Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Put the cartoon on front page - Kalam to media

Put the cartoon back on the front page of newspapers and bring a smile to the face of the reader. This was President A P J Abdul Kalam's advice to the Indian media.

"On the first page, when you see a cartoon, it puts a smile on your face. The rest of the news is about things like rape, theft and killing. The man or the child or the woman is happy to see the cartoon. You must bring back the cartoon on the first page," Kalam said during an interaction with journalists. "A man or a woman should smile in the morning. Don't make him or her unhappy," he said.

The President recalled that as a young person, the first thing he would look at when he picked up a newspaper would be the cartoon on the front page. "What I loved on the first page was the cartoon," he said. Kalam said the editors might love political news, but people hate it.

The President also said media persons need to see beyond the capital for news. Delhi is not the only place where things are happening," he said.

As an example, he cited the case of Kali Bein river in Punjab that was cleaned with the people's efforts but has not received adequate publicity. "Yamuna is not the only river that is polluted," Kalam said

Article Source.. [PTI]

Friday, June 22, 2007

Citizen Kane tops in movie poll

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - "Citizen Kane," Orson Welles' powerful portrait of an unscrupulous media baron, beat back an assault from "The Godfather," on Wednesday to retain its title as the greatest American film.

Film critics, historians and experts voted "Kane" as the top U.S. film for the second time in a decade in a poll conducted by the American Film Institute. The results were revealed in a three-hour CBS special "100 Years, 100 Movies, 10th Anniversary Edition."

"The Godfather," which ranked third in the original poll of 100 great films a decade ago. moved up a notch to second place while "Casablanca" slipped to number three.

Also in the top 10 were a surprising "Raging Bull" at number four, up 20 places from a decade ago. "Singin' in the Rain" was in fifth place, "Gone With The Wind" was sixth followed by "Lawrence of Arabia," "Schindler's List," "Vertigo" and "The Wizard of Oz."

"Vertigo," the Hitchcock film starring James Stewart, rose to 9th place after placing 61st in the original poll.

"American film has always reflected and, in many respects, defined who we are," said AFI president and chief executive Jean Picker Firstenberg.

She credited the spreading popularity of the DVD with spurring interest in silent films and in often neglected masterpieces like John Ford's "The Searchers," which went from 96 on the original list to 12 this year.

For the first time, D.W. Griffith's silent masterpiece "Intolerance" was voted onto the list as was Buster Keaton's "The General" while Charlie Chaplin's poignant "City Lights" rose from 76 to 11 on the list.

But Griffith's racist 1915 film "Birth of a Nation" fell off the list entirely because of its now unpopular ideology, despite its history of technical innovations.

Of the 43 newly eligible films released from 1996 to 2006, only "Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring" (50), "Saving Private Ryan" (71), "Titanic" (83) and "The Sixth Sense" (89) made the cut.

Other new additions to the list include "Cabaret" (63), "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" (67), "The Shawshank Redemption" (72), "All The President's Men" (77), "Spartacus" (81) and "A Night at the Opera" (85).

Among those films that did not make the list were: "Fantasia," "Doctor Zhivago," "Birth of a Nation," "The Jazz Singer," My Fair Lady," "From Here to Eternity" and "An American in Paris."

AFI film historian Pat Hansen said it seemed that musicals took the biggest hit. "Musicals seemed out of favor and were replaced by more popular films like 'Titanic' and 'Saving Private Ryan'," she said.

Article Courtesy :
By Arthur Spiegelman Thu Jun 21, 2:09 AM ET

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Cuba’s ‘first lady’ dies at 77

By Marc Frank in Havana

Vilma Espin Guillois, the wife of Cuba’s acting president, and one of the country’s few remaining historic revolutionary figures, died in Havana on Monday at the age of 77, reportedly from cancer. She had not been seen in public for several years.

Espin, who had four children with Raúl Castro, is the most important Cuban political figure to pass away since Celia Sanchez, Fidel Castro’s confidant and advisor, died in the early 1980s and perhaps since Che Guevara perished in Bolivia in 1967.

A government statement declared Tuesday a day of mourning. Her cremated remains will be placed for public viewing at the Jose Marti monument in Havana’s Revolution square, before being taken to Santiago de Cuba where she fought.

A memorial service will take place on Tuesday night in Havana, which may be attended by Fidel Castro, not seen in public since undergoing various abdominal surgeries last year.

Espin’s death was sure to serve as a reminder to Cubans at home and abroad that the lives of the handful of remaining leaders of the Cuban revolution, including Fidel Castro, 80 and Raúl Castro, 76, are coming to an end, and with them a unique and controversial epoch in the Caribbean island’s history.

Fidel Castro temporarily ceded power to his brother on July 31 when he underwent the first of several intestinal surgeries. He has yet to return to power or be seen in public though he has become more active in recent months, writing opinion pieces for the government media and holding longer and more frequent meetings with foreign guests.

Espin often represented Cuba abroad. She attended international women’s conferences and summits attended by Fidel Castro, where the wives of participating heads of state also gathered. She had suffered from cancer for a number of years.

The daughter of a wealthy family from eastern Santiago de Cuba, Espin was a chemical engineer who spent a year at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology before becoming a leader of the underground in 1956 during the right-wing dictatorship of Fulgencio Batista.

Ms Espin joined the Castro brothers in the mountains in the late 1950s, becoming Raul Castro’s fiancée and one of the first woman guerilla fighters in the final push that brought Mr Batista down in 1959. She married Raúl Castro a few months later and they had four daughters, all currently living in Cuba.

She was one of few people who have held Fidel Castro’s confidence over the years, providing him with unconditional public support through all the twists and turns of his rule. He named her head of the women’s federation in 1960. She was a member of the Communist party central committee from its founding in 1965 until her death, and served on the Politburo from 1980 -1991.

But it was as the leader of the women’s federation for decades that Espin made her mark, organising women to both support the Castro government and push for equality without breaking “revolutionary unity,” a difficult task in a machista society.

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2007

Blackstone's IPO: Top Sign?

Our friend Andy Kessler, once a hugely successful hedge-fund manager himself, thinks so.

He has written recently a piece in Wall Street Journal, that is quite a scorcher !

Juicy quotes:
  • The dirty secret is that private equity investors aren't all that good
  • Don't mistake financial engineering for company building.
  • Borrowers chasing yield tend to forget about risk.
  • Ten-year bonds have been backing up, with yields approaching 5.25%.
  • This surely means money supply growth is slowing.
  • No one can call a top, but there sure are signs of fatigue..
  • Lenders are feeling stretched and may dry up their pit of funding.

Elsewhere, Kessler says a one-day, 1,000-point drop in the Dow would not surprise him.

Is such a hiccup imminent?

Does Blackstone's IPO signal the top of the private equity boom?

Public equities, too?

By Rich Karlgurd, from Forbes.com

Media rights bodies condemn Sri Lanka net censorship

Sri Lanka's top media rights body has condemned a statement by a minister who made remarks about hacking a Tamil news website which was blocked by at least two of the country's top telecom firms, reportedly on government orders.

The Free Media Movement said Minister Keheliya Rambukwella's statement that he would love to hire hackers to use against Tamilnet, a pro-guerilla website at the centre of the controversy put at him cross purposes with the country's computer crimes bill.

Meanwhile the international media rights watchdog Reporters without Borders (RSF) also condemned the blocking of the internet site and called for it to be lifted.

"The government must put a stop to this censorship and restore access to the site at once," RSF said.

RSF said the site has often been accused of supporting Tamil nationalists. Its editor, Sivaram Dharmaratnam, was murdered on April 28, 2005.

The full statement is reproduced below: The Free Media Movement (FMM) unequivocally condemns the outrageous statement by Minister Keheliya Rambukwella, as reported by the BBC's Sinhala Service and by AFP today, that he would love to hire hackers to disable Tamilnet, but had not found anyone yet for the job.

Minister Rambukwella's statement is tantamount to Government sanctioned cyber-terrorism against websites that do not toe its line.

The reference to the use of hackers to shut down websites is a strategy that offensively transgresses the responsibility to protect fundamental rights of citizens, including the freedom of expression and the right to information, by a Government Minister.

The Minister's statement also puts him at cross purposes with the Computer Crimes Bill enacted in Sri Lanka earlier this year, holding him culpable under the law for attempting to hack into a website with the intent to cause disruption.

The FMM seeks urgent clarification from the Government as to whether Minister Rambukwella's comments are indicative of official Government policy to shutdown, disrupt or censor content and websites on the Internet.

If not, the FMM seeks a full retraction from the Minister and reiterates that the Government must immediately unblock access to Tamilnet in Sri Lanka.

Article Contribution : ZESTMedia

Members of the ZESTMedia list exchange news and views about the media in Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Maldives and Bhutan.

Friday, June 15, 2007

News Bloopers


Hope we have more.....lends a flavor and originality to the media...... instead of the overstuffed subliminalism........

Monday, June 11, 2007

A healthy limit of insanity

How to Maintain a Healthy Level of Insanity in the Workplace
1) Page yourself over the intercom. Don't disguise your voice.

2) Find out where your boss shops and buy exactly the same outfits. Wear them one day after you boss does. This is especially effective if your boss is a different gender.

3) Make up nicknames for all your coworkers and refer to them only by these names. "That's a good point, Sparky." "No, I'm sorry, but I'm going to have to disagree with you there, Cha-cha."

4) Send e-mail to the rest of the company telling them exactly what you're doing. For example: "If anyone needs me, I'll be in the bathroom."

5) Hi-Lite your shoes. Tell people you haven't lost them as much since you did this.

6) While sitting at your desk, soak your fingers in Palmolive liquid. Call everyone Madge.

7) Hang mosquito netting around your cubicle. When you emerge to get coffee or a printout or whatever, slap yourself randomly the whole way.

8) Put a chair facing a printer. Sit there all day and tell people you're waiting for your document_

9) Every time someone asks you to do something, anything, ask them if they want fries with that.

10) Send e-mail back and forth to yourself engaging yourself in an intellectual debate. Forward the mail to a co-worker and ask her to settle the disagreement.

11) Encourage your colleagues to join you in a little synchronized chair-dancing.

12) Put your trash can on your desk. Label it "IN."

13) Feign an unnatural and hysterical fear of staplers.

14) Send e-mail messages saying there's free pizza or donuts or cake in the lunch room. When people drift back to work complaining that they found none, lean back, pat your stomach and say, "Oh you've got to be faster than that."

15) Put decaf in the coffee maker for three weeks. Once everyone has withdrawn from caffeine addiction, switch to espresso