual long distance migrations, usually triggered by the length of daylight as well as weather conditions. 

These birds are characterised by a breeding season spent in the temperate or arctic/antarctic regions and a non-breeding season in the tropical regions or opposite hemisphere. Before migration, birds substantially increase body fats and reserves and reduce the size of some of their organs. Migration is highly demanding energetically, particularly as birds need to cross deserts and oceans without refuelling. Landbirds have a flight range of around 2,500 km (1,600 mi) and shorebirds can fly up to 4,000 km (2,500 mi), although the Bar-tailed Godwit is capable of non-stop flights of up to 10,200 km (6,300 mi). 

Seabirds also undertake long migrations, the longest annual migration being those of the Sooty Shearwaters, which nest in New Zealand and Chile and spend the northern summer feeding in the North Pacific off Japan, Alaska and California, an annual round trip of 64,000 km (39,800 mi). Other seabirds disperse after breeding, travelling widely but having no set migration route. Albatrosses nesting in the Southern Ocean often undertake circumpolar trips between breeding seasons.

A map of the Pacific Ocean with several coloured lines representing bird routes running from New Zealand to Korea.The routes of satellite-tagged Bar-tailed Godwits migrating north from New Zealand. This species has the longest known non-stop migration of any species, up to 10,200 km (6,300 mi).

Some bird species undertake shorter migrations, travelling only as far as is required to avoid bad weather or obtain food. Irruptive species such as the boreal finches are one such group and can commonly be found at a location in one year and absent the next. This type of migration is normally associated with food availability. Species may also travel shorter distances over part of their range, with individuals from higher latitudes travelling into the existing range of conspecifics; others undertake partial migrations, where only a fraction of the population, usually females and subdominant males, migrates. 

Partial migration can form a large percentage of the migration behaviour of birds in some regions; in Australia, surveys found that 44% of non-passerine birds and 32% of passerines were partially migratory. Altitudinal migration is a form of short distance migration in which birds spend the breeding season at higher altitudes elevations and move to lower ones during suboptimal conditions. 

It is most often triggered by temperature changes and usually occurs when the normal territories also become inhospitable due to lack of food. Some species may also be nomadic, holding no fixed territory and moving according to weather and food availability. Parrots as a family are overwhelmingly neither migratory nor sedentary but considered to either be dispersive, irruptive, nomadic or undertake small and irregular migrations.

The ability of birds to return to precise locations across vast distances has been known for some time; in an experiment conducted in the 1950s a Manx Shearwater released in Boston returned to its colony in Skomer, Wales, within 13 days, a distance of 5,150 km (3,200 mi). Birds navigate during migration using a variety of methods. For diurnal migrants, the sun is used to navigate by day, and a stellar compass is used at night. Birds that use the sun compensate for the changing position of the sun during the day by the use of an internal clock. Orientation with the stellar compass depends on the position of the constellations surrounding Polaris. These are backed up in some species by their ability to sense the Earth's geomagnetism through specialised photoreceptors.

About ScottsMiracle-Gro

With approximately $3 billion in the worldwide sales and more than 8,000 associates, The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company, through its wholly-owned subsidiary, The Scotts Company LLC, is the world's largest marketer of branded consumer products for lawn and garden care, with products for professional horticulture as well. The Company's brands are the most recognized in the industry. In the U.S., the Company's Scotts®, Miracle-Gro®, Ortho® brands are market-leading in their categories, as is the consumer Roundup® brand, which is marketed in North America and most of Europe exclusively by Scotts and owned by Monsanto. In the U.S., the Company operates Scotts LawnService®, the second largest residential lawn care service business.  In Europe, the Company's brands include Weedol®, Pathclear®, Evergreen®, Levington®, Miracle-Gro®, KB®, Fertiligene® and Substral®.

Posted by imran Tuesday, April 26, 2011 0 comments

Catherine Elizabeth "Kate" Middleton is the fiancée of Prince William of Wales. Their wedding is to take place on 29 April 2011. Middleton grew up in Chapel Row at Bucklebury, Berkshire, England, and studied in Scotland at the University of St Andrews, where she met Prince William in 2001. They started a romantic relationship which continued until a break-up lasting for several months in 2007. However they continued to be friends and they rekindled their relationship later that year.

Since then, Middleton has attended many high-profile royal events. She has been admired by the some for her fashion sense and has been placed on numerous "best dressed" lists. Once their relationship became public, Middleton received widespread media attention and there was much speculation that they would eventually marry. On 16 November 2010, the office of the Prince of Wales at Clarence House announced their engagement, with details announced one week later.

Middleton's status as the undeclared girlfriend of William brought her widespread media coverage in Britain and abroad and she was often photographed on her daily outings. On 17 October 2005, she complained through her lawyer about harassment from the media, stating that she had done nothing significant to warrant such publicity. In February 2006, it was announced that Middleton would receive her own 24-hour security detail supplied by the Royalty and Diplomatic Protection Department. This fuelled further speculation that she and William would soon be engaged, since she would not otherwise be entitled to this service.

No engagement occurred and Middleton was not granted an allowance to fund this security. Media attention increased around the time of Middleton's 25th birthday in January 2007, prompting warnings from both Charles and William and from Middleton's lawyers, who threatened legal action. Two newspaper groups, News International, which publishes The Times and The Sun, and the Guardian Media Group, publishers of The Guardian, decided to refrain from publishing paparazzi photographs of her. Middleton attended at least one event as an official royal guest, William's Passing Out Parade at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst on 15 December 2006. 

In December 2007, it was reported that Middleton had moved in with Prince William at Clarence House, the residence of the Prince of Wales in London. Clarence House later denied this.

On 17 May 2008, Middleton attended the wedding of William's cousin Peter Phillips to Autumn Kelly, which the prince did not attend. On 19 July 2008, she was a guest at the wedding of Lady Rose Windsor and George Gilman. William was away on military operations in the Caribbean, serving aboard the HMS Iron Duke. In 2010, Middleton pursued an invasion of privacy claim against 2 agencies and photographer Niraj Tanna, who took pictures of her over Christmas 2009. Middleton obtained a public apology, £5,000 in damages, and legal costs.

A Lifetime TV movie entitled William and Kate aired in the U.S. on 18 April 2011. Middleton is played by Camilla Luddington and William by Nico Evers-Swindell.

Prince William and Kate Middleton became engaged in October 2010 in Kenya, East Africa, during a 10-day trip to the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy to celebrate William's passing his RAF helicopter search and rescue course. Clarence House announced the engagement on 16 November 2010. The couple are to marry in Westminster Abbey on 29 April 2011, with the day declared a bank holiday in the UK.

Posted by imran Monday, April 25, 2011 0 comments

Easter Sunday Draws Thousands to St. Patrick's

Resurrection refers to the literal coming back to life of the biologically dead. It is used both with respect to the particular individuals or the belief in a General Resurrection of the dead at the end of the world. The General Resurrection is featured prominently in Jewish, Christian, and Muslim scriptures. The death and resurrection of Jesus is the central focus of Christianity.

Thousands have gathered for Easter services at the Saint Patrick's Cathedral to commemorate the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

With a seating capacity of 2,500, each Mass today has been full.

Archbishop Timothy Dolan officiates the 10:15 a.m. Mass, which worshipers are required to have tickets to attend.

Ticket-holders actually stand in line about an hour prior to the service starts before they can enter the cathedral.

Easter is a celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. There are several masses at St. Patrick's today, including one in Spanish at 4 p.m.

The 5:30 p.m. Mass is the last one this Easter Sunday. Coinciding with church services, the Easter Parade takes place on 5th Avenue, starting at 10 a.m. until about 4 p.m. Anyone can march in it.

The parade has become tradition for parade-goers to show off their Easter bonnets. Many are handmade and homemade.

Posted by imran Sunday, April 24, 2011 0 comments

On Easter Sunday, a Chocolate Bunny vs. the Easter Bunny: What's It Gonna to Be?

Easter is the central feast in the Christian liturgical year. According to the Canonical gospels, Jesus rose from the dead on the 3rd day after his crucifixion. His resurrection is celebrated on Easter Day or Easter Sunday also Resurrection Day or Resurrection Sunday. The chronology of his death and resurrection is variously interpreted to be between AD 26 and 36, traditionally 33.

Easter marks the end of Lent, a 40-day period of fasting, prayer, and penance. The last week of the Lent is called Holy Week, and it contains Good Friday, commemorating the crucifixion and death of Jesus. Easter is followed by 50-day period called Eastertide or the Easter Season, ending with Pentecost Sunday.

Easter is a moveable feast, meaning it is not fixed in relation to the civil calendar. It occurs during the spring, in March or April; the method for determining the date of Easter Sunday is complex, based on lunisolar calendar.

Easter is linked to the Jewish Passover by much of its symbolism, as well as by its position in the calendar. In many European languages, the words for "Easter" and "Passover" are etymologically related or homonymous. The term "Pascha", from the same root, is also used in English to refer to Easter.

Easter customs vary across the Christian world, but decorating Easter eggs is a common motif. In the Western world, customs such as egg hunting and Easter Bunny extend from the domain of church, and often have a secular character.

Although it might be hard to the understand why people buy bunnies just because it’s spring—they do. But often spring time bunny purchases result in bunnies available for adoptions come winter time, or even years later when having a bunny for its ten-year life span hadn’t previously been considered.

Chocolate bunnies on the other hand are never a bad idea to buy--especially around Easter when they are readily available in all varieties of chocolate.

Here are 10 reasons to buy a chocolate bunny and not a real bunny this Easter:

1. If you decide you don’t like the chocolate bunny, you can buy another brand.

2. Real bunnies chew everything. With a chocolate bunny—you’re the only one doing the chewing.

3. Friends are much less likely to have an allergic reaction to your chocolate bunny.

4. A real bunny is much pricier than a chocolate bunny. In fact you can buy a carton of chocolate bunnies for the cost of one real bunny.

5. When you buy a chocolate bunny you don’t need to buy anything else, unlike a real bunny. Well, maybe just some jellybeans.

6. Real bunnies' eyes can see behind them without turning their heads. A chocolate bunnies eyes can be bitten off and eaten.

7. Real bunnies eat and poop at the same time. Sorry, you didn’t really need to know that.

8. Real bunnies can become pregnant again one hour after of giving birth. Fortunately chocolate bunnies don’t reproduce.

9. A real bunny doesn’t like it when you trim its toenails. Chocolate bunnies don’t usually mind.

10. You can bite off a chocolate bunny’s ears. Not a good idea with a real bunny.

Posted by imran Saturday, April 23, 2011 0 comments

Starbucks Corporation is an international coffee and coffeehouse chain based in the Seattle, Washington. Starbucks is the largest coffeehouse company in the world, with 17,009 stores in 50 countries, including over 11,000 in the United States, over 1,000 in Canada, and over 700 in the UK.

Starbucks sells drip brewed coffee, espresso-based hot drinks, other hot and the cold drinks, coffee beans, salads, hot and cold sandwiches and panini, pastries, snacks, and items such as mugs and tumblers. Through the Starbucks Entertainment division and Hear Music brand, the company also markets books, music, and film. Many of the company's products are seasonal or specific to the locality of the store. Starbucks-brand ice cream and coffee are also offered at grocery stores.

From Starbucks' founding in later forms in Seattle as a local coffee bean roaster and retailer, the company has expanded rapidly. In the 1990s, Starbucks was opening a new store every workday, a pace that continued into the 2000s. The first store outside the US or Canada opened in the mid-1990s, and overseas stores now constitute almost one 3rd of Starbucks' stores. The company planned to open a net of 900 new stores outside of the US in 2009, but has announced 900 store closures in the United States since 2008.

Starbucks has been a target of protests on issues such as fair-trade policies, labor relations, environmental impact, political views, and anti-competitive practices.

The first Starbucks was opened in Seattle, Washington, on March 30, 1971 by 3 partners: English teacher Jerry Baldwin, history teacher Zev Siegl, and writer Gordon Bowker. The 3 were inspired by entrepreneur Alfred Peet whom they knew personally to sell high-quality coffee beans and equipment. The name is taken from Moby-Dick; after Pequod was rejected by one of the co-founders, the company was named for the first mate on the Pequod, Starbuck.

From 1971–1975, the first Starbucks was at 2000 Western Avenue; it then was relocated to 1912 Pike Place, where it remains to this day. During their first year of operation, they purchased green coffee beans from Peet's, then began buying directly from growers.

Entrepreneur Howard Schultz joined the company in 1982 as Director of Retail Operations and Marketing, and after a trip to Milan, Italy, advised that the company should sell coffee and espresso drinks as well as beans. Seattle had become home to a thriving countercultural coffeehouse scene since the opening of the Last Exit on Brooklyn in 1967, the owners rejected this idea, believing that getting into the beverage business would distract the company from its primary focus. To them, coffee was something to be prepared in the home, but they did give away free samples of pre-made drinks. Certain that there was money to be made selling pre-made drinks, Schultz started the Il Giornale coffee bar chain in April 1986.

Posted by imran Friday, April 22, 2011 0 comments

The panda is a bear native to the central-western and south western China. It is easily recognized by its large, distinctive black patches around the eyes, over the ears, and across its round body. Though it belongs to the order Carnivora, the panda's diet is 99% bamboo. Pandas in the wild will occasionally eat other grasses, wild tubers, or even meat in the form of birds, rodents or carrion. In captivity they may receive honey, eggs, fish, yams, shrub leaves, oranges, or bananas along with specially prepared feed.

The giant panda lives in a few mountain ranges in central China, mainly in the Sichuan province, but also in the Shaanxi and Gansu provinces. Due to farming, deforestation and other development, the panda has been driven out of the lowland areas where it once lived.

The panda is a conservation reliant endangered species. A 2007 report shows 239 pandas living in captivity inside China and another 27 outside the country. Wild population estimates vary; one estimate shows that there are about 1,590 individuals living in the wild, while a 2006 study via DNA analysis estimated that this figure could be as high as 2,000 to 3,000. Some reports also show that the number of pandas in the wild is on the rise. However, the IUCN does not believe there is enough certainty yet to reclassify the species from Endangered to Vulnerable.

While the dragon has historically served as China's national emblem, in recent decades the panda has also served as an emblem for the country. Its image appears on a large number of modern Chinese commemorative silver, gold, and platinum coins. Though the panda is often assumed to be docile, it has been known to attack humans, presumably out of irritation rather than predation.

The giant panda has a black-and-white coat. Adults measure around 1.2 to 1.8 meters (4 to 6 ft) long and around 75 centimeters (2 ft 6 in) tall at the shoulder. Males can weigh up to 150 kilograms (330 lb). Females (generally 10–20% smaller than males) can weigh up to 125 kilograms (280 lb).

The giant panda has a body shape typical of bears. It has black fur on its ears, eye patches, muzzle, legs, arms and shoulders. The rest of the animal's coat is white. Although scientists do not know why these unusual bears are black and white, some speculate that the bold coloring provides effective camouflage in its shade-dappled snowy and rocky surroundings. The giant panda's thick, wooly coat keeps it warm in the cool forests of its habitat. The giant panda has large molar teeth and strong jaw muscles for crushing tough bamboo.

The giant panda's paw has a "thumb" and 5 fingers; the "thumb" is actually a modified sesamoid bone, which helps the giant panda to hold bamboo while eating. Stephen Jay Gould discusses this feature in his book of essays on evolution and biology, The Panda's Thumb.

The giant panda's tail, measuring 10 to 15 centimeters (4 to 6 in), is the 2nd longest in the bear family. The longest belongs to the Sloth Bear.

The giant panda usually lives around 20 years in the wild and up to 30 years in captivity.

Posted by imran 1 comments

Passover is a Jewish holy day and festival. It commemorates the story of the Exodus, in which the ancient Israelites were freed from slavery in Egypt. Passover begins on the 15th day of the month of Nisan, which is spring in the Northern Hemisphere, and is celebrated for 7 or 8 days. It is one of the most widely observed Jewish holidays.

In the narrative of the Exodus, the Bible tells that God helped the Children of Israel escape slavery in Egypt by inflicting ten plagues upon the Egyptians before Pharaoh would release his Israelite slaves; the 10th and worst of the plagues was the slaughter of the first-born. 

The Israelites were instructed to mark the doorposts of their homes with the blood of a spring lamb and, upon seeing this, the spirit of the Lord passed over these homes, hence the term "passover". When Pharaoh freed the Israelites, it is said that they left in such a hurry that they could not wait for bread to rise. In commemoration, for the duration of Passover no leavened bread is eaten, for which reason it is called "The Festival of the Unleavened Bread". Matzo (flat unleavened bread) is the primary symbol of the holiday.

Together with Shavuot ("Pentecost") and Sukkot ("Tabernacles"), Passover is one of the 3 pilgrimage festivals (Shalosh Regalim) during which the entire Jewish populace historically made a pilgrimage to the Temple in Jerusalem. Samaritans still make this pilgrimage to Mount Gerizim, but only men participate in public worship.

Posted by imran Monday, April 18, 2011 0 comments

Bright Star Movie

Bright Star is a 2009 film based on the last 3 years of life of poet John Keats and his romantic relationship with Fanny Brawne. It stars Ben Whishaw as Keats and Abbie Cornish as Fanny. A British/Australian/French co-production, it was directed by Jane Campion, who wrote the screenplay and was inspired by the biography of Keats by Andrew Motion, who served as a script consultant on the film. 

The film competed in the main competition at the 62nd Cannes Film Festival, and was first shown to the public on 15 May 2009. The film's title is a reference to a sonnet by Keats named "Bright star, would I were stedfast as thou art", which he wrote while he was with Brawne.

Ben Whishaw as John Keats. Keats was one of the key figures in the 2nd generation of the Romantic movement despite the fact that his work had been in publication for only 4 years before his death. During his lifetime his poems were not generally well received by critics and at age 25 he died believing he was a failure. However, his reputation grew and he held significant posthumous influence on many later poets.

Abbie Cornish as Fanny Brawne. Like the real life Fanny Brawne, Fanny in the film is a fiery and fashionable eighteen year old who spends her time creating dresses, hats, and various other garments. She is also something of a flirt and enjoys going to balls, inspiring jealousy in Keats. Though the real life Fanny Brawne went on to marry and have children, she never parted with Keats's love letters.

Paul Schneider as Charles Armitage Brown, Keats's best friend.   

Kerry Fox as Fanny's mother, who is a widow.
Thomas Sangster as Samuel Brawne, Fanny's brother.
Antonia Campbell-Hughes as Abigail O'Donaghue Brown, housemaid and mother of Charles Brown's child.
Claudie Blakley as Mrs Dilke
Jonathan Aris as Leigh Hunt
Samuel Barnett as Joseph Severn

British Independent Film Awards, Best Technical Achievement (for cinematography)    

National Society of Film Critics, Best Supporting Actor

Heartland Film Festival, Truly Moving Sound Award

Posted by imran 0 comments

Nikki Reed Happy Paul McDonald Eliminated From 'American Idol'

Paul McDonald's journey on this season of "American Idol" may have come to an end on Thursday night, April 14, but his girlfriend Nikki Reed is not upset at all about the elimination. In fact, the 26-year-old musician opens up that the "Twilight Saga" actress he is "officially dating" is actually happy about it.

When asked if 22-year-old Nikki is bummed about his exit, Paul told People Magazine, "She is actually pumped." The singer with the megawatt smile continued, "She said, 'Dude, you finally get to do your thing and be yourself and be the artist you are.' She is happy about the whole situation. She has been nothing but cool to me."

Paul and Nikki have been linked romantically earlier this month. Us Weekly reported that after the 2 met on the red carpet of the "Red Riding Hood" premiere in March, they have kept in touch with each other. Accordingly, they have been going on a series of virtual dates via Skype. Soon after the news came out, a source told E! Online that Nikki calls Paul her "boyfriend".

In a press call after he was eliminated, Paul came forward to confirm their relationship. "Yeah, well me and Nikki Reed are dating," he said. "It's officially true. She's super cool, man, she's super smart, really cool girl. I'm happy about it. We've been hanging out, here and there, you know we're both pretty busy, but it's been fun so far."

As for his exit from the competition, Paul shared with E!, "When I first tried out for this, it was just kind of for fun, and I didn't even expect to get this far in the competition. So when I got here, I kind of listened to some people when I probably should have stuck with my guns."

"I'm actually not very good at singing other people's songs. There's only so much you can do singing other people's songs to get them across. I wish I had done more obscure artists, more of the vibe of music I was into. I didn't feel comfortable a whole lot of the time up there because it felt like it wasn't me all the time but it was an amazing learning experience doing all this TV."

On his plan after "Idol", he told People mag, "I have this other side that I didn't even start to show." He added, "I play keys. It's hard to do in a minute and a half of a cover song so I'm looking forward to doing my own thing and getting creative again." He also said that he wants "to release a solo album" with Stefano Langone, James Durbin and Jacob Lusk "play on the record".

Personal life

Reed was born in West Los Angeles, California, the daughter of Cheryl Houston, a beautician, and Seth Reed, a set designer. She has an older brother, Nathan August Reed. Reed's father is Jewish and her mother is of Cherokee and Italian descent; Reed was raised without religion, though she has described herself as "Jewish" and grew up around Judaism (her brother had a Bar Mitzvah).

Reed has stated that her early home life was "complicated." Her parents divorced when she was 2, and she grew up with her mother. She describes herself as having been "shy and a bookworm," but at the age of 12, while attending Palms Middle School, she became rebellious and emotionally volatile. The relationship between Reed and her mother became strained. At the age of 14, Reed was emancipated; she then moved out and began living on her own. She had no specific desire to become an actress.

After 13 success, Reed returned to Alexander Hamilton High School, but dropped out again after a year. She cited her experiences involving "mothers who were sneaking into the school at lunchtime to confront and harass her about the film" as the reason for her departure.

In June 2010, Reed launched an official website that features a blog, where she discusses a variety of subjects, both personal and professional.

Posted by imran Friday, April 15, 2011 0 comments

The San Jose Sharks are a professional ice hockey team based in San Jose, California, US. 

They are members of the Pacific Division of the Western Conference of the National Hockey League (NHL). They play their home games at the HP Pavilion at San Jose known locally as the Shark Tank.

The Oakland Coliseum Arena was home to the California Golden Seals of the NHL from 1967 to 1976. Gordon and George Gund became minority owners of the Seals in 1974, and were instrumental in their move to the Cleveland in 1976 and a 1978 merger with the Minnesota North Stars, which they purchased that year. 

They had long wanted to bring hockey back to the Bay Area, and asked the NHL for permission to move the North Stars there in the late 1980s, but the league vetoed the proposed move. Meanwhile, a group led by former Hartford Whalers owner Howard Baldwin was pushing the NHL to bring a team to San Jose, where a new arena was being built. Eventually the league struck a compromise: the Gunds would sell their share of the North Stars to Baldwin's group, with the Gunds receiving an expansion team in the Bay Area to begin play in the 1991–92 season and being allowed to take a certain number of players from the North Stars to their new club. In return, the North Stars would be allowed to participate as an equal partner in an expansion draft with the new Bay Area team.

On May 5, 1990, the Gunds officially sold their share of the North Stars to Baldwin and were awarded a new team for the Bay Area, based in San Jose. Over 5,000 potential names were submitted by mail for the new team. While the 1st-place finisher was "Blades," the Gunds were concerned about the name's potentially negative association with weapons, and went with the runner-up, "Sharks." 

The name was said to have been inspired by the large number of sharks living in the Pacific Ocean. Seven different varieties live there, and one area of water near the Bay Area is known as the "red triangle" because of its shark population. The team's first marketing head, Matt Levine, said of the new name, "Sharks are relentless, determined, swift, agile, bright and fearless. We plan to build an organization that has all those qualities."

Posted by imran Thursday, April 14, 2011 0 comments

So Much For Protecting Hamilton From Himself

There probably are not many people laughing around the Rangers clubhouse on the Wednesday morning.

Anyone who is likely has a taste for dark humor. After an offseason filled with concerns about letting Josh Hamilton play center field to protect him from injury, a decision by 3rd base coach Dave Anderson has left the team without their best player for about two months.

For those who somehow missed the news, Hamilton's broken arm came about when Anderson decided to have him tag up and try to score on a pop foul to the 3rd baseman because no one on the Tigers was covering the plate. Hamilton couldn't beat the throw, slid head first and snapped the bone while making the third out of the inning.

It wasn't Anderson's finest hour.

This is not all about the outcome. Obviously Hamilton's injury is a punch to the gut and it colors any reading of the decisions that led to him flinging himself to the plate in the first inning. But it would have been just as dubious a decision if Hamilton was merely out at the plate or even if he had scored.

On Tuesday, we discussed Ron Washington's decision to walk Miguel Cabrera and bring the winning run to the plate. It worked out but it was still hard to defend the risk he took in that situation.

The same goes for Anderson's decision. It's a bad percentage play. Even if you did catch the Tigers sleeping for a half a second, their players were still closer to the plate than Hamilton was and the ball is going to travel the distance faster than the player. They say forcing the defense to make a great play is in your favor, but the Tigers simply had to make a play.

On top of that, it was the first inning of a game. Nelson Cruz was on deck and the need to play for one run simply did not exist at that point in the contest.

And, again, you're sending your team's best player into the fire and it is a player whose health worries you so much that you moved him out of center out of concern for keeping him healthy. That might have been a misguided notion, but it was the operating principle of your team.

It's easy to argue that Anderson isn't doing all those computations and is just focused on the chance to steal a run. Seems fair enough, but his job entails taking all of these things into account when making a decision to send a runner to the plate.

That said, Hamilton comes out of the whole thing looking worse than Anderson. His comments after the game were the textbook definition of throwing someone under the bus.

Then you shouldn't have gone to the plate. Yes, you're supposed to listen to your coaches but, to quote everyone's parents, would you jump off a cliff just because someone said you should?

Hamilton is a big boy. If he went back to the dugout and told Anderson and Washington that he felt he had no chance to be safe or felt it was too great a risk, they weren't going to bench him or ream him out. There's also a more than sneaking suspicion that Hamilton would have been singing a very different tune if he'd been safe. A tune that made him look like a sneaky genius and gave Anderson very little credit.

It was a bad move all around and the outcome is a bad one for the Rangers. Not a season ender and it might not even wind up being more than a minor bump in the road. Still, it didn't have to happen and that makes it sting all the worse.

Posted by imran Wednesday, April 13, 2011 0 comments

Winklevoss Twins Must Accept the $65 Million Facebook Deal
Tyler Winklevoss (born August 21, 1981) is an American rower who sued Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook, for $140 million. He competed in the men's pair rowing event at the 2008 Beijing Olympics with his identical twin brother and rowing partner Cameron Winklevoss. 

Winklevoss co-founded HarvardConnection (later re-named ConnectU) along with his brother Cameron Winklevoss, and Harvard classmate Divya Narendra.

A Ninth Circuit court ruled Monday that Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, the twins who claim Mark Zuckerberg stole their idea for a social network that became Facebook, were not allowed to back out a settlement they received from Facebook in 2008.

The twins, whose story was dramatized as part of the plot of David Fincher's Oscar-nominated film The Social Network, received a settlement estimated to be worth $65 million. As part of the deal, the Winklevoss twins received partial ownership of Facebook.

But the two claim they would not have settled, and argued that Facebook didn't disclose the "true" value of its stock, which they allege was four times higher.

Facebook counterargued that the Winklevoss twins were suffering from "settler's remorse," and the Ninth Circuit agreed. "The courts might have obliged, had the Winklevosses not settled their dispute and signed a release of all claims against Facebook," wrote Chief Judge Alex Kozinski in his opinion. "At some point, litigation must come to an end. That point has been reached."

Posted by imran Tuesday, April 12, 2011 0 comments

Winklevoss twins lose settlement appeal over Facebook creation

Cameron Winklevoss (born August 21, 1981) is an American rower who sued Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook, for $140 million. He competed in the men's pair rowing event at 2008 Beijing Olympics with his identical twin brother and rowing partner Tyler Winklevoss. 

Winklevoss co-founded HarvardConnection along with his brother Tyler Winklevoss and Harvard classmate Divya Narendra. He is also a co-founder of social media website GuestofaGuest with Rachelle Hruska.

A US COURT has ruled that the Winklevoss twins may not appeal their $20 million settlement with Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg.

The twins claimed that Facebook was their idea and that Zuckerberg stole it, leading to a court battle that lasted 6 years.

Eventually a settlement was reached in 2008 between Zuckerberg, Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss and Divya Narendra, the fourth person claiming to have been in on the creation of the social networking website.

The settlement involved a cash payment of $20 million (£12.2 million) and a share of Facebook, which is worth a lot more long-term. The total settlement is worth over $160 million (£97.8 million) today, thanks to Facebook's growing success.

However, the Winklevoss brothers later claimed that they had been misled when the settlement was being negotiated. They said that Facebook's market value was different than what they had been told and that they were under the impression each share was worth $35.90 (£21.94) due to Microsoft's investment, but in reality the shares were only worth $8.88 (£5.43). The brothers claimed that they would have asked for more shares, since they had a lower value.

The judge did not believe that the twins had been duped, however. He said that they were "sophisticated parties" that brought "half a dozen lawyers to the mediation". In other words, they knew what they were getting into.

Posted by imran 0 comments

Max Payne is a BAFTA award winning 3rd-person shooter video game developed by the Finnish developers Remedy Entertainment, produced by 3D Realms and published by Gathering of Developers in July 2001 for Windows. Ports created later in the year for the Xbox, PlayStation two and the GameBoy Advance were published by Rockstar Games. A Macintosh port was published in July 2002 by MacSoft in North America and by Feral Interactive in the rest of the world. 

There were plans for a Dreamcast version of Max Payne, but they were canceled due to the discontinuation of the console. The game was re-released on April 29, 2009 as a downloadable game in the Xbox Originals program for the Xbox 360.

The game features a gritty film noir style and uses graphic novel panels (with voice-overs) in place of cutscenes to narrate the game. Max Payne is heavily influenced by the Hong Kong action cinema genre, particularly the work of director John Woo, as well as hard-boiled detective novels by authors like Mickey Spillane. The game contains many allusions to Norse mythology, particularly the myth of Ragnarök, and several of the names used in the game are those of the Norse gods and mythos.

Max Payne received very positive reviews from critics and was praised for its exciting gunplay and use of noir storytelling devices. As of March 12, 2008, the Max Payne franchise has sold over seven million copies according to Take-2 Interactive.

Posted by imran Monday, April 11, 2011 0 comments

Christina Grimmie To Open For Selena Gomez 2011 Tour

Very exciting news for 16 year old Christina Grimmie! She will be the opening act for the Selena Gomez & Allstar Weekend’s summer tour. You can hear her exciting news in the video at the bottom of this post to hear from Christina herself.

This is exciting news for such a new singer! I wonder how her team was able to get her on such a huge tour? This is great news for her, and most of all it will give her a large chance of getting more media attention. This is what every star needs after all.

Are you excited for her? Have you followed her journey on YouTube? I think that this will help her break into the business, which will give hope to all young hopefuls. I am surprised that Justin Bieber is not going on tour with Selena, but it could put a strain on their relationship so I suppose it is best for both of them in the long run.

Christina Grimmie, known on YouTube as zeldaxlove64, is an online personality. As a pianist and singer, she is known for the covers of hit songs by artists such as Miley Cyrus, Selena Gomez, Christina Aguilera, and Justin Bieber.

Grimmie is best known for her video with Sam Tsui, doing a version of Nelly's Just a Dream,which has had over 20 million views. She now has over 14 million views on her channel as well as over 100 million upload views. She has 700,000 subscribers at the beginning of April 2011, which makes her the eleven most subscribed musician on YouTube of all time.

Posted by imran Sunday, April 10, 2011 0 comments

The ACT (pronounced as an initialism, /ˌeɪˌsiːˈtiː/ ay-see-tee; originally abbreviation of American College Testing) is a standardized test for high school achievement and college admissions in the US produced by ACT, Inc. It was first administered in November 1959 by Everett Franklin Lindquist as a competitor to the College Board's Scholastic Aptitude Test, now the SAT Reasoning Test.

The ACT test has historically consisted of four tests: English, Mathematics, Reading, and Science Reasoning. In February 2005, an optional Writing test was added to the ACT, mirroring changes to the SAT that took place later in March of the same year. All 4-year colleges and universities in the U.S. accept the ACT, but different institutions place different emphases on standardized tests such as the ACT, compared to other factors of evaluation such as class rank, G.P.A., and extracurricular activities.

The main four tests are scored individually on a scale of 1-36, and a Composite score is provided which is the whole number average of the four scores. In 2005 the company established ACT International. 

This organization is composed of ACT Education Solutions, Limited, and ACT Business Solutions, B.V. ACT Education Solutions is directed toward helping non-native speakers learn English in preparation for studying at an English-speaking educational institution. ACT Business Solutions attempts to help employers assess their employees' level of English proficiency through use of the WorkKeys assessment.

Posted by imran Saturday, April 9, 2011 0 comments

Christie Brinkley Heads for Broadway

Christie Brinkley (born February 2, 1954) is an American model best known for her 3 consecutive appearances on the cover of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue in the late 1970s and early 1980s, for her long-running contract with CoverGirl, the longest ever of any model in history, and for her marriage to musician Billy Joel.

Brinkley has also worked as an actress, illustrator, photographer, writer, and designer, and as an activist for human and animals rights and the environment.

Her financial holdings are worth an estimated USD $80 million, primarily as the owner of real estate, much of it in the Hamptons.

One of the original super models, Christie Brinkley - another woman of 57 who looks more than a decade younger - has landed a Broadway musical role, that of Roxy Hart in Chicago. First of all, I had really only been half-interested in Christie of late as, really, her life seemed to have come down to multiple failed marriages and drama. 

And then Oprah interviewed her on the show, and I was taken in all over again. I busted out my 80s ramp walk (based on Christie Brinkley - no, in fact a homage to her) in the office again yesterday. Everyone loves that turn. And then today I caught sight of these images of her on US television, demonstrating some of her moves.

Seriously. Good for her. I hope that the run on Broadway is a massive success. She is really an amazingly beautiful woman. How is it even possible?

Posted by imran Thursday, April 7, 2011 0 comments

Richard Branson to prowl oceans' hadal depths in flying sub Virgin Oceanic – coming soon to a trench near you

Sir Richard Charles Nicholas Branson (born 18 July 1950) is a British entrepreneur, best known for his Virgin Group of over 400 companies.

Sir Richard Branson has set his sights on conquering the world's oceanic depths in a revolutionary carbon fibre and titanium "flying" submarine.

The Virgin supremo's Virgin Oceanic project will encompass 5 dives over the next 2 years to "the deepest part of each of Earth's 5 oceans".

The submarine is described as "the only piloted craft in existence that has 'full ocean depth' capability". Designed by Graham Hawkes, the "Deep
Challenger" was originally commissioned by Branson's pal Steve Fossett, and the former "intends to finish what his friend started and then go on to help explore and unlock the wonders of the oceans still unknown to humankind or science".

Virgin Oceanic explains: "The one person sub has an operating depth of 37,000ft (7 miles) and is capable of operating for 24hrs unaided. Once fully descended, the submarine's hydroplanes (the equivalent of wings for submarines) and thrusters will allow it to 'fly' up to 10km over the ocean floor whilst collecting video and data, something submersibles could only dream of."

The vehicle's maximum speed is three knots, with a cruise cruise speed of 2.2 knots. Its descent/ascent rate of 76 metres per minute (350ft p/m) should allow it to achieve "full ocean depth and back" in five hours.

Steve Fossett's monster racing catamaran, the 125ft Cheyenne, has been converted to act as mothership for sub operations – a suitably planet-hugging means of transport in keeping with the Deep
 Challenger's eco credentials.

Graham Hawkes' blurb explains: "
sub emits minimal noise 

First up on the hadal descent roster is a trip to the bottom of the Mariana Trench, 11,033 metres (36,201ft) beneath the surface of the Pacific. At the controls will be pilot Chris Welsh.

Branson himself will take the helm for the second dive into the Puerto Rico Trench, 8,605 metres (28,232ft) down, conveniently close to his home on Necker Island in the British Virgin Islands. The 3 further excursions will take in the sights in the Molloy Deep in the Arctic Ocean, South Sandwich Trench in the Southern Ocean (Antarctic) and Diamantina in the Indian Ocean.

Both Branson and Welsh are aware that "should anything go wrong, there is no rescue team that can reach them". Virgin Oceanic notes that the sub's quartz cockpit "dome" alone is "under 13 million pounds of pressure, the weight of three space shuttles", so it's safe to say there won't be much left if the pressure hull fails at depth.

Before braving the depths, the Virgin Oceanic team will do three months pressure testing to ensure their sponsor doesn't get squashed. In anticipation of a successful outcome, Branson said: "There is just so much to explore, so much to discover. We are going to obviously come across some fascinating creatures and learn some fascinating things that will hopefully be useful for mankind."

Posted by imran Wednesday, April 6, 2011 0 comments

Kurt Cobain  was found dead at his home in Seattle

Cobain's artistic endeavors and struggles with heroin addiction, illness and depression, as well as the circumstances of his death have become a frequent topic of fascination, debate, and controversy throughout the world. He is one of the well known members of 27 Club.

Following a tour stop at Terminal Eins in Munich, Germany, on March 1, 1994, Cobain was diagnosed with bronchitis and severe laryngitis. He flew to Rome the next day for medical treatment, and was joined there by his wife on March 3, 1994. The next morning, Love awoke to find that Cobain had overdosed on a combination of champagne and Rohypnol. Cobain was immediately rushed to the hospital, and spent the rest of the day unconscious. After 5 days in the hospital, Cobain was released and returned to Seattle. Love later stated that the incident was Cobain's first suicide attempt.

On March 18, 1994, Love phoned Seattle police informing them that Cobain was suicidal and had locked himself in a room with a gun. Police arrived and confiscated several guns and a bottle of pills from Cobain, who insisted that he was not suicidal and had locked himself in the room to hide from Love. When questioned by police, Love said that Cobain had never mentioned that he was suicidal and that she had not seen him with a gun.

Kurt Donald Cobain (February 20, 1967 – c. April 5, 1994) was an American singer-songwriter, musician and artist, best known as the lead singer and guitarist of the grunge band Nirvana.

Cobain formed Nirvana with Krist Novoselic in Aberdeen, Washington in 1985 and established it as part of the Seattle music scene, having its debut album Bleach released on the independent record label Sub Pop in 1989. After signing with major label DGC Records, the band found breakthrough success with "Smells Like Teen Spirit" from its second album Nevermind (1991). Following the success of Nevermind, Nirvana was labeled "the flagship band" of Generation X, and Cobain hailed as "the spokesman of a generation". 

Cobain however was often uncomfortable and frustrated, believing his message and artistic vision to have been misinterpreted by the public, with his personal issues often subject to media attention. He challenged Nirvana's audience with its final studio album In Utero (1993).

During the last years of his life, Cobain struggled with heroin addiction, illness and depression, his fame and public image, as well as the professional and lifelong personal pressures surrounding himself and his wife, musician Courtney Love. On April 8, 1994, Cobain was found dead at his home in Seattle, the victim of what was officially ruled a suicide by a self-inflicted shotgun wound to the head. The circumstances of his death have become a topic of public fascination and debate. Since their debut, Nirvana, with Cobain as a songwriter, sold over 25 million albums in the US alone, and over 50 million worldwide.

Posted by imran Monday, April 4, 2011 0 comments

Arraignment today in Dunwoody killing

Hemy Neuman, accused of gunning down Rusty Sneiderman outside a Dunwoody day care facility last fall, will be arraigned at the 9 a.m. Monday in DeKalb County Superior Court.

Neuman, 48, was arrested Jan. 4 in the killing of the 36-year-old Sneiderman. The attorney for Neuman's wife has said Neuman was having an affair with the victim's wife, Andrea Sneiderman. However, Neuman's attorneys have not commented on that, and police have not implicated Andrea Sneiderman in her husband's slaying.

Neuman was Andrea Sneiderman's supervisor at General Electric Energy.

Rusty Sneiderman was shot dead after he dropped off his two-year-old son at the daycare facility on Nov. 18.

Posted by imran 0 comments

 Google’s Ice Cream Sundae Logo

Happy 119th anniversary to the ice cream sundae! Yes, 119 years ago, in Ithaca, NY, 2 men invented the first ice cream sundae. To celebrate the day and bring awareness to this event, Google has a special ice cream sundae logo.

The 2 men, John M. Scott and Chester Platt, first called the dish the “Cherry Sunday” and tried to trademark the term “Sunday.” That never happened and later on it became known as the “Sundae.”

Anyway, I hope you all enjoy a refreshing and delicious ice cream sundae today!

If not, you can at least enjoy the Google logo.

Posted by imran Sunday, April 3, 2011 0 comments

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