Wednesday, 25 February 2009
Slumdog ended up with eight Oscars in all, including Best Picture and Best Director for Danny Boyle. In the acting categories, Kate Winslet won Best Actress for The Reader, her first win after six nominations, while Sean Penn's performance in Milk netted him his second Best Actor statue. As expected, Heath Ledger was honored posthumously as Best Supporting Actor for his iconic role as the Joker in The Dark Knight; Penelope Cruz won her first Oscar as Best Supporting Actress for Vicky Cristina Barcelona, her second nomination.
The night of triumph sealed the Mumbai-set British film’s unlikely dominance of Hollywood’s glittering award season.
Wednesday, 18 February 2009
The origins of Carnival are largely unknown, but it seems to have been part of a pagan celebration of the new year or the start of spring in Ancient Italy, marked by the mixing of social classes in a large outdoor festival. At the start of the Christian Age, celebration was restricted to before Lent as a kind of "flesh abuse," a time to purge oneself of such Pagan practice prior to the remembrance of Christ's death.
Carnival was introduced to Portugal, the mother country of Brazil, in the 15th and 16th centuries. It took on a violent turn with the advent of the "Entrudo," or introduction to Lent. During the Entrudo, entertaining and often cruel practical jokes were played. It was this kind of Carnaval that first arrived in Brazil. The Entrudo did not last long as it was suppressed by the police.
In the mid-19th century, Carnival split into two parts: the Ballroom Carnival (attended mostly by the rich) and the Street Carnival. Mask Balls in the São João Theater continued weekly throughout the year, keeping up the spirit of Carnaval. To make Carnaval more affordable, it was moved into the streets, and sub-deputies were authorized to freely distribute masks to anyone who wanted to join. This format was adopted by tradespeople as it meant more profit.
Carnival had finally come into its own, no longer overshadowed by the Entrudo. Mask balls were organized a year in advance, families and groups competed to decided who was the most elegant and refined as class lines were allowed to blur in a fun party atmosphere.
Thursday, 12 February 2009
Every February, candy, flowers, and gifts are exchanged between loved ones, all in the name of St. Valentine.
One legend contends that Valentine was a priest who served during the third century in Rome. When Emperor Claudius II decided that single men made better soldiers than those with wives and families, he outlawed marriage for young men — his crop of potential soldiers. Valentine, realizing the injustice of the decree, defied Claudius and continued to perform marriages for young lovers in secret. When Valentine's actions were discovered, Claudius ordered that he be put to death. Other stories suggest that Valentine may have been killed for attempting to help Christians escape harsh Roman prisons where they were often beaten and tortured.
Give love to your children, to a wife or husband, to a next-door neighbor." ( Mother Teresa )
Monday, 9 February 2009
The award ceremony is generally held in February. This year,the 51st Grammy Awards ceremony was held on February 8, 2009, and was held at Los Angeles' Staples Center for the sixth consecutive year.