The statistics for the project are absolutely staggering; floor area alone will be four times the size of Pentagon in Washington DC. The incredible 1500 ft. tall multi use structure will feature 900 apartments, 3000 hotel rooms, an international school for 500 students, cinemas, a theater, sports complex and much more. There will also be a 16,500 space underground parking lot for all the visitors. The Crystal Island visitors will be able to enjoy panoramic views of Moscow on the viewing platforms located 980 ft. above ground.And as we’d expect from Foster + Partners, this soon-to-be world’s biggest building will also incorporate a number of sustainable design features into the overall scheme. The exterior facade will be solar responsive and will include solar panels which, along with wind turbines, will generate electricity for the huge tower. Natural ventilation will be provided thanks to numerous strategically placed large atriums. The internal environment will also have dynamic enclosure panels slotted into the structural framing that will allow daylight to penetrate deep into the heart of the structure; the panels will also be controlled to modify temperature inside the building – closed in winter for extra warmth and opened in summer to allow natural ventilation. Energy management is at the heart of this structure, several on-site renewable and low-carbon energy generation projects are planned
Wednesday, December 26, 2007
NEW YORK -- The New England Patriots' shot at history Saturday night will be available for every household in the country with a television after months of wrangling.
The game against the New York Giants, in which the Patriots could become the first NFL team to go 16-0 in the regular season, was originally scheduled to be shown only on the NFL Network, which is available in fewer than 40 percent of the nation's homes with TVs.
But the league announced Wednesday that the NFL Network feed will be simulcast on NBC and CBS. It's a major concession by league officials, who repeatedly said they would not show the game anywhere but the NFL Network. The NFL had faced mounting pressure from politicians in recent weeks to make the game available to more viewers.
This will be the first three-network simulcast in NFL history and the first simulcast of any kind of an NFL game since the first Super Bowl in 1967, when CBS and NBC both televised the first meeting of the champions of the newly merged National Football League and American Football League.
Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press
Posted by gjblass at 5:56 PM
Watch as these guys practice the Filipino...
fighting skills of Kombotan, where the
contenders are blind-folded. The outcomes are
unpredictable when you don't rely on your eyes!
Posted by gjblass at 5:46 PM
December 24, 2007
by Alex Billington
No one really has enough time (or money) to see every movie released every year, but shamefully too many great films are left in the dust. Sure, maybe you'll see a couple of those indies that are making the rounds on the year-end top ten lists, but even those critics missed a few good ones. This is about those movies that were phenomenal yet hardly anyone saw, so now we're giving them one final moment in the spotlight. I want to encourage you to maybe stop and ponder the next time you come across one of these and wonder why you didn't catch one in theaters - because they were worth that ticket price, guaranteed. If anything, you'll at least discover something new and something great from this list.
If you spent the few hours it would take to watch even one of these movies mentioned, it would mean that much more to the filmmakers. This isn't about getting kudos for mentioning certain films, this is about pointing out those movies that don't deserve to be forgotten and are begging to be watched.
Across the Universe
Opened September 14th, 2007
Directed by Julie Taymor
A dock worker Jude travels to America in the 1960s to find his estranged father. There he falls in love with sheltered American teenager Lucy. When her brother Max is drafted to fight in the Vietnam War, they become involved in peace activism.
Why it's Great: This Beatles-infused musical features over 30 Beatles songs modernized and sung beautifully right into the story by an immensely talented cast. It wasn't the greatest film - it got hacked to pieces in editing - but the songs and a great love story combined with some profoundly unique visuals make it one of the most memorable films this year that shouldn't have been missed.
Air Guitar Nation
Opened March 23rd, 2007
Directed by Alexandra Lipsitz
Air Guitar Nation chronicles the birth of the US Air Guitar Championships and the personal journeys of those talented contestants who are vying to become the first World Air Guitar Champion from the United States.
Why it's Great: We've all had that moment - dancing around our house in our undies rocking out to some old school rock and roll. It is those moments of glory that spawned the worldwide sport of Air Guitar, the subject of Alexandra Lipsitz’ fast paced, energetic and deeply respectful documentary. Showing off the silliness and the seriousness of the sport, this documentary left audiences both in stitches and filled with great respect for these wannabe rockers.
Opened May 25th, 2007
Directed by Luc Besson
A beautiful woman helps an inept scam artist get his game together.
Why it's Great: Despite being in black & white (which this actually uses to its advantage), it's a fantastic morality tale about a down-on-his-luck guy who thinks he meets his lucky ticket but eventually discovers she is helping him get on the right track. It's not overflowing with visuals, besides the gorgeous streets of Paris, instead it focuses on the story and morals at hand. I came out of this a much better person and realized that it's yet another wonderfully cinematic film from Fifth Element director Luc Besson that sadly not enough people have discovered.
The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford
Opened September 21st, 2007
Directed by Andrew Dominik
Robert Ford, who's idolized Jesse James since childhood, tries hard to join the gang of the Missouri outlaw, but gradually becomes resentful of the bandit leader.
Why it's Great: One of the most gorgeous looking films of the entire year, The Assassination of Jesse James is an absolute masterpiece with critically acclaimed cinematography and some of the best performances in any movie. Despite it's epic length and mediocre reviews, you'll find yourself drawn into the detailed world of the old west and won't be ready to let go of the story until that final moment. Even if you're not a fan of westerns, this is still a phenomenal film that shouldn't be passed by without a second glance.
Death at a Funeral
Opened August 17th, 2007
Directed by Frank Oz
Chaos ensues when a man tries to expose a dark secret regarding a recently deceased patriarch of a dysfunctional British family.
Why it's Great: The funniest farce and best British humor you'll see in a movie in years. Death at a Funeral takes us back to Frank Oz’ comedic roots with a great film that builds momentum as time goes on and turns a typically morbid event into the most hilarious mishap ever. Fans of "Firefly" star Alan Tudyk won't be able to stop laughing once he's on the drugs - and it never lets up, it only gets better and better as the story goes on.
Opened August 15th, 2007
Directed by Tom DiCillo
An offbeat drama focused on a homeless youth, a pop music siren and a member of the paparazzi.
Why it's Great: A little indie comedy that has so much warmth found amidst some solid comedy. The more I watched this the more I started to appreciate both Michael Pitt and Steve Buscemi's performances and their story within. The final scene with Buscemi on the red carpet is still one of my favorites. This is such a happy-go-lucky comedic gem that many people will appreciate and enjoy, but it never got traction enough to make it to the mainstream
Everything's Gone Green
Opened April 13th, 2007
Directed by Paul Fox
Ryan, a good-natured slacker, is tempted into a money laundering scheme while working for a lottery magazine. A capitalistic comedy that asks the question - when is "enough" enough?
Why it's Great: A Canadian indie comedy about everything from money to marijuana. It's not about how over-the-top it can get nor is it a stoner comedy, it's an incredibly smart drama with some great comedic moments all lead by one of the finest up-and-coming actors of this generation - Paulo Costanzo. This is such a "chill" and down-to-earth film that I've suggested it to more of my friends than almost anything else.
Opened July 6th, 2007
Directed by Andrew Currie
Timmy Robinson's best friend in the whole wide world is a six-foot tall rotting zombie named Fido. But when Fido eats the next-door neighbor, Mom and Dad hit the roof, and Timmy has to go to the ends of the earth to keep Fido a part of the family.
Why it's Great: This is as hilarious and as awesome of a take on the zombie genre as Shaun of the Dead. Once you actually see it you'll know why it deserves a spot in your collection next to Shaun of the Dead. It's smart, it's funny, it's got a great cast, and to top it off, director Andrew Currie pays such close attention to detail that every scene looks lush and vivid. I don't know anyone who saw it who didn't end up loving it.
Directed by Martin Hynes
When his mother dies, a teenager takes a road-trip in a stolen car to find his long-lost brother. Along the way he discovers a profound connection with the car-owner and with himself as well.
Why it's Great: Although this was never actually picked up by a distributor after its debut at Sundance in January, I still haven't forgotten it. The best road trip movie I think I've ever seen with a great soundtrack and an unforgettable, and often funny, plot. This should've been in theaters this year and it's likely that if it would've made it out it probably would have become a cult hit by now.
Gone Baby Gone
Opened October 19th, 2007
Directed by Ben Affleck
Based on the Dennis Lehane novel about two Boston area detectives investigating a little girl's kidnapping, which ultimately turns into a crisis both professionally and personally.
Why it's Great: It had a poor run at the box office and yet was one of, if not the, best movie of the year. Not only are Casey Affleck and Ed Harris awards-worthy, but the plot has so many perfectly executed emotional twists and turns that I was very moved at the end. Don't be fooled, Ben Affleck is an immensely talented director who has succeeded brilliantly with his first feature film.
Opened April 6th, 2007
Directed by Robert Rodriguez & Quentin Tarantino
Two full length feature horror movies written by Quentin Tarantino & Robert Rodriguez put together as a two film feature. Including fake movie trailers in between both movies.
Why it's Great: I'm not sure how so many people missed this set of two of the best movies the year. Planet Terror is quite grotesque yet a finely crafted small-town zombie fiasco directed by Sin City's Robert Rodriguez. Death Proof contains not only Kurt Russell's greatest performance, but the best car chase ever filmed, hands down. Forget the length, watch each individually and you'll still find they're equally awesome. The best experience I've had at the movies my entire life.
Opened March 9th, 2007
Directed by Bong Joon-ho
A monster emerges from Seoul's Han River and focuses its attention on attacking people.
Why it's Great: Subtitled or not, The Host is one of the most gripping films of the entire year. Forget about Cloverfield, this is what a monster movie should be - a huge slimy sea monster created by American ignorance that terrorizes Seoul. It's at times ridiculous, at others intensely scary but always entertaining. There is no other movie that redefined its genre the way The Host gave a makeover to the monster movie in '07.
Opened July 13th, 2007
Directed by Steve Buscemi
After falling out with his editor, a fading political journalist is forced to interview America's most popular soap actress.
Why it's Great: If you truly appreciate independent film, then there's no way you won't find something incredible in Interview. It's a two-person back-and-forth interview piece without a moment of boredom. I never would have thought I would enjoy Steve Buscemi and Sienna Miller talking for nearly two hours, but I'll be damned if they didn't pull it off and still had me amazed at the ending. Be brave and take a risk with Interview, the pay off will be sweet
King of California
Opened September 14th, 2007
Directed by Mike Cahill
An unstable dad who after getting out of a mental institution tries to convince his daughter that there's Spanish gold buried somewhere under suburbia.
Why it's Great: Another indie gem that I don't understand how so many people overlooked. Michael Douglas is great as a crazed institutional lunatic who's searching for Spanish gold underneath a CostCo in California. This is such a fun movie on top of being very well-made and I can't suggest it enough. It's not the best comedy nor is it the best drama, but it is a very fun flick and one of the better movies that was missed this year.
The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters
Opened August 17th, 2007
Directed by Seth Gordon
Diehard video game fans compete to break World Records on classic arcade games.
Why it's Great: Probably the greatest underdog story ever told on film, The King of Kong was loved by both critics and all who saw it play in limited release. It's the story of two gamers, both determined to hold the world record in the classic arcade game Donkey Kong. Edited to perfection, this one plays out to be just as epic a battle as Jedi v. Empire. If you've ever played a video game or loved a geek, you will be easily captivated by this enchanting documentary.
Opened March 30th, 2007
Directed by Scott Frank
Chris is a once promising high school athlete whose life is turned upside down following a tragic accident. As he tries to maintain a normal life, he takes a job as a janitor at a bank, where he ultimately finds himself caught up in a planned heist.
Why it's Great: The opening scene alone with the fireflies is enough to suggest this, but it's much more than that. In fact, The Lookout is even much more than a small-town heist movie, as they thrown in Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who has trouble remembering things, into the mix. Too many people missed a great indie thriller from early in the year that I'm sure a lot will find fulfilling and thoroughly enjoyable.
Opened August 31st, 2007
Directed by John August
A troubled actor, a television show runner, and an acclaimed videogame designer find their lives intertwining in mysterious and unsettling ways.
Why it's Great: Although it's hard to suggest this as I wasn't too fond of it, I can't help but include it because of how unique it is. Ryan Reynolds is outstanding as three different people in three almost unrelated plots. If you end up catching this, I'm certain you'll find yourself drawn in to figuring out exactly what's going on as well as searching for all of John August's cartefully placed nuances. By the end you'll be a changed person for experiencing The Nines.
Opened July 20th, 2007
Directed by Danny Boyle
A team of astronauts are sent to re-ignite the dying sun 50 years into the future.
Why it's Great: One of the most incredibly envisioned sci-fi movies of this entire decade, Sunshine is a fascinating adventure through the cold and lonely depths of space. What Danny Boyle did for the zombie genre with 28 Days Later he has done again for sci-fi with Sunshine. The production design and visual effects look and feel incredible, and the performance of the small cast and hugely thrilling plot all deliver.
Talk to Me
Opened July 13th, 2007
Directed by Kasi Lemmons
The story of Washington D.C. radio personality Ralph "Petey" Greene, an ex-con who became a popular talk show host and community activist in the 1960s.
Why it's Great: Talk to Me is as powerful and profound of a biopic as Ray or The Pursuit of Happyness. Don Cheadle absolutely deserves an Oscar for his portrayal of Petey Greene and not only makes it emotional but also injects the perfect amount of humor in the right spots. Talk to Me is both charming and inspiring and does not deserve to be so easily passed by. It's musically inclined and wonderfully filmed and tells a powerful story in our country's history. I can't say enough good things about it and yet how depressing it is to see such a phenomenal movie be forgotten so easily.
I hope you consider yourself educated on 19 more movies that you now need to see. You may not like all of them, but I guarantee you'll find something great in at least one of them.
Posted by gjblass at 3:14 PM
Last month we featured a custom home theater designed to model the Enterprise NCC-1701D from Star Trek: The Next Generation. We return in December to show you the home theater set-up of a retired naturalist who thought that her cellar would be a great Batcave.
That’s right, a Batcave themed home theater created by New Hampshire-based installer DC Audio Video Systems. The set-up includes prop bats which hang from above, a motorized 110″ 16:9 Stewart Electriscreen, Triad Silver THX Speakers, and a Sony G90, a $36,000 commercial 1080p 2500 x 2000 CRT projector. The room also features eight black, motorized leather recliners and a LiteTouch LC5000 System for Lighting Control. I love the desaturated dark gothic look (very Tim Burton-esque)
• Cool Stuff: Star Trek Home Theater
• Cool Stuff: Movies - Ruining The Book Since 1920 T-Shirt
• Cool Stuff: Cloverfield Wrap Party Invitation
• Cool Stuff: LEGO Iron Man
• Cool Stuff: R2D2 Trash Can
Posted by gjblass at 3:09 PM
So Santa left a brand-new computer under the tree this year, eh? Lucky you! If you're spending the holiday setting up a new Mac or PC, it's time to get filled with free software cheer. While the Lifehacker editors take today off to throw back some eggnog, you can point your clicker at a holiday feast of power tips and downloads. Trick out your new rig with our favorite system tweaks and downloads for Windows XP, Vista, Mac, and Linux.
Windows XP and Vista
- Top 10 Free Windows Downloads
"Our top picks of free Windows software downloads that will make your PC faster, stronger, more functional and productive."
- Power Replacements for Built-in Windows Utilities
"How many times have you wished Notepad had tabs, Paint supported layers, or Windows Explorer let you bookmark frequently used folders? Power users need power utilities, and Windows' default system programs barely get the job done. Over time third-party developers have stepped up and built superior replacements to programs like Notepad, Paint, Windows Explorer, and the Command Prompt."
- Top Windows tweaks
"Hop in for a quick ride around Windows dialogs, tabs, menus, and toolbars to get your XP fitting like a glove."
- Windows Vista Power Tips
"After weeks of test-driving Windows Vista full-time, there are several tips and tweaks I wish I'd known before I started."
- Top 10 Free Windows File Wranglers
"Windows Explorer and its weak band of file manipulation functions just don't cut the mustard for people with lots of data and only a little time, but several free utilities can help out."
- Automatically Load and Update Your Windows Systems
"One of the best parts of getting a new computer for the holidays—other than that new computer smell—is setting up a fresh, clean system exactly how you want it."
- A Guide to Switching to a Mac
"There's no need for you to waste your precious time figuring out the minutiae of a new operating system. To ease this transition for all of the new Mac owners out there, here's a quick guide for Mac newbies making the big switch."
- Build Your Mac with 20 Useful Downloads
"You've got a new Mac running a fresh Leopard install, and now you've got to load it up with all your essential software."
- Top 10 Mac OS X Tweaks
"Mac OS X is a great operating system out of the box, but a few simple customizations can make it even better." Ed: This guide was written regarding Tiger, but most of it will still apply to Leopard.
- Top 10 Mac Utilities
"The system utilities that add extra polish and convenience to your Mac's working environment. Most (but not all) of these little suckers are free, many live in your Mac's System Preferences pane and on the menubar, and all of them greatly enhance your overall Mac experience."
- The Complete Guide to Mac/Windows Interoperability
"Today Mac OS and Windows can work together in harmony on the same home network, sharing files and printers, mounting one another's drives and using the same equipment, like wireless routers and USB drives."
- Top 10 Ubuntu Applications
"While Ubuntu comes jacked with useful applications out of the box, there's a big selection of free, thriving Linux desktop software that matches or betters their Windows and Mac counterparts in terms of features."
- Power Up Your Linux Desktop With Compiz Fusion
"Not only can desktop decorator Compiz Fusion add eye candy to your system that leaves Windows and Mac users drooling on their keyboards, it can seriously boost your productivity."
- Top 10 Gnome Desktop Tweaks
"The desktop environment for many Linux users, Gnome, is fast, organized and very easy to learn. But Gnome is also very powerful and highly customizable."
- Slim Down and Speed Up Linux
"While Linux is pretty efficient with a computer's resources out of the box, there are still ways you can make it run leaner and meaner on your desktop."
Posted by gjblass at 3:03 PM
Posted by gjblass at 3:00 PM
From correspondents in Kuala Lumpur
December 25, 2007 06:44pm
Article from: Reuters
A MALAYSIAN referee took out his gun and fired warning shots in the air after a local soccer match turned unruly following the suspension of a player, according to a local newspaper report.
The referee, who was also a policeman, ran to his patrol car to get his gun after players mobbed him for showing the red-card to one of them, the New Straits Times said.
"We are investigating as to whether the policeman was justified in taking out his firearm and discharging it, and also why he had it with him during the match," it quoted Hussin Ismail, police chief in the southern Johor state, as saying.
The policemen was taken into custody for suspected misuse of firearms.
Five players, aged between 23 and 40, were also being held for questioning and could be charged for rioting, the paper said.
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Posted by gjblass at 2:57 PM
Posted by gjblass at 2:36 PM
Now, if anyone asks you what the difference is between Christmas and Chanukah you will know what and how to answer!
1. Christmas is one day, same day every year, December 25. Jews also love December 25th. It's another paid day off work. We go to the movies and out for Chinese food and Israeli dancing. Chanukah is 8 days. It starts the evening of the 24th of Kislev, whenever that falls. No one is ever sure. Jews never know until a non-Jewish friend asks when Chanukah starts, forcing us to consult a calendar so we don 't look like idiots. We all have the same calendar, provided free with a donation from United Synagogue or the kosher butcher or the local Jewish funeral home.
2. Christmas is a major holiday. Chanukah is a minor holiday with the same theme as most Jewish holidays. They tried to kill us, we won, let's eat.
3. Christians get wonderful presents such as jewelry, perfume, stereos, etc. Jews get practical presents such as underwear, socks, or the collected works of the Rambam, which looks impressive on the bookshelf.
4. There is only one way to spell Christmas. No one can decide how to spell Chanukah, Chanukkah, Chanukka, Channukah, Hanukah, Hannukah, etc.
5. Christmas is a time of great pressure for husbands and boyfriends. Their partners expect special gifts. Jewish men are relieved of that burden. No one expects a diamond ring on Chanukah.
6. Christmas brings enormous electric bills. Candles are used for Chanukah. Not only are we spared enormous electric bills, but we get to feel good about not contributing to the energy crisis.
7. Christmas carols are beautiful...Silent Night, Come All Ye Faithful. Chanukah songs are about dreidels made from clay or having a party and dancing the hora. Of course, we are secretly pleased that many of the beautiful carols were composed and written by our tribal brethren. And don't Barbara Streisand and Neil Diamond sing them beautifully?
8. A home preparing for Christmas smells wonderful. The sweet smell of cookies and cakes baking. Happy people are gathered around in festive moods. A home preparing f or Chanukah smells of oil, potatoes and onions. The home, as always, is full of loud people all talking at once.
9. Christian women have fun baking Christmas cookies. Jewish women burn their eyes and cut their hands grating potatoes and onions for latkes on Chanukah. Another reminder of our suffering through the ages.
10. Parents deliver presents to their children during Christmas. Jewish parents have no qualms about withholding a gift on any of the eight nights.
11. The players in the Christmas story have easy to pronounce names such as Mary, Joseph and Jesus. The players in the Chanukah story are
12. In recent years, Christmas has become more and more commercialized. The same holds true for Chanukah, even though it is a minor holiday. It makes sense. How could we market a major holiday such as Yom Kippur? Forget about celebrating. Think observing. Come to synagogue, starve yourself for 24 hours, become one with your dehydrated soul, beat your chest, confess your sins, a guaranteed good time for you and your family. Tickets a mere $200 per person, per seat. Better stick with Chanukah!
Posted by gjblass at 2:25 PM