A Brief Preview to the Most Eagerly Awaited Movies of 2013

Movies in 2013

2012 was a brilliant year in cinema with numerous scintillating blockbusters and intense dramas captivating casual moviegoers and critics alike. In addition to that, 2012 was graced by a movie starred by the notoriously perfectionist Daniel Day-Lewis. 2013 promises to be an eventful year as well, with a plethora of superhero movies like Iron Man 3 and Wolverine gracing cinemas and hard-hitting dramas like Foxcatcher and The Great Gatsby set to enthrall audiences as well as critics.

The Wolverine

The second film featuring one of Marvel Comics’ flagship character ‘Wolverine’, reprised by the ever-popular Hugh Jackman is set to be released in July 24th. Set after an undefined time period after X-Men: The Last Stand, the film shows “Wolverine” battle a mysterious entity from his blurry past which pushes him to the depths of his physical and emotional capacity.

Wolverine

Man of Steel

The much-awaited reboot to the beloved Superman movies is produced by celebrated director Christopher Nolan and scored by acclaimed composer Hans Zimmer is set to be released on July 14th. The film traces the superhero’s origins as an orphan raised by the Kents and his transformation into the Earth’s last line of defense when it is attacked by a presumably dominant interstellar villain.

Man of Steel

Man of Steel

Iron Man 3

The last installment in a very commercially successful trilogy starring Robert Downey Jr. and Gwyneth Paltrow is set to be released on May 3rd. Introducing Ben Kingsley as the ‘Mandarin’, the film finds Tony Stark trying to avenge those who have destroyed his personal life and decide between his love and his fixation on the suits.

Iron Man 3

Iron Man 3

Monsters University

After the double disappointment of Cars 2 and Brave, Pixar will look to bounce back with the sequel to the much cherished Monsters Inc. Set a decade before the first installment, the animated film shows the main monster duo maintaining a vicious rivalry that threatens to rip their world apart.

Monsters University

Elysium

After his critically acclaimed District 9, Neill Blomkamp follows up with Elysium, a film which reflects the current tension pertaining to healthcare, immigration and class issues. Featuring a clean shaven Matt Damon and Jodie Foster, this movie promises to be one the best of the year.

 

Elysium

Elysium

 

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Scary Facts about Food Advertisements and Fast Food

Scary Things about Fast foods

Ever wonder why food in an advertisement looks so much better than what’s actually served? Well, using an Indian analogy, its like watching a Rajanikanth movie and expecting him to be as handsome as he appears to be on television: yes, advertisement food has its own set of make up artists who add that reddish tinge to sauce, make those noodles extra soft and long, and those vegetables extra fresh and healthy!
So what exactly do I mean by ‘make-up’? Well do you fancy having furniture polish, paint and motor oil, or even deodorant for dinner? Hold on to your appetite, because its in for a bumpy ride.

Fast Food Make-up

the sumptuous chicken, or that beautiful steak is RAW, the brown colour added using a blowtorch, and chemical colourants, not to mention brown shoe polish.
The bubbles at the top of a fizzy drink are made by adding a mix of the liquid and KEROSENE using a dropper.
White glue is a common substitute for milk.
Salad dressing is a mix of powdered herbs and oil, applied with a brush.
Motor oil substitutes-unphotogenic syrups.
Mashed potato is injected into meat and sandwitches, using a syringe to make it look fatter.
Glue to stick sesame and other small additions.
That was in the ad. Now what goes on in the kitchen?
one hamburger can contain the meat of upto a hundred cows. They’re mass produced in industries.
McDonald’s fries are flavored with unspecified animal products.

A Piece of Cake - Before and After

Before reshaping, foods like chicken nuggets, hot dogs, bologna and pepperoni look like a disgusting sludge of pink paste. This is done through a process called mechanical separation, which is a cost-effective way to “smooth out” bone remnants left after the de-boning process. The process results in excessive bacteria, which is fixed by washing the meat in ammonia. To cover up that delicious ammonia flavor, the meat is then re-flavored artificially and dyed to resemble to type of meat it once was.
The Strawberry flavor, ice cream, shakes and others contains 50 different chemicals
The phosphoric acid found in cola is so acidic that it can dissolve a nail in 4 days.
Some yogurts contain beef or pork gelatin. Unless stated that the yoghurt is vegetarian (and sometimes in spite of it.)

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Happy to help??

Six whole months of bad mess food, sleepless nights, exams, power cuts and water shortages, I was to more than glad to see the bus waiting to take me home. Super excited as I was started making plans to meet up old friends, sending happy texts to the world that I was on my way back.

We crossed the border and the air of my state I could feel (total crazy hallucination in those crazy times). “officially entered” I typed, which was my 20th update in the past 5 hours to all my friends and I hit send all(not more than 3 of them cause only 100 messages per day remember??). AND BOOM!!! My phone started beeping and beeping like a UPS out of power, like Raghu’s words on roadies and I was beyond perplexed. It took me more than a minute to get out of my going home happiness and realize that 1.5 rupees were being taken away from my pocket for every message!! To “go for it” and “express yourself” is clearly not cheap!

Happy to Help

My balance levels go into negatives(yes, that happens with Vodafone) I can’t take a call either. That was when I appreciated myself for paying a 125 rupees for the internet pack. Well,I dint realize that I would meet another disappointment and a slap on the face. It turns out you need to have cash on your phone to use “pocket internet” inspite of internet balance. I got ready to listen to my mom yell at me for being so careless and not having the minimum common sense of having some balance on my phone(all this through my friends phone)!

The whole concept of roaming charges is insane, especially when we boast of unity in diversity! There was a sudden ray of hope that the roaming charges will be lifted but that just turned out to be on 3G roaming. Well, when will the normal roaming be taken away? Or when will the government begin to think of it I have “No Idea!”. It may be a source of profits and a necessity in our country but it sure is irritating as hell, especially with the new rule that any sim card not in use for more than 90 days will be blocked.The rate at which mobile network companies are looting us we would break all the conventional”relationship” jokes and spend the entire pocket money on mobile recharges!!

 

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Authority through the Attire

First impressions don’t matter-or do they? Think of all those movies you watched where a professor yesterday suddenly becomes the ambassador of the country today, the happy go lucky daughter who just lost her father and needs to fill his shoes in the Congress, a total fashion blooper enters the world of fashion to be the CEO of the brand. What’s the first thing that all those girls do? Get a makeover.

Authority through Attire

The braids and hair accessories disappear to give way to short parted hair, a long formal skirt or matching plain pants replace the colorful bright clothes, high heeled shoes take the place of probably the more comfortable floaters or sandals. A beaded chain maybe and a clutch-all custom made or branded. This is power dressing. Dressing to seem authoritative and to be taken seriously at the first look.

The former President of the United Kingdom, Margaret Thatcher is supposed to have begun this style of dressing. Rather, she boldly portrayed to the world that what you wear can make an impact and a strong one. Most powerful women the world has seen have a style and signature of their own.  Michelle Obama for that instance has single handedly changed the concept of power dressing, proving that personal style is power. She was able to pull off bright clothes and yet was taken more than seriously.

Its clichéd, but it’s all about the attitude not the attire. With the right attitude you could prove to be capable and authoritative even in a well draped saree. No better example than our very own Indira Gandhi. The conventional style of power dressing has changed with the people and the times, now ,it’s about making your own style and setting the trend.

 

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Who invented the light bulb?

Who invented the light bulb? Thomas Alva Edison. Who invented the radio? Marconi.

Who invented the radar? Watson-Watt. Who invented the X-ray? Rontgen. Who invented the transistor? Brattain, Shockley and Bardeen.

Wrong. The credit for all these inventions, along with alternating current, the remote control, the electric motor and wireless communication belongs to one man, a soft spoken, moustached, Serbian American scientist by the name of Nikola Tesla.

Nicola Tesla

Nicola Tesla

Early in his career, Tesla worked for Thomas Edison, who offered him millions of dollars for fixing the problems with his DC generators and motors. When Tesla went to Edison after fixing his machines, he brushed him off saying “Tesla, you don’t understand American humour.” Edison would go on steal credit for the invention of the light bulb, and use his power in society to put down Tesla’s superior Alternating Current in favour of his Direct Current.

In 1909, Marconi won the Nobel Prize for the invention of the radio. His invention was mostly based on work done by Tesla in the same area. When Marconi sent his first trans-Atlantic message, Tesla’s response was, “Marconi is a good fellow. Let him continue. He is using seventeen of my patents.”

An English scientist, Robert Watson-Watt invented the radar in 1935. Tesla had come up with the same idea in 1917.  His idea was rejected when he pitched it to the US Navy during World War 1, because it had “no practical military applications”. The head of R&D for the US Navy at the time was, you guessed it, Thomas Alva Edison.

Wilhelm Rontgen is credited as the inventor of the X-Ray. Tesla created the first X-Ray photograph was taken by Tesla in 1894.

In September 1898, Tesla presented a new invention called the “teleautomation”. It was the first ever radio controlled device. There was a system within the device to toggle action based on different signals, in other worlds a logic gate. However, Tesla’s vision for this device was far more advanced than the modern computers for which logic gates were later used for. He proclaimed that, “the time is not distant when I shall show an automation which, left to itself, will act as tough possessed of reason and without any wilful control from the outside.”

Apart from all this, Tesla was also the pioneer for hydro electric energy, and built the first hydro-electric plant in the Niagara Falls.

Tesla had many more inventions for which he was hardly given any credit, just because he was a man ahead of his time. Tesla was born in a time when society was accepting only of innovations which had immediate monetary benefits. That was where Edison came out on top. Tesla has accomplished feats of science which no body has able to replicate, even now, 100 years on. He achieved a rare phenomenon called ball lightning, which is lightning that hovers in the form of a sphere a few metres from the ground. It has not been replicated. He created an earthquake machine which nearly demolished an entire demolished an entire neighbourhood in New York. Tesla also had a theory for charging homes using the Earth’s ionosphere, but he did not share it with the world.

Nikola Tesla was an unparalleled genius, centuries ahead of his time. He spoke eight languages fluently and had an eidetic memory. He was an eccentric, who often had hallucinations, and had a hard time separating reality.

He could visualise entire devices in his head and build them without writing anything down. He lived on till he was 86, and remained celibate his entire life, even though he was very popular with the ladies.

Despite his revolutionary contributions, Tesla remained poor and unrecognised his entire life. Society was not ready to accept so many revolutionary changes at the same time. It only tolerates one change at a time.

“Let the future tell the truth, and evaluate each one according to his work and accomplishments. The present is theirs; the future, for which I have really worked, is mine.”-Nikola Tesla

 

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Asanas

It has been a long day, sitting before my laptop for an hour now, fatigue tries pushing me to bed.  Spontaneously I stretch my arms and crack my knuckles. It suddenly struck me, why does everyone yawn, stretch their muscles and crack their knuckle so spontaneously when they are tired become oblivious to it?

Yoga Asanas

This point of interest glued me to my seat again and there I was writing another article. It didn’t take me long to realize this but the answer was evident. Yoga it was.  Yoga is just a type of body exercise that increases flow of blood to muscles, fixes damaged tissues and hence improves memory and neural functioning of the body. Yoga is a body science that helps you mend and enhance your muscular functions. It is also the rudimentary skill essential for any martial arts and physical training.

When the rich oxygenated blood increases to the brain and other muscles it also improves the memory and brings relaxation to the mind and also behaves as an anti-depressant. This phenomenon was recently supported by a study in National Institute of Mental health and Neurosciences(Nimhans). Yoga helps release happiness triggering hormones like endorphins and control stress hormones like cortisol.

Stretching your body after work, yawning and cracking your knuckles are all techniques your body has registered to improve blood flow. Keep a controlled and self conscious display when your in public. As for me? I am home and my eyes are so tired. (yaaaaaaaawnnsss) .So,  let me go and improve my blood flow for a while.

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Facebook Home: the new ‘it’ ?

Google’s Android has become the mobile operating system every one unanimously loves. It is the next generation of portable personal computer, or maybe not. The one disadvantage in Android bugging every smart-phone-maniac is its inability to run multiple apps at once. On your old-school desktop PC you can Skype chat, run a couple software updates while waiting for your browser to load. But in your smartphone you would have to sit with your Facebook app while it downloads the zillion notifications in to your news feed. Well, not any more.

Facebook Home

That’s were Facebook Home comes in, Facebook Inc.’s newest release of your favorite app. Facebook Home is a family of apps, that puts ‘your friends at the heart of your phone.’
OK, translating from geek to English, Home updates all your FB notifications, messages and chats on to your screen even when you are using other apps. To top it all, it also allows you to chat with multiple friends through Facebook simultaneously.
Doesn’t sound like much? Wait for it.
Cover Feed displays a stream of posts on to your screen as soon as you turn on your phone. In Facebook’s words, “it puts the spotlight on whatever friends are sharing now—photos, status updates, links and more.”
Notifications on calls, events and updates stick around on your screen till you deal with them.
Annoying much? But here’s the good part: you can swipe away the one’s you are not interested in and keep the ones you want.
Chatting with your best friend while you catch up on last night’s game is good,but chatting with all of your friends simultaneously is better. Facebook Home lets you switch between chat windows with just a click on your friend’s profile picture on the screen.
But the best part of Facebook Home is the app launcher. It keeps all your favorite apps in one place, personalizing your system even more, truly making you feel at ‘home’.

Everything sounds great, waiting to download the new cool app? Sorry to disappoint, but here’s the bad news. While it is open for free download from Google Play, it can only be used in HTC One X, HTC One X+, Samsung Galaxy S III and Samsung Galaxy Note II. This substantially shrinks the potential market for the app.

With the changing licensing rights on mobile apps, it should be possible for all smartphone users to have a taste of Facebook Home soon enough. Dearest Apple fans, hang on in there..

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Sensationalizing Media

As TRP and advertising revenues take precedence over actual content, there has been a gradual degradation in media quality. The in-your-face news and celebrity gossip only serve to entertain rather than inform. With the influx of dedicated Page-3 tabloids, even the most mundane incidents involving celebrities have been glorified to absurd extents. Here are a few incidents which would have fizzled out were it not for the undeserved media attention showered on the situation.

 

Sensationalizing Media

Kate Middleton prank call

 

As a member of the Royal Family, Kate Middleton has always been a media fixation.  A seemingly innocuous visit to the King Edward VII Hospital turned into a needless media spectacle when a radio presenting duo from Australia made a prank call to one of the nurses on duty. The call was transferred to Kate Middleton’s private nurse who inadvertently leaked out the Duchess of Cambridge’s medical details out on air. The fallout was tragic, the nurse in charge committed suicide amidst the outrage. The ensuing controversy also invited the attentions of a Member of Parliament. The inquest on her death will be held on the 2nd and 3rd of May.

 

IPL: Shahrukh Khan’s scuffle with the authorities

 

Being the perfect fusion of the inherent desires of your everyday Indian: cricket and Bollywood, IPL has become embedded in public consciousness.  Not without the help of a few odd controversies though, prime being the scuffle between ”King of Bollywood” Shahrukh Khan and the security guards of Wankhede Stadium, one of the premier cricket stadiums in India. This was followed by a barrage of accusations from both sides. Khan was subsequently banned from the stadium, although efforts have been made to rescind the ban.

Charlie Sheen’s meltdown

 

One of the highest paid actors in television, Charlie Sheen underwent one of the most startling and heavily publicized falls from grace. After his enforced divorce from his third wife, he committed a series of drunken debaucheries and made bizarre statements in public which culminated in his removal from the acting cast of the hit T.V. show, “Two and a Half Men”.  He now stars in “Anger Management”, a show based of the movie of the same name.

Shahrukh Khan’s detention in US

Not far away from the public limelight, on this occasion Shahrukh Khan was unwittingly cast into the spotlight after he was detained in New York on grounds of his ethnicity. In an issue which sparked a mild diplomatic outrage, Khan was surprisingly nonchalant instead opting to joke about it in his speech at the Yale University.

M.F. Husain’s exile

 

In one of the most unfortunate incidents in India, celebrated artist and film-maker M.F. Husain voluntarily exiled himself to Qatar amidst death threats and glaring media coverage. Incessant coverage of his painting had bought about the attentions of right-wing Hindu groups. Cases were filed against him and his house was attacked. This forced him to set up camp in Qatar where he lived till his death.

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Indian Partition League

Chennai, Mumbai, Bangalore, Delhi, Kolkata, Mohali, Hyderabad, Pune. Five years ago, if you asked someone what these nine cities had in common, you would get a bunch of confused and varied answers, if any at all.

Now, however, the same question would trigger a spontaneous response from a six year old. IPL.

Sadly, what connects these cities is also what divides them. Summer has become a time when the country is cleanly divided into nine.

Club over Country? : It’s time cricket took the limelight

Divisions are synonymous with sports, especially team sports, and even more so when the teams are based on pre-existing geographic and cultural divisions. The IPL, following on the footsteps of the English Premier league, one of the biggest sporting events in Europe, has divided the teams in such a way so that people can identify with their team.

Even though this has not caused problems in England, it is risky to assume that the same can be applied to a country as diverse and culturally sensitive as India.

The huge brand value and fan following of the IPL has made things worse.

Advertisements of IPL mock cultural stereotypes, instead of promoting the event. A lot of people are sensitive to such depictions, and an even greater number of people enjoy making fun of such people. Soon, it will no longer be about the cricket. As if cheerleaders and popular actors weren’t enough.

In spite of all this, the IPL is still a huge event. It should just take it down a notch. Instead of promoting rivalry among different regions, the focus should be on cricket. If IPL is promoted as a cricket extravaganza rather than a civil war, then everyone will benefit, and we can all go back to watching Chennai win.

 

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Elixirs of life gone missing

The terrible power crises across Tamil Nadu has kept me wondering if we were the unlucky generation.  Well, until I googled it, I was wrong .  The contemporary power and water crises are reminiscent to the year 1975. Back then, Tamil Nadu was worst affected. With the generation of mere 2,254MW, it did not suffice to meet the needs. The then chief minister of the state, M.Karunanidhi announced a 100% power cut for high tension users, 25% on hospitals and complete supply only for irrigation purposes for farmers as dispatched by wikiLeaks. The air conditioning was highly restricted and five star hotels like the Taj Coromandel were charged only from 6pm to 6am and during lunch hours. This had a negative impact on tourism in the state. The supply of power to domestic consumers was rationed and they were fined if they exceeded limits.

Power Crisis in Tamil Nadu

The power in the state was generated from hydro industries and the droughts further worsened the crises. Supplying just 189MLD’s of water to the citizens, the city of Chennai was parched. The factories across the state were forced to shut down to supply power to 7 lakh pump sets across the state for farmers. The employment of working staff was now affected and the entire state and its capital city now seemed to stagnate in growth. Many took to feet and considered migrating to other places. The remedy to the malady of Tamil Nadu was the project of cloud seeding introduced by a California firm with a whooping budget of $550,000.The air crafts were made to fly for 140-150 hours over Nilgris and Poondi and seed 10,000gm of silver Iodide and there was in improvement in the crises within 3 weeks with 700million gallons flowing into the reservoirs.! Though the state of Tamil Nadu can boast of its quick recovery back in 1975, it seems that its still marching on the very similar road to peril. Even with the generation of 10,000MW and a water supply of 800MLD, many cities and towns still suffer from 16 hours power cuts. Its high time they young minds and the administrators of the state take a serious stance on this issue before it gets too late and may leave us realizing we are in the cave man era yet again! Atleast there was sufficient power for me to type this article down!

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