Pakistani actress Meera wants to sort out issues with "Bhadaas" producer-director Ajay Yadav who had reportedly filed a case of non-cooperation against her when she refused to dub for the psychological thriller. Keen to kiss and make up, she is here for the film's promotion. "There was some misunderstanding and I had informed the director earlier that I can't be here in May as I had other commitments. I want to solve the court issues and want to stay away from it," Meera, who made her Bollywood debut with Soni Razdan's 2005 movie "Nazar", told IANS. Produced under the banner of Serene Films, "Bhadaas" has Meera in the lead role and it also features Aryeman Ramse, Ahsutosh Kaushik, Shree Rajput, Ananth Mahadevan, Rudra Kaushish, Mohini Neelkanth and Mushtaq Khan. "It was only date issues and nothing more than that. I spoke to him over phone and said let's sort this out and I am here for the promotions," she informed. She says she was "a bit sad" when "I got to know that in my absence, the dubbing was done by someone else. I respect the Indian law and order and I have requested Ajay to take the case back," she added.
You expect this leggy beauty from B-Town to be perky and energetic practically every time you speak to her. The lady hasn’t changed one bit since her debut film Om Shanti Om. She may have done a male oriented Chandni Chowk To China in the interim or delivered a career defining performance in Cocktail. However, the spunk in her voice and the love for movies have been uniform throughout. This is evidenced all over again as we get chatting with her about finally entering the ` 100 crore club with Race 2, enjoying a consistent run at the movies for over half a decade, being single and reuniting with her ‘first hero’ Shah Rukh Khan in Chennai Express. Presenting the uncensored Bollywood diva Deepika Padukone… For Deepika, the race to the ` 100 crore line wasn’t without hiccups. “Brand Race is big enough, you can’t ignore that,” interrupts Deepika. Even as the film was minting money in the opening weekend, average reviews and mixed word-of-mouth meant that there were some scares thrown in its journey. But fortune favoured and eventually, in two weeks, the film crossed the ` 100 crore mark. “I’d like to believe that it was the content that worked. Of course it came under scrutiny, but then the audience gave it a green signal and this is what matters eventually, isn’t it? In times when you don’t even give one chance to a film, if people went for it the second time over, then definitely there was something going in its favour. Moreover, there was also a lot of expectation right from the time the project was announced. As a team, we were sure that we had a winner in our hands.” While this pretty much sounds like a controlled and a copy book explanation, one can sense that she is being humble enough by not acknowledging the kind of contribution she ended up making to the success of the sequel. After all, she was hot enough to bring in the audience and her ‘party girl’ image coupled with the fact that she was plastered all over in the film’s promotions (despite it being primarily an all-men affair) was a reason good enough for the audience to step in. “I can’t say that, it would sound pompous,” she laughs. “Well, I am glad that people have appreciated not just the film, but also my contribution, both from the look and performance perspective. If some people out there say that they thought of me after the film was over, that is indeed something. I would like to cherish such compliments. In a sense it was also taking forward those expectations that people had in me since Cocktail.” But after working in films where she has been playing the female lead, didn’t she reconsider to be a part of a multi star cast film? After all, unlike Cocktail, this wasn’t one film where she was in every frame right from start to the finish. Didn’t that worry her while doing the film or after she saw the final cut? “No, it didn’t worry me at all,” pat comes the reply. “Because in certain films, you need team effort and success wouldn’t have been possible had there been focus on only one or two people. Race 2 is the kind of film that requires girls to be glamorous and look their best. This is what I had to do by being extremely stylish and well presented. From that perspective, it all worked well for me,” says Deepika. She could well be thanking her stars that she eventually did Race 2 after opting out of it once. Enough mudslinging happened between producer Ramesh Taurani and her before she finally decided to stay back in the film. Eventually, everything worked in her favour, what with the film turning out to be a success for her. “I have always believed that since the film was in my destiny, I was part of it. I am glad that everything worked out and I am a part of this year’s first big success. In fact, I thank everyone for giving me this film,” says Deepika. In the process, the film has also turned out to be her biggest grosser since her debut flick Om Shanti Om that had collected close to ` 80 crores back then. “Commercially speaking, Race 2 has been my biggest till date though as an actor, I have also gained a lot from Love Aaj Kal and Cocktail,” she says, “Honestly, ` 100 crores and talks around that aren’t something that I think of. In fact, it actually strikes me only when people SMS me stating that my film has done so and so business. Otherwise I am not consciously fretting over numbers. Yes, it is great that Race 2 has got into the ` 100 crore club, but if you ask me, I don’t want to be associated with the ` 100 crore tag!” Well, she may or may not be saying that, but deep down her heart she would well be knowing that in the months to come, she would have at least a couple of more ` 100 crore films to her name before the year comes to an end. A film which is the hottest contender for this fate is Chennai Express where she has the advantage of not just being the solo heroine, but also be paired opposite none other than Shah Rukh Khan. So can the audience expect a ‘dhamaal’ non-stop fun entertainer here? “You can say so,” she says, “It’s great to be with Shah Rukh again. He had always said that whenever he and I had to come together again, it had to be much more special than our first film since there is always that kind of expectation when a hit pairing comes together.
Exactly a week after her father's demise, Priyanka Chopra started filming her next, at a studio in Goregaon (West). The actress placed a picture of the late Dr Ashok Chopra, in his army uniform, at the mahurat puja. She was accompanied by her mother, Dr Madhu Chopra, and a few close family members. Priyanka got emotional, but regained composure when her mother comforted her. Incidentally, June 17 was also her mother's birthday. After the puja, the actress, clad in a blue jersey and red shorts, began shooting the film with a boxing ring scene, fighting a US boxer. Initially, PC was to train under Lucia Rijker, who had trained Hilary Swank in the Hollywood film, Million Dollar Baby. But as she was unwell, Christy Halbert, Team USA's assistant coach, was roped in.
Ever since Jiah Khan committed suicide, and Suraj Pancholi landed in the eye of a storm, a bitter battle has erupted between the two aggrieved mothers. On one hand, Rabia Khan has been gathering evidence to build a strong case against the Pancholi family, on the other, Suraj's mother, Zarina Wahab, has been fighting tooth and nail to insulate her son from surging public outrage. And now, TOI has obtained copies of Jiah's 'last letter' and a set of five love letters that she wrote to Suraj during their ill-fated affair. The findings seem to suggest that the handwritings do not match. A senior police officer (on request of anonymity) from Juhu Police Station said, "If you look at the letters which were at Jiah and Suraj's house, you get a feeling that something is definitely not all right. However, it will be wrong to say anything emphatically until we get a confirmation from forensic experts." To solve the mystery of the mismatched handwriting, cops have now asked for answer sheets and bank forms filled by the late actor. When contacted, Zarina said, "Yes, I am aware that the handwritings look different in the two sets. I think Rabia did not account for the fact that her daughter wrote love letters to my son. She was living under the impression that she only called and texted him. The truth will be out very soon." Added Zarina, "I have faith in God. Once forensic experts say emphatically that the letter, which Rabia handed over to the police, was not written by Jiah, I shall take legal action against that woman. But let me add that I shall consult my lawyers in detail before taking any step. I shall not do anything undignified and unjustified."
Sonakshi Sinha is in two minds if she likes being labelled a lucky mascot. "It's a tag that has been given to me by the media and it's temporary," she says, adding, "Luckily however, my efforts have not been undermined. Also, at the end of the day, I don't think being called a lucky mascot is a negative thing. No one is saying, 'Sona can't act,' are they?" She may have a point there. But she is also making heads turn with her subtle '50s look in her upcoming film Lootera, which the 26-year-old credits to the film's research unit headed by director Vikramaditya Motwane. "A lot of research has gone into the film, not just the yesteryear look but the entire set, locations, costumes - attention was paid to the smallest detail," she says. A lot work has also been put into her expressions, she says. "There are several scenes in Lootera, especially romantic ones, where a lot had to be said through my eyes," says the actress, who proudly credits her good genes for what she says is the blessing of an 'expressive face'. Sonakshi claims there were enough and more people who tried to dissuade her from taking up the role in which she plays a Bengal zamindar's daughter deeply in love with a man who has his secrets. "Usually when I read a script, I imagine someone else playing the character, but not in this one," says the actress. "When Vikramaditya narrated the story to me, I could only imagine myself playing Pakhi (the female lead). I fell in love with the character and when more and more people started doubting my decision, I took it as a challenge, ab toh karke rahungi."
Alec Baldwin was barred from using a VIP bathroom at Nathan Lane's Tony-winning show, "The Nance," last week while his pregnant wife used the same facility. Sources have revealed that during the intermission, Hilaria, was allowed to use a special restroom at the side of the theater but Baldwin was told to use the toilet downstairs with the rest of the audience, the New York Post reported. The sources explained that the '30 Rock' star was stopped by security and told that he couldn't use that bathroom, which was for employees. The 55-year-old actor was heard joking to his wife and friends in the lobby that he thinks that he is not famous enough. A theater source told the publication that it was a handicapped restroom and Hilaria was allowed to go because of her pregnancy. Sources have reported that Baldwin headed to the public johns, where he had to wait in a massive queue with everyone staring at him. The actor tried to ignore them and focused on his cell phone.
Some two decades ago, Hollywood soothsayers had hazarded a guess: intimate dramas would become rare, comedies would continue at an even pace and mega-budget fantasies about messiahs endowed with unimaginable powers would become the predominant genre. It would seem that they were absolutely correct, since disaster spectaculars have ushered in an era of super-heroes intent on saving the world, as we know it, from immediate extinction. In the ongoing comic strips-to-film boom Superman Krypto-blasts back on to the big screen after a hiatus of seven years. A mix of effects-driven spectacle and visual razzmatazz, Man Of Steel is an overblown origin story. Thankfully, the crusader in the scarlet cape retains his extraordinary abilities. Faster than a speeding bullet, he can leap over wide expanses in a single bound and even shoot laser beams from his eyes. An exceedingly lengthy prologue set on Krypton depicts the planet as a dystopia seething with danger and decay. Evidently influenced by the Batman trilogy of Christopher Nolan (who serves as producer here), director Snyder (Watchmen) strives in vain to get the viewer to invest emotionally in the human-scale drama. The tonally erratic screenplay merely skims the surface of the source comics’ mythology. As usual, Superman struggles to keep his identity hidden from the earthlings around him. The dilemma of reconciling his inner turmoil with the responsibilities thrust upon him is resolved in a rather pat manner. Unspooling a slew of pulpy action set pieces the latest installment of the franchise which has limped to diminishing audience interest since the first feature back in 1978, charts the nomadic earth-bound life of the heroic alien via a chronologically-jumbled narrative. Undecided at first, the mightiest of heroes learns in due course to harness his legacy in order to protect mankind. A plot ploy introduces an all-new nemesis (Michael Shannon) who must be vanquished before it’s too late. The movie springs into belated flight during the ferocious finale. The body count would turn mayhem-meisters Roland Emmerich and Michael Bay green with envy. Besides some blatant product placements, there are none-too-subtle allusions to the 9/11 devastation.
Art of Living founder Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and prominent sitar player would hold a live event titled “Face2Face” on Facebook which would be a unique initiative of converting Facebook into a tool for meaningful dialogue for transformation. The event would take place between 7:30pm and 9pm on June 23. Participants would “Like” the page across the globe, as a way of supporting Ravi Shankar’s vision of creating a violence-free, stress-free society. The idea is to make a global connection of responsible citizens, mainly youth who are willing to play their role for peace and harmony. This is not the first time that Sri Sri is using social media to share and spread his vision for a “One World Family”. On January 26 this year, he used Google HangOut’s platform to reach out to millions across the globe with his call for volunteering for a better society. Face2Face is being described as one of biggest online gatherings to draw civil society members, artists, sportsmen, journalists and policy makers from countries like Oman, Taiwan, Paraguay, Zimbabwe, Slovenia, USA, Italy, Germany, Sweden, Argentina, Israel, India and Pakistan. “Technology has shrunk the world into a global village and spirituality will turn it into a global family,” Sri Sri often says highlighting the synergy between technology and spirituality. He is now making it happen by providing people in the technological space with a platform to participate in the spiritual pursuit of building a stress-free and violence-free world. “If we can get rid of the stress and anxiety, then the dream of a one world family is not far away,” he had remarked during the Google Hangout event. "Social media such as Facebook are a very effective medium for connecting with the youth. The efficacy of such media would be enhanced when it's used by influential people like Sri Sri to energise them for a good cause. Youth all over the world are restless to make their voices heard and do something to better the world, but often their energy ebbs, as there is no sense of direction. This Facebook event will help them find their own ways and means to contribute in building a better society. It will make them feel empowered," explained Art of Living Media Rep Uzair Khan. During the Facebook event, Sri Sri will answer questions from div topics of interest. The event will have four segments -- Sri Sri's personal life, Success and Creativity, Global Issues and Love and Relationships. Each segment will be peppered with interesting anecdotes, cartoon strips, video clips, etc. The event will also include an online-guided meditation, which is expected to be joined in by over 1 million people worldwide. Participants can post their questions on the event page in Facebook, on the Art of Living website, or on Twitter with the hashtag #Ask SriSri. The best questions will be selected and grouped by a panel based on an online poll for the questions.
Speculation abounds that Facebook Thursday will unveil tools to enable its popular Instagram app to take and share short videos. Though analysts say Facebook offered no pre-briefings about the announcement, those interviewed for this story agree that the new offering will likely be mobile-focused Most of those predict Facebook will be unveiling an upgrade to Instagram. "I hope it is something around mobile because Facebook lost a lot of credibility after the failed Facebook Home release," said Patrick Moorhead, an analyst at Moor Insights & Strategy. "Additionally, Twitter's Vine video feature is getting a lot of attention lately, so a Vine knock-off could be in order." Last Friday, news hit that Facebook was inviting reporters to a product announcement on June 20 at its Menlo Park, Calif. offices. "A small team has been working on a new idea," the invitation reads. "Join us for coffee and learn about a new product." There was no hint of the product to be announced. The secrecy and speculation around the announcement largely mirrors the hubbub that built up before Facebook unveiled Home, its Android launcher and app family, this past April. Before the April announcement, some analysts had expected the company to release its own smartphone. That was not the case. Now the expert speculation is focused a video feature for Instagram, the social network's photo-sharing app. If true, Facebook would be taking a page from social rival Twitter, which in January launched Vine, a service that lets mobile users capture and share short, looping videos. Each video only lasts six seconds or less. Vine was initially only available as a free download for the Apple iPhone and the iPod Touch. Earlier this month, Twitter added Android to the list. Last week, Facebook announced that it was enabling hashtags on its site, also comparable to Twitter capabilities. Brian Blau, an analyst with Gartner, Inc., said Facebook's announcement today must be a homerun. "In terms of what would help Facebook, clearly they are focused on mobile so whatever they announce will not only be social at its core but will also have a significant focus on the mobile experience," he said, noting that Home has been widely panned. "Given the recent product launch troubles, I feel Facebook does need to turn things around. They need to not only improve these recent product launches that are not doing well, but they also need to have some winners too, and having a good launch this week would really help them in terms of keeping users happy," Blau said. Rob Enderle, an analyst with the Enderle Group, said an announcement that Facebook is adding a video feature for Instagram may not be enough to boost the firm's standing. Moorhead said Facebook could use a number of mobile-focused apps or features, such as a local app that encourages people to check in to local restaurants or stores. Facebook also could use a Vine-like feature, he added. "Facebook has a lot of ground to make up and if they announce something awesome, past failure will be forgotten quickly," he added.
Vivek Oberoi feels women keen to empower themselves and be successful should take inspiration from actress Vidya Balan, who has set an example for others with her journey. Vidya's career graph has been interesting - after making an impressive Bollywood debut with period love story Parineeta in 2005, she made an unsuccessful transition to glamorous roles with Heyy Babyy and Kismat Konnection. She was declared down and out. But Vidya bounced back with 2009 film Paa and after there was no looking back for her as she etched out variety of roles on the big screen in Ishqiya, No One Killed Jessica, The Dirty Picture (2011) and Kahaani (2012) with aplomb. All these films were commercially successful and critically acclaimed. "Have you heard of Vidya Balan? She is the answer. She is such a phenomenon. She chose that path and that's why I admire her," Vivek told reporters at the Arts in Motion Studio's annual show Dance With Joy aimed at creating awareness amongst women about equality, dogmas and outdated urban attitudes. "She decided that I don't want to be everybody else, I want to be me and I want to do it my way," he added. Yuva and Saathiya fame actor feels that Vidya has achieved such an stature with successes that she could be easily tagged as Vidya Balan Khan. "People were like - will she (Vidya) be able to do or not? But she has done it, she has proved it," said the 36-year-old. "Now you should call her Vidya Balan Khan because she is creating the numbers that people have never seen before. Hats off to her," he added. "If a woman wants to do something, she can do anything," Vivek said. Meanwhile, the actor is happy that attitude towards women and girls is changing even in rural areas now. "In the last six years I have seen a lot of changes. Villagers, who earlier were of the opinion that what's the need for girls to study - now they want them to study, to become independent. So, that is more important," said Vivek, who has been associated with a lot of other social causes. Emphasising on the social and economic independence of girls, he said: "The economic and social independence of girls is very important. There is a need to empower them, both socially and economically."
NASA's Mars rover Curiosity, which for almost a year has been driving across the Red Planet, will be the next model to roll off LEGO's CUUSOO production line, the toy company announced Friday, June 14. The Denmark-based LEGO Group chose a fan-built model of the car-size rover to be the next release in its CUUSOO line of building brick toys. "We learned that this product has niche appeal and strong demand from the space and education communities," said LEGO's Tim Courtney in a blog posted to the company's website. "The product aligns well with the LEGO Group's mission to 'inspire and develop the builders of tomorrow,' including those who will build our future in outer space." CUUSOO, which in Japanese means "imagination" or, as it is sometimes translated, "wish," is a website that invites LEGO fans to share their ideas for new products. Visitors to the website can vote for their favourite model concepts to be considered for the next LEGO CUUSOO set. Fan-submitted models need to collect 10,000 votes before they are reviewed for potential release. The Curiosity rover model qualified in August 2012, just weeks after the real six-wheeled spacecraft landed inside Gale Crater on Mars. Stephen Pakbaz, who goes by the username "Perijove" on the CUUSOO website, uploaded his idea for the LEGO version of the rover before Curiosity launched to Marsin November 2011. A mechanical engineer, Pakbaz worked at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., where he was involved in some of the design and testing of the real spacecraft. "He built the rover and submitted the project to further the educational outreach of the rover's incredible mission and to inspire further public support for space exploration," Courtney said in a video statement that accompanied his blog posting. "My hope was to have a set produced while the real rover was still active on Mars so that the model could help kids learn about the real rover's discoveries as they occurred," Pakbaz told collectSPACE.com in an interview last year. Curiosity, which NASA also refers to as the Mars Science Laboratory, just finished investigations in an area smaller than a football field where it had been working for the past six months. It will soon shift to its distance-driving mode to head for the base of Mount Sharp at the centre of Gale Crater. The roughly 5-mile (8 kilometres) trip to the mountain is expected to take about a year. That should give LEGO the time it needs to produce and release Pakbaz's model, though when it will become available remains to be seen. "The final product is still in development," Courtney wrote. "Exact pricing and availability is still being determined, so stay tuned." "We will share that information as soon as we can," he added.
A 12-year-old girl arrived at the hospital wracked with abdominal pain. Doctors diagnosed her with acute pancreatitis, in which pancreatic enzymes begin digesting not just food, but the pancreas itself. The most likely cause of the girl's condition: toxic side effects from more than 80 dietary supplements, which the girl's mother carried in a shopping bag, says Sarah Erush, clinical pharmacy manager at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, where the girl was treated last summer. The girl's mother had been treating her with the supplements and other therapies for four years to treat the girl's "chronic Lyme disease," a condition that, experts say, doesn't actually exist. While some Lyme infections cause pain and other lingering symptoms, the infections don't persist for years. And, according to the Infectious Disease Society of America, the infections don't require years of antibiotics or other risky therapies given by some alternative medicine practitioners. Doctors were able to control the girl's illness with standard therapies, Erush says, and she was discharged from the hospital after two weeks. Although the child's story was unforgettable, Erush says, it wasn't unusual. Parents now "routinely" bring children to her hospital with a variety of alternative remedies, hoping that nurses will administer them during a child's stay. There are an ever-growing number of supplements from which to choose: More than 54,000 varieties sold in stores and the Internet, according to the Food and Drug Administration. About 50% of Americans use alternative medicine, and 10% use it on their children, notes Paul Offit, Children's Hospital's chief of infectious disease. The girl's story illustrates the serious but often little-known risks posed by some forms of alternative medicine, a loosely regulated industry that includes everything from herbal supplements to crystal healing and acupuncture, says Offit, author of Do You Believe in Magic? The Sense and Nonsense of Alternative Medicine, (HarperCollins, $29.99), being published Tuesday. Many consumers view alternative medicine industry as more altruistic and home-spun than Big Pharma. But in his book, Offit paints a picture of an aggressive, $34 billion a year industry whose key players are adept at using lawsuits, lobbyists and legislation to protect their market. "It's a big business," says Offit, best known for developing a vaccine against rotavirus, a diarrheal illness that killed 2,000 people each day, mostly children in the developing world. "This is not just Mom and Pop selling herbs at the farmer's market," says Josephine Briggs, a physician and director of the National Center on Complementary and Alternative Medicine, part of the National Institutes of Health, who shares Offit's concerns. Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., who has long fought for stricter regulation of supplements, says the alternative medicine industry is "as tough as any industry I've seen lobby in Washington. They have a lot of money at stake. They want to maximize their profits and they want as little regulation as possible." There's even a Congressional Dietary Supplement Caucus, composed of legislators who look favourably on the industry.
Eating more red meat over time is associated with an increased risk of type-2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), according to a new study. An Pan, Ph.D., of the National University of Singapore, and colleagues analyzed data from three Harvard group studies and followed up 26,357 men in the Health Professionals Follow-up Study; 48,709 women in the Nurses' Health Study; and 74,077 women in the Nurses'' Health Study II. Diets were assessed using food frequency questionnaires. During more than 1.9 million person-years of follow-up, researchers documented 7,540 incident cases of T2DM. The study found that increasing red meat intake during a four-year interval was associated with an elevated risk of T2DM during the subsequent four years in each cohort. The results indicate that compared with a group with no change in red meat intake, increasing red meat intake of more than 0.50 servings per day was associated with a 48 percent elevated risk in the subsequent four-year period. Reducing red meat consumption by more than 0.50 servings per day from baseline to the first four years of follow-up was associated with a 14 percent lower risk during the subsequent entire follow-up.