Wednesday, 25 February 2009

And the Oscar goes to ...... ‘Slumdog Millionaire’

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

Origins of Carnival

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

Saint Valentine

The History of Saint Valentine

Every February, candy, flowers, and gifts are exchanged between loved ones, all in the name of St. Valentine.

But who is this mysterious saint and why do we celebrate this holiday? The history of Valentine's Day — and its patron saint — is shrouded in mystery. But we do know that February has long been a month of romance. St. Valentine's Day, as we know it today, contains vestiges of both Christian and ancient Roman tradition. So, who was Saint Valentine and how did he become associated with this ancient rite? Today, the Catholic Church recognizes at least three different saints named Valentine or Valentinus, all of whom were martyred.

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.

Love quotes

"Spread love everywhere you go: first of all in your own home.
Give love to your children, to a wife or husband, to a next-door neighbor." ( Mother Teresa )

"A kiss is something you cannot give without taking and cannot take without giving."
(Anonymous )
"Love is composed of a single soul inhabiting two bodies." (Aristotle)

"Love is the greatest refreshment in life." ( Picasso )

Monday, 9 February 2009

'Viva La Vida' is Grammy Song of the Year

The Grammy Awards
(originally called the Gramophone Awards)—or Grammys—are presented annually by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences of the United States for outstanding achievements in the music industry. The awards ceremony features performances by prominent artists, and some of the awards of more popular interest are presented in a widely-viewed televised ceremony.
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.

The band Coldplay won the priorizes for song and rock album of the year.