Café Anant

Legendary music super star, king of pop, Michael Jackson may have passed away a few months back but his legacy is here to stay. Michael Jackson’s concert movie “This Is It” was released worldwide today, simultaneously in 15 countries, and was received all over by scores of die-hard MJ fans. The movie premiere in LA saw celebrities like Will Smith, Jennifer Lopez, Paris Hilton, Paula Abdul and Peter Andre and the same enthusiasm was seen all over the world.

An icon for millions around the world, Michael died days before he was supposed to make a comeback on the stage with his “This Is It” series of concerts starting at the O2 Arena in London.

After the shocking demise of the musical genius, while fans were devastated, Columbia Pictures decided to start work on a concert movie of Michael Jackson using footage of hours spent by the King Of Pop preparing for the series of concerts before his death.

“This Is It” shows Michael rehearsing many of his songs which he was supposed to perform in his comeback concerts. The movie also promises to show fans the private and never-seen-before side of Michael Jackson and captures the true genius of this multi-talented, globally appealing music idol while he was at work preparing to put up yet another spectacular show, a show which was never meant to happen.

Kenny Ortega, who was MJ’s creative partner and director of his stage shows, is the director of the movie and it has been produced by Randy Phillips, Paul Gongaware and Kenny himself.

Michael also left many unreleased tracks which he was working on. This music is also being released as the “This Is It” Soundtrack – The Music That Inspired The Movie.

Tickets for the movie are on sale only for a short two-week period and the maddening rush of fans, in a way, to pay tribute to their idol is expected to make “This Is It” into a blockbuster…

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With less than an year to go for the XIXth Commonwealth Games, Delhi, the host city, is striving to put up a successful show. Come October 3rd 2010 and all eyes would be on Delhi and all of India to fulfill its promise of hosting a spectacular Commonwealth Games.

For the past 2 years, Delhi has virtually become a huge construction site with major infrastructure projects being executed all across the Indian Capital. The Airport is being revamped, the Delhi Metro project is being completed, roads and flyovers are being constructed everywhere and most importantly 12 venues which will be used for hosting the Commonwealth Games are being setup. This is a mammoth task for the Delhi Authorities and has become of part of life for the people of Delhi for the past 2 years. How Delhi fares in hosting the games successfully is anyone’s guess but one thing is for sure, the XIXth Commonwealth Games are set to experience a totally different feel in Delhi as compared to the developed metropolitan cities of Melbourne and Manchester where the games were played in 2006 and 2002.

Recently, there have been speculations that Delhi is running slow in terms of preparedness for the mega event. This came after officials of the Commonwealth Games Federation visited the city. Only 2 out of the 12 venues have been completed so far and the deadline for many infrastructural projects has been postponed. Delhi authorities are trying their best to keep such speculation under wraps with top Indian officials including the Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh, Home Minister Dr. P. Chidambaram and Sports Minister Mr. M.S. Gill, all giving statements to assure that the preparations are on track.

Another major concern for participating countries and the Indian authorities is the security arrangements during the 2010 Commonwealth Games. After last year’s horrific terrorist attack in Mumbai, India is being looked at as a country vulnerable to security lapses. Delhi authorities including the Delhi Police have presented a detailed plan on how security issues will be managed during the Commonwealth Games. This plan includes continuous surveillance with the help of IAF helicopters, watch towers, snipers, 4 level security checks and use of the latest technology for identification cards, cameras and centralized monitoring.

This is the 2nd major sporting event in many years for the city of Delhi and all of India for that matter, the first being the Asian Games in 1982. Delhi will welcome over 8500 athletes and officials from around 70 Commonwealth nations during the games. India is desperate to prove to the world that it can be a feasible venue for hosting major international events beyond cricket tournaments. The success of Delhi 2010 Commonwealth Games will mean more visibility for this fast developing nation and will also encourage authorities to pitch for Olympics 2020.

Dance, as an art form, is steadily becoming very popular among common Indians.

India is a land of diverse beliefs, cultures and arts. Dance has been an important art form for Indians for centuries. Classical dance forms like Kathakali, Kuchipudi, Bharatanatyam have all originated in this country and are learned and passed on from one generation to another in many regions. Similarly, other comparitively casual styles of dancing like Bhangra, Gidda and Filmy or Bollywood have always been a part of the Indian lifestyle. Whether its Indian movies, festivals or any kind of celebration, none can be complete without a bit of Latkas and Jhatkas – Freestyle and Funfilled Dancing 🙂

Having said all this, its somewhat strange that even though dance is something that most Indians indulge in or watch on a regular basis, very few seem to be interested in learning dance properly and as an art form. But the scenario is changing now…

Dance has been catching up among common Indian households slowly and steadily. With different types of dance forms such as Hip-Hop, Breaking, Popping and Locking, Salsa etc. gaining popularity and new avenues for learning these art forms opening up, the general population is starting to realize and consider Dance not just as an art form, but a means to maintain fitness and also a way to build self-confidence.

Recently, a television show called Dance India Dance has revealed the amount of talent and passion that thousands of young Indians have for all kinds of dance forms. The show brings together talented dancers from all across the country and promises to find India’s first Dancing Star. Its great to watch and is already a super hit.

Cities like Mumbai and Kolkata have been at the forefront of promoting Dance and its learning in the country. Delhi, somehow has not witnessed the same level of enthusiasm but things are looking up for the capital as more and more initiatives to teach Dance are being taken.

As an art lover myself, I hope there is more awareness in the country for not only our own Dances but also other types of Dance forms around the world. Also, there need to be more schools and institutions that focus on teaching Dance professionally.

If you’re looking for a dance school in Delhi, you can check the Delhi Dance Academy – Dance Classes In Delhi. They seem to be pretty good… 🙂

Following are the dance forms I was talking about:

Nick Adenhart’s sudden loss in a car accident has shaken the baseball community, his fans and all of United States of America. In a tragic hit and run case, 22 year old Nick, who was a rookie pitcher for the Los Angeles Angels, lost his life on early Thursday morning when his car was hit by a minivan being driven by a drunken driver. Condolences poured in when the news of Adenhart’s untimely death broke out – a tribute ceremony was organized with a baseball, a couple of bouquets and some grief writings from heart broken fans outside the Angels Stadium.

The crash happened when the car carrying Adenhart and three others was hit by a minivan coming from the west. The forceful collision threw Adenhart’s car out of the intersection and claimed all four lives. The minivan driver named Gallo tried to flee towards the east but was arrested near State College Blvd. Gallo already has multiple prior arrests for drunken driving, police asserted.

A baseball pitcher and right hander, Nick Adenhart was born in Silver Springs. When he was 15, he was one of the nation’s top high-school pitchers. Baseball America magazine named him “National Youth Player of the Year”. Soon after achieving this feat, tragically, Nick got an elbow injury and the doctors advised for a reconstructive surgery. Even then, the Los Angeles Angels (LAA) selected him with a letter of intent from the University of North Carolina after which the pitcher received his lengthy rehabilitation.

During his career, 61 of his 98 pitches were strikes and his smooth delivery was an asset for all of his teams. Even on the night before this untoward incident, Adenhart had pitched six scoreless innings against the Oakland A’s where his performance was appreciated.

This case of drunken driving has caused an irreparable harm to the baseball community and there need to be stricter regulations against such reckless drivers.

A poster among the bouquets kept at the memorial read, “No. 34, You are one more Angel in heaven”. Truly a tragic story.

Nick at his Cal League debut

Nick at his Cal League debut

The forty eighth Mayor of Baltimore, Maryland, Sheila Dixon has been indicted on 12 counts including perjury and theft. The Democrat served the City Council from 1988 to 2007 including 7 years as City Council President. In 2007, Sheila Dixon became the City Mayor after fellow Democrat Martin O’Malley vacated the position to become Maryland Governor.

Some of the charges faced by Sheila Dixon are as follows:

  • Improper disclosure of gifts received from various sources.
  • Misuse of Holiday Gift Cards that were supposed to be distributed to needy families.
  • Misconduct in office.

Sheila Dixon has said in a statement on Friday that she is innocent. She said “I am confident that I will be found innocent of these charges. I will not let these charges deter me from keeping Baltimore on the path that we have set, or from carrying forward the significant progress we have made thus far”.

These developments come at a time when the city of Baltimore was witnessing a very positive turnaround of events. The murder rate in the city has fallen 17% as compared to last year. Moreover, the schools have shown better results lately and also the population has shown a slight increase.

Universal Orlando was the venue for drawing of the first ever Powerball Lottery in Florida. The drawing happened on Wednesday, 7th Jan, 2009 at 10:59 pm.

The winning numbers were : 52, 38, 31, 23, 33 alongwith Powerball number 24.

Florida is the latest entrant into the Powerball multi-state game. Ticket sales for the jackpot started on Sunday, 4th Jan, 2009 and the Powerball fever in Floridians was clear from the fact that 1.5 million tickets were sold on the same day.

Each ticket costs $1 only and the proceeds from the lottery will be used for promoting education in Florida through public schools. Those who are playing this very popular lottery game provide this good cause as a logic for their participation in addition to their chance of winning the jackpot money themselves (although calculated probabilty for that is 1 in 195 million appx.) 🙂

The Florida jackpot is estimated to be worth $ 105 million.

Yes people, that’s the question for today on the Marriott World of Rewards. And who doesn’t want a reward eh? 😉

Possible Answers

  1. A popular Hong Kong ferry called the “Celestial Star ferry” was built in 1956. (most likely) link to wiki

  2. Wong Tai Sin Temple – This temple was opened in 1956. However, Wikipedia says it was built much earlier than that.
  3. The university of Hong Kong acquired a house in 1956, which was made into the men’s hostel. It’s still not open to the public, so can’t be this either.
  4. The Hong Kong riots took place in October 1956 (for those generally interested in China). I’d rather just write an encyclopedic entry on Hong Kong. lol!
  5. Hong Kong Baptist University was founded in 1956.
  6. The Hong Kong society for the blind was also founded in 1956.

If you win a prize, come back and tell us!! 😉

Old News now
God sake!! I’ve been trying to figure out the answer to this one for the last hour!! Have to say – The questions they ask on Marriott world of rewards are pretty tough to look up. I guess that’s what makes the quiz challenging and interesting.

Well, I’m still looking for an answer. If you happen to be one of those Google search experts who know exactly what to search for and jump into the answer, be kind and post a comment with the correct answer to help others.

Meanwhile, it’s slogging for me!

Hong Kong at Night - What attraction can it be?

Hong Kong at Night - What attraction can it be?

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