Monday, July 20, 2009

'Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince' Movie Review

Rupert Grint, Emma Watson and Daniel Radcliffe

Rupert Grint, Emma Watson and Daniel Radcliffe in 'Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.'

The battle between good and evil almost takes a backseat to the angst of young love in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, the sixth film of the Harry Potter series. These are dark times in the wizarding world, but for our young heroes it's also a time for flirting, a little romance, and some harmless snogging. Everyone knows the ultimate showdown between Harry Potter and Voldemort is fast approaching. The face-off between The Chosen One and The Dark Lord is no longer just something whispered about in dark corners or argued about over a butterbeer or two.
The air is thick and foreboding as Voldemort's an unseen, menacing presence hovering over Hogwarts. The Dark Lord's minions are no longer hiding out and instead are openly displaying their hatred for Muggles and those who follow Dumbledore. Much of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince takes place in the calm before the storm, excepting the last whirlwind half hour when events take place that forever alter the lives of our young wizard friends.

Yet even in these sinister days, time must be taken for teens to do what teens do – they explore relationship possibilities. And Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince devotes a good portion of its running time to fleshing out Harry, Ron, and Hermione's burgeoning love lives.

The Story

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince starts off with a rush of activity as the citizens of London come under attack by Death Eaters. Though they can't see the creatures wreaking havoc on the city, they feel the affects of each attack. Millennium Bridge collapses killing untold numbers, however no one outside of the wizarding world understands this is just the beginning of destruction should Voldemort fully return.

Dumbledore (Michael Gambon) knows time is running out and so he seeks out Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) to accompany him on an extremely important visit with Horace Slughorn (Jim Broadbent), a retired Hogwarts potions professor. Buried in Slughorn's memory is a conversation that took place with a teenaged Tom Riddle, a pivotal conversation in young Riddle's life and one that's vitally important to Dumbledore.

Jim Broadbent and Michael Gambon
im Broadbent as Horace Slughorn and Michael Gambon as Professor Dumbledore in 'Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.'

Dumbledore plays on Slughorn's vanity, dangling the opportunity to get close to Hogwarts' most famous student as a means to get Slughorn back on staff. Slughorn 'collects' students from prestigious families or ones who've earned their own sort of fame, and the prospect of adding Harry to his elite Slug Club is too much for Slughorn to pass up. With Slughorn installed as the new potions teacher, Dumbledore tasks Harry with getting close to the professor and getting him to reveal the secret he's kept hidden for these long years.

While the forces of good are busy on their quest for knowledge, Voldemort's recruited Draco Malfoy (Tom Felton) for a very special mission, a mission Draco's mother, Narcissa (Helen McCrory), and Bellatrix Lestrange (Helena Bonham Carter) make Professor Snape (Alan Rickman) commit to an unbreakable pledge to assist with. Draco spends his days skulking about, sneaking off into the Room of Requirement and experimenting with a vanishing cabinet, looking nauseated, scared to death, and pissed off at the world all at the same time. It's not a task Draco relishes, but one he has no option but to carry out.

Meanwhile, the romantic yearnings of our favorite threesome of teen wizards provides welcome moments of comic relief. Harry's hot for Ron's younger sister, Ginny (Bonnie Wright), but Ginny's got a boyfriend. Ron's gotten himself involved in a relationship with Lavender Brown (Jessie Cave) and this is driving poor Hermione (Emma Watson) absolutely mad. She's miserable, but Ron either can't or chooses not to see what's so obvious to everyone else.

The relationship between Dumbledore and Harry Potter, built up over the course of five years together at Hogwarts, has reached a point in which the 150+ year old professor has come to rely heavily on his young student. Dumbledore confides more in Harry, sharing the memories he's collected over the years, and even takes Harry on a secret and perilous journey to collect an item hidden away by Voldemort. But when it comes time for a pivotal event in the battle between good and evil, Dumbledore orders Harry to hide and not intervene, leaving Harry to witness a devastating act that sets up the events in the last book, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (which Warner Bros smartly chose to break into two films).

The Acting

The acting skills of Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint get better with each successive Harry Potter film. It's surreal to go back and watch Sorcerer's Stone and see just how young these guys were when the franchise kicked off back in 2001. It doesn't feel like it was all that long ago that Radcliffe, Watson and Grint first donned the red and gold of Gryffindor house. Now the three will, no matter what they go on to do, forever be associated with one of the biggest movie franchises of all time. Hopefully they'll come out of it in better shape than some actors who've headlined franchises...
Bonnie Wright and Daniel Radcliffe
Bonnie Wright and Daniel Radcliffe share a quiet moment.

The rest of the cast is top notch, from Michael Gambon to Jim Broadbent to Helena Bonham Carter as Bellatrix Lestrange (I love her in this role - perfect casting). Bonnie Wright and Tom Felton have expanded roles in this franchise entry, and are thoroughly up to the challenge. And as always Alan Rickman makes Snape someone you love to watch onscreen, despite how you actually feel about the character.

The Bottom Line

This is David Yates' second Harry Potter film and he's obviously comfortable in this world of wizards and Death Eaters and magical creatures created by J.K. Rowling. I'm anxious to see what Yates and returning screenwriter Steve Kloves (he only missed Order of the Phoenix) are able to do with Deathly Hallows.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince isn't the most action-packed Harry Potter film, but what it lacks in thrilling scenes of magical maneuverings, it makes up for in character development and emotional depth. The visual effects, while stunning, do not overwhelm and slip unobtrusively into scenes.

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban remains my favorite Harry Potter film thus far. But Half-Blood Prince is a worthy addition to the Harry Potter franchise, one that will likely be loved more by those who've read the books than by those who only know the Harry PotterHalf-Blood Prince the book. universe from what they've seen onscreen. There are major chunks of Rowling's sixth book that didn't make the transition to the big screen, but what's there is perfectly in keeping with the tone and themes expressed in the Half-Blood Prince the book.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Antonov. The World’s Heaviest and Largest Jet

Antonov 01

The Antonov An-225 is the world’s heaviest and largest jet for strategic airlift transport built by Antonov Design Bureau. It is larger than the Airbus A380 airliner and is listed in the Guinness Book of Records as the largest airplane. It has a landing gear system of 32 wheels and a wing span of 291 feet and designed for the Soviet space program in 1988 to airlift the Energia rocket’s booster, Buran space shuttle or ultra-heavy and oversize freight up to 250,000 kg internally or 200,000 kg on the upper fuselage.

Antonov 02

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Source: English Russia,

Friday, July 10, 2009

Mother is mother.. Risking her life to save her kid....

Baby Monkey hit by scooter at Jaipur

12 Ways to Know That You Love Someone

You talk with him/her late at night and when you go to bed you still think of him/her.


You walk really slowly when you are with him/her.

You don't feel Ok when he/she is far away.

You smile when you hear his/her voice.

When you look at him/her,you do not see other people around you. You see only him/her.

He/She is everything you want to think.

You realise that you smile every time you look at him/her.

You would do anything to see him/her.

While you have been reading this, there was a person in your mind all the time.

You've been so busy thinking of that person that you didn't notice that number 7 is missing.

You are going to check above if that's true and now you are silently laughing to yourself.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Pattanathil Bhootham Movie Review

Johny Antony who has carved his own brand in Industry with colorful comedy entertainers, which are more appealable to children, is back with Megastar Mammootty.

Film’s story moves around like that of adventure tales in Balarama. Unlike the magazine which attracts children and elders, this film seems to maintain only the attention of kids.

An evil magician gets the power over a Bhootham. He plans to use it for his filthy activities. The sorcerer loses Bhootham in an accident and it gets into the hands of children in the circus tent. It was the time when a foul play has taken place over the ownership of this circus. Kavya arrives as the daughter of circus owner played by Janardhanan who gets killed. What follow is conflict between good and the evil.

Mammootty does a double act of Bhootham as well as Jimmy, the circus stunt man. Mammooty’s character Jimmy is eye candy while his second character won’t appeal much, mostly due to the childish voice which may get misidentified.

E Pattanathil Bhootham is Kavya Madhavan’s maiden film released after her marriage. Kavya has only a limited role in the film, though she plays an important character.

Animation done in film is visible to the eyes of every other viewer who are watching visual amusements round the clock. Story line, characters, situations are all predictable and it is ok for a fantasy film like this. But it should have bound the viewers with its visual extravaganza.The film makes us remember Sakshal Sreeman Chathunni by Anil Babu.

Comedy by Suraj and Salim Kumar works well. Music by Shaan suits to film but is unimpressive.

Johny Antony’s E Pattanathil Bhootham was expected to release earlier during the school vacation but was postponed due to its pending post production works. The late release may hamper the film in many counts. The film has got every element to entertain the audience but somewhere it got lost in transition.

Johny Antony and his team have taken great effort in building up this two hour forty minute output. Young citizens can get ready to be amused.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Fun Personality Test

Imagine yourself driving along on a wild stormy night. You pass by a bus stop, and you see three people waiting for the bus:

1. An old lady who is about to die.

2. An old friend who once saved your life.

3. The perfect man (or) woman you have been dreaming about.

Which one would you choose, knowing that there could only be one passenger in your car. This is a moral/ethical dilemma that was once actually used as part of a job application. You could pick up the old lady, because she is going to die, and thus you should save her first; or you could take the old friend because he once saved your life,
and this would be the perfect chance to pay him back. However; you may never be able to find your perfect dream lover again.

Answers could vary depending on the personality. However; there is a perfect answer. If you are a person who would think "out of the box" you would answer: "I would give the car keys to my old friend and let him take the old lady to the hospital. I would stay behind and wait for the bus with the woman (or man if you are a woman) of my dreams."

Beautiful Infrastructures

CCTV Headquarters China

CCTV Headquarters China

World's Biggest Bus

World's Biggest Bus

World's Biggest Pessenger Ship

World's Biggest Pessenger Ship

World's Biggest Plane Airbus

World's Biggest Plane Airbus

World's Biggest Shopping Mall

World's Biggest Shopping Mall

World's Busiest Airport New York

World's Busiest Airport New York

World's Highest Statue Brazil

World's Highest Statue Brazil

World's Largest Place Romania

World's Largest Place Romania

World's Longest Bridge China

World's Longest Bridge China

World's Tallest Building Dubai

World's Tallest Building Dubai

World's Tallest Building Dubai 2

World's Widest Bridge Australia

World's Widest Bridge Australia

Humans Interesting Facts

This is weird but true!

While sitting at your desk make clockwise circles with your right foot. (go ahead no one will see you) While doing this, draw the number "6" in the air with your right hand.

Your foot will change direction.


  • People with higher number of moles tend to live longer than people with lesser number of moles.
  • When filming summer scenes in winter, actors suck on ice cubes just before the camera rolls - it cools their mouths so their breath doesn't condense in the cold air.
  • Humans were first infected with the HIV virus in the 1930s.
  • Thinking about your muscles can make you stronger.
  • If left alone, 70% of birthmarks gradually fade away.
  • Grapefruit scent will make middle aged women appear six years younger to men. The perception is not reciprocal and the grapefruit scent on men has no effect on women's perception.
  • Women blink twice as many times as men do.
  • Intelligent people have more zinc and copper in their hair.
  • We are about 1 cm taller in the morning than in the evening. Layers of cartilage in the joints gets compressed during the day.
  • There are approx. 550 hairs in the eyebrow.
  • The strongest muscle in the human body is the tongue.
  • The life span of a taste bud is 10 days.
  • The world's youngest parents were 8 and 9 and lived in China in 1910.
  • The largest known kidney stone weighed 1.36 kilograms.
  • Most dust particles in your house are made from dead skin.
  • Kidney stones come in any color--from yellow to brown.
  • Babies are born without kneecaps. They appear when the child is 2-6 years of age.
  • Your body is creating and killing 15 million red blood cells per second!
  • The average human produces 10,000 gallons of saliva in a lifetime.
  • If you ate too many carrots you would turn orange.
  • The force of 1 billion people jumping at the same time is equal to 500 tons of TNT.
  • A baby is born every seven seconds.
  • You can tell if a skunk is about if you smell only .000000000000071 ounce of its spray.
  • You breathe about 10 million times a year.
  • The colder the room you sleep in, the better the chances are that you'll have a bad dream.
  • The foot is the most common body part bitten by insects.
  • The most common time for a wake up call is 7 a.m.
  • The typical person goes to the bathroom 6 times a day.
  • The fastest growing nail is on the middle finger.
  • The most sensitive finger on the human hand is the index finger.
  • The human body weighs 40 times more than the brain.
  • After eating too much, your hearing is less sharp.
  • A person swallows approx. 295 times while eating dinner.
  • Your urine will turn bright yellow if you eat too much asparagus.
  • There are more people alive today than have ever died.
  • The human body is better suited to two four-hour sleep cycles than one eight-hour one.
  • A man's beard contains between 7000 and 15,000 hairs.
  • A beard grows an average of 140mm a year
  • A hair is 70 per cent easier to cut when soaked in warm water for two minutes
  • Women's hair is about half the diameter of men's hair
  • During an average lifetime, a man will spend 3,350 hours removing 8.4 meters of stubble
  • 4.5 million people have their health 'adversely affected' by air pollutants each year.
  • 4 million children die each year from inhaling smoke from indoor cooking fires that burn wood and Dung
  • 4 million people die annually from diarrhea infections, caused by poor sanitary conditions
  • The hardest bone in the human body is the jawbone.

Strange but true coincidents. Some of these happened to me personally.

  • After your hands become coated with grease, your nose will begin to itch.
  • Any tool, when dropped, will roll to the least accessible corner.
  • When you dial a wrong number, you never get an engaged line.
  • If you tell the boss you were late for work because you had a flat tire, the next morning you will have a flat tire.
  • In a very busy day, your boss only approaches you when you are taking a break.
  • If you change queues, the one you have left will start to move faster than the one you are in now.
  • When the body is immersed in water, the phone begins to ring.
  • The probability of meeting someone you know increases when you are with someone you don’t want to be seen with.
  • When you try to prove to someone that the machine will not work, it will.
  • The severity of the itch is inversely proportional to the reach.
  • At any event, the people whose seats are furthest from the aisle arrive last
  • As soon as you sit down to a cup of hot coffee, the boss will ask you to do something that will last till your coffee is cold.
  • You remember you have to mail a letter when you are near the mail box.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

ATM Thiefs-One Day This Could Happen To You

Read carefully



The technology that makes this possible does exist. However, so far, banks have not implemented it. Thus, at the time of writing, if you
are forced to withdraw money against your will, the chance that the ATM you are using will have the reverse pin technology installed is virtually nil.

ATM Keypad
If you are forced by robbers to withdraw money from an ATM, entering your PIN in reverse will NOT alert police
Back in 1994, Joseph Zingher from Chicago began developing ATM software that would Silently Call Police if a PIN was entered in reverse. Since then, Zingher has spent years trying to sell the idea to banks in the United States without success. Several US states have explored the idea, but it is yet to be implemented. In 2004, the US state of Illinois passed legislation requesting that banks install reverse-pin safety technology in their ATMs. However, banks were not legally required to do so, and displayed little interest in using the system. In 2009, another bill was put forward in Illinois that would make implementation of the safety PIN mandatory for banks in that state. According to Information Published on the Illinois General Assembly website the bill was "Re-referred to Assignments" in March 2009.

Zingher and others continue to push for the implementation of reverse pin or similar consumer safety systems at ATMs. The concept is sound, and such technology may well increase ATM security, discourage forced withdrawal crime and possibly even save lives, if it was widely used.

That said, many people have raised doubts about the effectiveness of such a system. Commentators have suggested that the system would fail if a customer's PIN was the same backwards as it was forwards, such as the number "4334" or if the PIN was four identical digits such as "8888". However, Zingher maintains that customers with such PIN's would be protected using alternative methods such as the "Inside-OutPIN and the Plus-1PIN". Others have noted, that even if an ATM sent a silent alarm indicating that a robbery was in progress, the criminals would likely have well and truly fled the scene by the time police arrived. Some banking spokespeople have criticized the proposed system, suggesting that if it was made mandatory, criminals as well as customers would know about it and it would therefore do little to deter criminals. They have also suggested that a panicked victim of a violent ATM robbery might have trouble correctly entering a PIN in reverse and thereby risk further antagonizing the criminals when the ATM displayed an error message and no money was dispensed. Furthermore, they point out that people regularly make mistakes when entering their PIN's and this could lead to false alarms that would waste the time of police. However, Zingher scoffs at such concerns and maintains that his system would significantly increase customer safety and reduce ATM crime.

In an increasingly security conscious consumer market, it may not be too long before banks decide that such technology is financially viable or legislation forces them to act.

Until then however, forwarding this message is ill advised. Since it is extremely unlikely to work, the "advice" in this message could actually be dangerous. Forcing a victim to withdraw money from an ATM is a high-risk, violent crime. If a victim enters a reverse pin at an ATM that does not have the safety PIN system installed, he or she will receive an error message and no money will be dispensed. This delay could antagonize the criminal and increase the risk of violent retaliation.

Moreover, if banks were to install a safety PIN system, they would provide information to their customers explaining the new system and how to use it. The message claims that the system is seldom used because "people don't know it exists". However, it is absurd to suggest that a bank would go to the considerable expense of implementing a safety PIN system and then not bother to tell their customers about it.

The original version of the message (Example 1 above) mentioned a "broadcast" as the source of the information. This may refer to a September 2006 WOAI San Antonio News story on the subject. The video cited the case of a San Antonio man who was forced to withdraw money from several ATMs and explained the concept of reverse-pin technology as a means of countering such crimes. However, the story very clearly stated that such technology is not yet being used.

An updated version of the message (Example 2 above) strays even further from the truth. Like the earlier version, this later variant also falsely claims that all ATM's already have the reverse PIN technology implemented. However, it also makes the claim that, if a victim of ATM bandits did enter his or her PIN in reverse, the money would get stuck coming out while the machine secretly alerted police. To my knowledge, this stuck money "feature" has never been part of the Safety PIN proposal and it is very unlikely that it would be included in any working version of the system. In fact, such a feature could considerably heighten the danger to the victim. If the money did become stuck during the transaction, the robber would then suspect that the victim had entered the PIN in reverse thereby alerting police and may then take violent retaliatory action against the victim.

To reiterate, although such technology exists, and legislation in some jurisdictions may eventually force their banks to begin using it, the system is NOT currently in use. Entering your PIN in reverse at an ATM will NOT call police and will only result in an "incorrect PIN" error message. Thus, this email contains dangerous misinformation and it should not be forwarded. If and when banks begin to install reverse PIN technology at ATMs it is sure to be well publicized. If your own bank begins using such a system, it will almost certainly let you know about it directly.