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South Sound Wedding Show Set For January 27

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first_imgFacebook5Tweet0Pin0 The South Sound Wedding Show is Sunday, January 27 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Great Wolf Lodge, minutes south of Olympia. The show is presented by South Sound Wedding & Event Magazine, a local resource guide for engaged couples planning a wedding in the South Puget Sound area.“More than one-third of engagements occur during the December – January holidays, according to The Wedding Report,” says Paula R. Lowe, show producer and publisher of South Sound Wedding & Event magazine. “We choose highly-skilled wedding professionals to be at this show. “This is the place to meet the professionals who will help you create the wedding you have always imagined.Couples will meet caterers, DJs, wedding planners, florists, photographers, wedding cake bakers, jewelry designers and representatives from wedding and reception venues, bridal and tux shops and many others.Guests will see the latest styles during two fashion shows featuring men’s formalwear, wedding gowns, bridesmaids and flower girl dresses all from local stores. See the latest in hairstyles and makeup on local models. Fashion shows begin at 11:30 am and 1:30 pm. Following each fashion show, ballroom dancers will demonstrate a couple’s first dance.At the door, couples will enter to win prizes, and they will receive a complimentary copy of South Sound Wedding & Event magazineThe show is sponsored by Great Wolf Lodge, Olympia, Lacey, Tumwater Visitor & Convention Bureau and Mixx96.com.Tickets are $8 at the door.For information about the show,  visit www.southsoundweddingshow.com or www.weddingandeventmagazine.com.last_img read more

UPDATED: Bombers drop heartbreaker to DW Poppey at Rugby Championships

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first_imgLVR now meets G.W. Graham of Chilliwack in consolation round action Saturday. The winner finishes 11th. Lewis powers Bomber past Tupper at Rugby ChampionshipsRyan Lewis scored three tries to lead the L.V. Rogers Bombers to a 20-14 victory over Sir Charles Tupper of Vancouver in consolation round action at the BC High School AA Boy’s Rugby Championships Wednesday in Abbotsford.Lewis was a one-man wrecking crew, scoring three times and converting a penalty to lead the Bombers scoring machine.”This was a big win for us,” said Bomber head coach Michael Joyce from Abbotsford.”We played well in the first half, but (Sir Charles Tupper) came back hard in the second.”LVR opened the tournament Saturday in Kelowna, dropping a 31-5 decision to South Kamloops.The Bombers, ranked 13th in the 16-team field, now advance down the consolation round trail playing the winner of DW Poppey of Langley and Smithers Thursday.LVR advanced to the provincial tournament by blasting Stanley Humphries Rockers 43-0 in the Kootenay Final played earlier this month at the Lakeside Pitch. The L.V. Rogers Bombers dropped a heartbreaker at the BC High School AA Boy’s Rugby Championships Thursday in Abbotsford.D.W. Poppey of Langley scored the winning points in the final minutes of he game to edge the Bombers 13-7 in consolation round action.The loss drops LVR into bottom half of the 16-team draw.”We played amazing defence and beat them physically, but had our troubles getting our offence to click,” said Bomber coach Michael Joyce.Chase Gilbertson gave the Bombers a 7-6 advantage with two minutes remaining in the game.However, the Bomber defence cracked just enough to allow Poppey to score the winning points.last_img read more

Warriors GM Bob Myers recounts free agency madness and getting swept up by a gay pride parade

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first_imgLabor Day is upon us, and you know what that means.Barbecues, the last chance to rock those Bermuda shorts, and the hide-bound “What I did over summer vacation” essay.Might as well forget the last one. Warriors general manager Bob Myers has all y’all beat.For starters, he looked on in horror as the Warriors suffered catastrophic injuries in the NBA Finals that dashed their best chances for a three-peat. “July was kind of hectic,” Myers said Tuesday during an appearance on the Joe …last_img read more

Furry heroes to sniff out TB in Mozambique

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first_imgThe furry heroes have helped to clear vast areas of land in Mozambique and Thailand, which can now be used for development. Apopo founder Bart Weetjens used his childhood experiences with pet rats as the foundation for his inspired idea. Rats can survey a mine-infested area quicker than humans, and with virtually no risk of setting off a mine.(Images: Apopo)MEDIA CONTACTS • Bina EmanvelApopo communications manager+255 23 2600 635Janine ErasmusAlready a hero in Southern Africa for its ability to sniff out landmines, the African giant pouched rat (Cricetomys gambianus) is once more turning out to be a lifesaver by accurately detecting the presence of tuberculosis bacteria in human sputum samples.Both initiatives are run by the Belgian NGO Anti-Persoonsmijnen Ontmijnende Product Ontwikkeling (Apopo), whose founder Bart Weetjens came up with the idea of training the rats while he was an engineering student.Weetjens developed the methodology after conducting a study of the landmine situation in sub-Saharan Africa. He realised that conventional methods of landmine detection and disarming were dangerous, time-consuming and expensive, and was inspired to use the rodents by his own childhood pet experiences, as well as an article on gerbils as explosives hunters which he read while conducting his landmine survey.Named for their large cheek pouches, the remarkable rodents are renowned for their acute sense of smell and their intelligence and willingness to be trained. At under 2kg on average, the rats are too light to trigger an explosion, making them the ideal weapon in the war against landmines.Apopo runs mine clearing programmes in Mozambique and Thailand, and in 2012 started preparing for operations in Angola, another heavily mined country, where it hopes to eventually deploy as many as 80 rats.Its headquarters are in Morogoro, Tanzania, where training takes place in what the organisation calls “near-real conditions” – the only difference is that the landmines in the training fields are already disarmed.Using the rats’ sensitive noses for humanitarian purposes has paid off handsomely. Apopo says that the Mozambican team, including 47 accredited rats, has made about 4.3-million square metres of land usable again in the southern Gaza province, which it has now cleared. Over 1 860 landmines, 776 dangerous unexploded ordnance, and 12 817 small arms and items of ammunition were dealt with in 2011 alone.In its 2011 annual report, the organisation revealed that it will start mine-clearing operations in the neighbouring Manica province, on the Zimbabwe border, during 2012.According to the Halo Trust, an organisation that specialises in clearing away the remains of warfare, the northern half of Mozambique is now clear of mines – in total, 100 843 devices were removed from 552 minefields. In the south, however, there are still an estimated 520 minefields that are yet to be cleared in the Maputo, Manica and Tete provinces. Many mines lie in land that is earmarked for development, but can’t be used because of the buried threat.But thanks to the rats, the job has become easier in recent years. Two rats, each with a human handler, can survey 300 square metres of land in one hour. Two trained people using metal detectors will take about two days to cover the same area, says Apopo.Land that is safe to work on has important implications for the Mozambican people, many of whom have been maimed by landmines. Now that they can plough their lands without fear they can at least feed their families and even earn an income.All rats are trained to the requirements of the International Mine Action Standards organisation, and training takes about nine months, using positive reinforcement and food rewards. The animals have to pass a test once their performance has noticeably reached a plateau, and if they pass – which most do on the first attempt – they are officially licenced as a mine detection animal.Sniffing out TB, saving livesThe intelligent little creatures have now turned their talents to another life-saving task – sniffing out pulmonary tuberculosis (TB), a disease that is second only to HIV/Aids as a single-organism killer, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).Apopo says that the highly trained rats can analyse 40 sputum samples in seven minutes, a task that would take an entire day by a technician using a microscope. This equates to about 1 680 samples in a day’s work.This technology was developed by Apopo in partnership with the Tanzanian National Tuberculosis and Leprosy Program and the Institute for Tropical Medicine in Belgium, among others. It complies with the WHO TB diagnostic group’s seven top priorities required for a recognised diagnostic method.The rats work in special automated cages which hold samples below a series of sniffer holes. The cage can register their response and activate a click and food reward, while sending data directly to a database. The method has boosted the detection of new cases by an astonishing 40%, says the organisation.Rats use their sense of smell to swiftly sniff out the volatile organic compounds released by Mycobacterium tuberculosis in positive samples, scratching at those which are TB-positive. If an unknown sample is targeted by at least two rats, this is quickly confirmed with microscopy.These samples are reported to the hospitals, who follow up with a positive diagnosis, treatment and counselling of patients.The rats discover between five and 15 new patients every week, says Apopo. In its 2011 annual report it supplies figures of almost 98 000 sputum samples analysed since 2008, with 45 000 second-line screenings, out of which 7 700 positives were found by Direct Observation of Treatment, Short-course or Dots clinics, and an additional 2 300 cases – which were missed by the Dots method of screening – were found by rats.In 2011 the organisation received approval for a grant from the Flemish government that would allow it to start working in Mozambique.Apopo hopes to increase the rate of detection of new cases in this country, as it too is struggling with a high TB burden. Operations are expected to start in Maputo in December. Killer on the looseAlthough TB is both preventable and curable, almost 9-million new patients contracted the disease in 2010 worldwide, says the WHO, on top of the millions who are already chronically ill.Nearly 1.5-million succumbed – of these deaths, over 95% occurred in low- and middle-income countries, and the burden in East Africa is high compared to other regions.The disease is named as one of the top three causes of death among women aged 15 to 44, and about 10-million children were orphaned in 2010 as a result of their parents dying of TB.In Southern Africa, there is the growing incidence of multidrug-resistant TB and its successor, extensively drug-resistant TB (XDR-TB), which arose out of the mismanagement of patients infected with the former strain. The XDR-TB form was first publicised in South Africa, following an outbreak in 2006 which killed all but one of the patients.The WHO estimates that one in three people on the planet carry the M. tuberculosis organism, although not all are ill and therefore can’t transmit the disease. All age groups are at risk, but those whose immune systems are already weakened, whether by lifestyle choices such as smoking or by another disease such as Aids or diabetes, are at greater risk of falling ill.last_img read more

How to Find Your Most Important Fans

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first_imgRelated Posts How to Write a Welcome Email to New Employees? Why You Love Online Quizzes Tags:#APIs#Big Data#hack#Services Word of mouth is an incredibly powerful marketing tool, but how do you work out which customers are most important in spreading your message? Services like PeerIndex or Klout help you find experts and influencers in particular communities, but can’t measure what people have actually done for your business. The new Vipli.st service from Awe.sm aims to fill this gap by uncovering the fans who drive the most sharing.Launched at the Strata Startup Showcase last week, the site visualizes how Plancast events are shared across social networks like Twitter and Facebook. It draws a tree showing the first person to create a plan, with links below to everyone who added themselves as attendees after clicking on that link, downwards through the entire history of the conversation around the event. Here’s what it looks like for a SXSW Lean Startup plan:The number next to each name shows how many attendees each person helped to sign up. Eric Ries is responsible for bringing in 10 attendees, which is no surprise since he’s the best-known evangelist for the Lean Startup movement. How about Melissa Grody of 500Startups though? Despite having a pretty low-key Twitter account with just over a hundred followers, she’s indirectly responsible for four signups, thanks to Patrick Vlaskovits picking up her tweet. Broad influence measuring services would never flag her role, but Vipli.st makes it possible to spot and recognize fans like her who are key to spreading the word.The service was created by the Awe.sm team, and uses the same API that’s available to third-party developers to gather the data it needs. To create the family tree of which attendees were driven by which fans, Plancast uses Awe.sm to create a new URL for each attendee that signs up, including a unique parameter that marks which user is sending out the plan. That parameter is also stored in Plancast’s database, so when another user clicks on that special URL, it’s possible to tell which person sent them to the site.Awe.sm’s co-founder Jonathan Strauss thinks that this sort of performance-based measurement is going to be a crucial tool for anyone marketing using social tools: If all you want to do is reach people, direct marketing through email is a great channel. What’s different about social tools like Twitter and Facebook are the retweet and like buttons, since users are far more likely to click them than they are to forward an email. The real value of social networks is in the sharing.Plancast’s Mark Hendrickson explained why this was so important to their business. The whole idea behind our site is to help people hear about events through their friends. Vipli.st is the first time we’ve been able to visualize how that’s happening in any kind of detail.To explain how this could be useful to other businesses, Strauss pointed to one of Awe.sm’s customers, the music store creator TopSpin (which markets online for artists like Eminem, Brian Eno and the Beastie Boys). Bands would love to uncover their most important fans, the ones who do the most to spread the word about their albums and concerts. Right now they can spot the big individual spenders, but not the penniless student who can’t afford the deluxe $250 box set, but who persuades all her friends to buy the new album. She’s the one they should really be inviting to their velvet-rope launch events, since she’s doing far more to make them a success.Strauss thinks broader measures of influence are still useful for brand-building, but that laser-focused performance metrics will become increasingly important to social marketers. “To understand how your social campaign is working, you need to understand how your message is being passed on down the chain”. He and his team built the Vipli.st service to prove how easy it was to gather the data with Awe.sm and turn it into an actionable story. It’s based completely on its public API, and Strauss is keen to work with any external developers who would like to do something similar with their own site.I’m fascinated by the stories that this sort of analysis of public conversations will be able to tell us. By uncovering the hidden influencers within communities, hopefully we’ll be able to reward some of the unfairly neglected true fans too.center_img Growing Phone Scams: 5 Tips To Avoid 7 Types of Video that will Make a Massive Impac… pete wardenlast_img read more

The Third Worst Place to Put a Duct

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first_imgIf you want to design and install a duct system to create problems, the possibilities are endless. I’ve certainly written about a lot of them (as well as how to do it properly). Today, though, let’s focus on one particularly bad place to put a duct. In fact, I think it’s the third worst place to put one. The problem What spurred this article is that I recently moved from a condo to 1961 ranch house in Atlanta, and my new place has this problem. The photo above shows it but you can’t tell for sure there. The photo below should make it clear, though. Can you tell what the problem is now? Supply duct in an exterior wall.The first photo shows a low sidewall supply register. The second one shows the same thing, but there’s another clue here that makes the problem clear. Notice the window above the bedroom supply register. Yes, this supply vent is an exterior wall.RELATED ARTICLESThe Fundamentals of Rigid Duct DesignBattling Condensation on Attic DuctsBuried Ducts Allowed in 2018 Energy CodeSealing Ducts: What’s Better, Tape or Mastic?How to Get Your Ducts Inside the Building Enclosure What’s wrong with putting vents in exterior walls? As it turns out, putting supply vents in exterior walls is bad for several reasons. Here’s my list: Displaced insulation: Most homes have insulation in the wall cavities, not outside the framing. When you put a duct and a duct boot in the wall cavity, you don’t have room for insulation. If the walls are framed with 2x4s, there’s often not enough space even for a little bit of duct insulation. Duct losses to outdoors: Even if the duct and boot have some insulation, these components are rarely sealed and the insulation is likely to be compressed and insufficient.  Those two factors add up to warmer supply air being delivered in summer and colder air delivered in winter. Moisture problems: Putting cold air into an uninsulated piece of sheet metal in a poorly air-sealed enclosure is a recipe for condensation and mold for homes in humid climates. The photo below, which I took at a gut-rehab in progress in Atlanta a couple of years ago, shows what it looks like inside the wall. Supply duct boot in an uninsulated exterior wall.Basically, this configuration results in a wall that doesn’t perform as well as it could, a duct that doesn’t perform as well as it could, and the possibility of rot, mold, and indoor air quality problems.  (An appropriate response here might be, “Other than that, how was the play, Mrs. Lincoln?”) It’s mainly an older-house problem I’ve seen one or two new homes with this problem in the past decade or so, but this is a practice that has mostly disappeared. That’s the good news. The bad news is that if you have an older home with your supply vents in the exterior walls, you ought to plan some way of addressing the problem. The best thing to do is open the wall and remove the duct and boot, do your air-sealing, and then insulate. That means finding another place for the supply vents, of course. In my case, I’ve got an air conditioner and furnace in the basement serving the whole house, and I’m going to rip it out. The new systems will serve the first floor with two ducted units in our insulated and conditioned attic, so I’ll put all the supply and return vents in the ceiling. Once I do that, then I can completely gut the basement, including the ductwork. Then later, when I work on the first floor walls, I can remove the vestiges of the old duct system from the walls and be done with this problem forever. Another way to go is to leave the sidewall vents in place and try as best you can to get them insulated and air-sealed. The photo below shows the basement duct going up into the wall and feeding that register in the second photo above. A previous improvement project included spraying foam on the band joist and trying to seal it up from below, but this doesn’t solve the problems in the wall above. Even if I opened the wall and sealed and insulated the boot as best I can, that thing is still displacing wall insulation. The only way to fix it fully would be to add exterior insulation to the wall. In my case, that’s not going to happen because I’m not removing the brick veneer. Supply duct going up into an exterior wall at the band joist.The only way to save those sidewall supply vents and eliminate all the potential problems is to seal and insulate the duct as well as possible and then add exterior insulation to the walls and band joists. Otherwise, you need to find another way to get heating and cooling to your rooms. The first and second worst places for ducts Now, since the problem I’ve just described is, according to me, the third worst place for ducts, you may be wondering what two places are worse. The first one is easy. Can you guess what it is? (If not, just click that link in the previous sentence or the first article in the list below.)  The second place is anywhere else in an unconditioned attic. What do you think might be the fourth worst place? –Allison Bailes of Decatur, Georgia, is a speaker, writer, building science consultant, and the author of the Energy Vanguard Blog. You can follow him on Twitter at @EnergyVanguard. All photos courtesy of Energy Vanguard.last_img read more

Premiere Pro Tip: One Title, Multiple Projects

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first_imgGet more use out of your titles in Premiere Pro!  Here’s a quick Premiere Pro tip that shows how to use the same titles in multiple projects.Ever spent an inordinate amount of time creating titles in Premiere Pro?  With all the options available you can really customize the look of your titles, but this customization takes time.  By default, titles in Premiere Pro are not separate assets, but rather are saved within a project file.  So how can you get your titles out of one project and into another – avoiding having to time consumingly recreate them from scratch!?Use this Premiere Pro tip to share titles between different projects and different machines!Example New TitleEssentially there are two basic ways to get titles created in one project into another project. The first option is slightly easier if both Premiere Pro projects are on the same machine – and is as simple as importing whole or part of that project.  The second option involves exporting your titles from Premiere Pro.  Let’s dive in….Importing Premiere Pro Projects Into Premiere ProThis process is similar to importing any asset in Premiere Pro.  Use the shortcut CNTRL + I (on PC) or CMD + I (on Mac).  This will open the import dialogue box.  Navigate to the PROJECT FILE which contains the title you want to use.  When you click OK you get the following dialogue:Import Project Dialogue BoxYou should choose to import either the whole project (if you have not used the title in any sequences or you’re not sure which sequence you used the title in). The other option is to choose a selected sequence (if you know which sequence has the title you’d like to use).Looking for SequencesDon’t be too concerned if you get this box staying on screen for a while, it takes a little time for Premiere Pro to go and find the assets of the project. However, when you do – as shown below – navigate to the sequence that uses the title.Navigating to the Sequence that uses the TitleThat said – whichever option you choose – to import the whole project or just to import a specific sequence – both will give you a new ‘Bin’ (folder) in your project panel.New Bin in Project PanelOpen the bin and you will find the title inside (not to mention all the assets of the original sequence you have just imported – which can be very useful indeed!)Opened ‘Bin’ with Title InsideNow, double click the title to open it and edit it however you need.  Job done!Exporting a Premiere Pro TitleThe second way of sharing titles between Premiere Pro projects is actually quite a lot easier, but perhaps a little less intuitive. It is especially easier when it comes to moving a title created on one machine to another machine (without the need of using the Project Manager to export a version of the project).  It is done through exporting the title directly from Premiere Pro.To do this, select the title you wish to export in your project panel. If you don’t select the title this option will be greyed out. Once you select the title the Title Export option is open to you from the menu:Exporting a TitleSelect an appropriate location for you title and note the file extension of .prtl and hit OK.Exported Title Location and File TypeThe title will then be exported to your chosen location and ready to import into any Premiere Pro project when you are ready to use it.Exported Title on DesktopYou don’t need to worry about any kind of special import to get the title into Premiere Pro, just import it like you would any other asset.Importing Back into Premiere ProGot a Premiere Pro tip to share?We want to hear from you in the comments!last_img read more

Australian Open: Svitolina into 4th round, ends 15-year-old Kostyuk’s run

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first_imgSports venues to be ready in time for SEA Games PLAY LIST 00:59Sports venues to be ready in time for SEA Games01:27Filipino athletes get grand send-off ahead of SEA Games00:50Trending Articles01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City Svitolina, the only seeded player still in contention in her quarter, had five aces, only 11 unforced errors and didn’t serve a double fault in the 59-minute match.Kostyuk sobbed into a towel in the tunnel soon after leaving the court, but could joke about the defeat when asked later what she could take out of the experience.“Well, a lot,” she said. “How much you have to pay Svitolina to have one-hour lesson? I got it for free.”Kostyuk received entry into qualifying because of her junior girls’ victory last year at the Australian Open. She won all three qualifying matches, then her first two in the main draw.Svitolina will next play Denisa Allertova, who beat Magda Linette 6-1, 6-4.ADVERTISEMENT Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Read Next LATEST STORIES View comments 8th Top Leaders Forum assessed the progress of public-private efforts in building climate and disaster resilient communities In the opening match on Rod Laver Arena, Petra Martic celebrated her 27th birthday with a 6-3, 3-6, 7-5 over Thai qualifier Luksika Kumkhum.“That was really ugly,” Martic said of the heat. “We were lucky to play on Rod Laver because we had some shade behind so you could hide for a few seconds in between the points.“Other than that, it’s just, you just need to be mentally tough and ready to just suffer out there.”Elise Mertens needed four match points before clinching a 7-5, 6-4 win over Alize Cornet, who needed a medical time out in the second set after complaining of being short of breath. After having her blood pressure taken and being draped in ice towels, she was able to continue and play seven more games.Mertens will meet Martic in the next round.The temperature was forecast to hit 42 C (108 F) but a weather change in the afternoon eased conditions slightly.Kyle Edmund was the first man into the fourth round, overcoming Nikoloz Basilashvili 7-6 (0), 3-6, 4-6, 6-0, 7-5 in 3 ½ hours on open court in the peak of the heat.No. 10 Pablo Carreno Busta had a 7-6 (4), 4-6, 7-5, 7-5 win over No. 23 Gilles Muller. Do not bring these items in SEA Games venues “It was sad playing another Ukrainian girl, same country is always tough,” Svitolina, one of five women in contention for the No. 1 ranking, said. “She’s a great fighter. She has a great future — we’re going to hear a lot more about her.”Kostyuk entered the tournament ranked No. 521 — a number that will likely be halved next month — and had wins over 25th-seeded Peng Shuai and Olivia Rogowska to become the youngest player to win main-draw matches at the Australian Open since Martina Hingis in 1996.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSLillard, Anthony lead Blazers over ThunderSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutThe step up to facing a top 10 player was too much for Kostyuk on Friday.She had nine double faults, including on match point, and only got 37 percent of her first serves into play. Asian shares slide on weak Japan data; US markets closed John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding Ukraine’s Elina Svitolina, right, is embraced by compatriot Marta Kostyuk after winning their third round match against compatriot at the Australian Open tennis championships in Melbourne, Australia, Friday, Jan. 19, 2018. (AP Photo/Dita Alangkara)MELBOURNE, Australia — Elina Svitolina ended 15-year-old Marta Kostyuk’s run at the Australian Open, met her at the net for a warm embrace and offered some words of encouragement.With the temperature hitting 40 Celsius (104 Fahrenheit) for the second straight day, fourth-seeded Svitolina reached the fourth round at the season-opening major for the first time with the 6-2, 6-2 win on Rod Laver Arena.ADVERTISEMENT Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH BI on alert for illegally deployed OFWs to Iraq MOST READ Lillard leads Trail Blazers past Pacerslast_img read more

Patiala House review

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first_imgBijis, Baujis, Bhangra and Fast BowlingPatiala HouseDirector: Nikhil AdvaniStarring: Akshay Kumar, Anushka Sharma, Rishi Kapoor, Dimple Kapadia, Usman QureshiRating:   Preview: Patiala HouseBijis, baujis, bhangra. It’s a tried and tested formula that doesn’t always work. But add to it Bollywood’s new favourite Punjabi kudi Anushka Sharma and lots of cricket on the eve of the cricket World Cup and it’s a surprisingly watchable movie. Ah yes it has Akshay Kumar but director Nikhil Advani has very wisely disguised that fact by giving him minimal dialogues and maximum fast bowling (Akshay does look good bowling flat out). And thank God for it. Akshay plays the strong silent suffering type, Parghat Singh Kahlon, who gave up his dream of playing for England because his father, the self-appointed sarpanch of Southhall, thinks all goras are evil (yes shades of Amrish Puri in everyone’s favourite Punjabi film, Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge). There’s his father Rishi Kapoor, who is trapped in 60s England where the English are racist and the Indians don’t own half of Kensington. And his mother Dimple Kapadia, the equally silent type, who doesn’t utter a word as her son’s dream of playing for the goras (England) is cruelly quashed.Anyway to cut a long story short, Gattu (for that is Akshay’s nickname in the movie) meets the spunky Anushka Sharma, who ran away briefly to try and become a heroine in Bollywood. Now she cuts hair in a saloon and lives with her friend’s 12-year-old cricket mad son. She makes Akshay believe anything is possible–even wearing tight T-shirts, shiny blazers, drinking shots and dancing to Punjabi rap (yes, it’s that sort of a movie where the lead stars discover themselves only under influence–cue Kal Ho Naa Ho and Namaste London).There’s an army of other minor stars, who all play various chachajis, chachijis, and bachchajis. And there’s an even larger army of cricketers, from West Indies’ Kieron Pollard to Australian Andrew Symonds and Dirk Nannes. Former players Nasser Hussain, David Gower and Graham Gooch play English selectors. The point of the movie is to bring Master Akshay back to the crease to play for England 17 years after he gave up his dream to run a shop in Southhall. Master Akshay will of course achieve it and help England win the T-20 World Cup but not before various things happen–Hard Kaur is transformed from bhajan singer to rapper, Anushka Sharma proves yet again why she is the brightest spark among the younger actresses and Akshay proves that less is more when it comes to his acting.Everyone eats rajma chawal, hopes for a Yash Copra wedding, has an alter ego, and Akshay gets a chance to say his one big speech–this one is about aap jee sakte hain, hamen to sirf saans lene ki permission hai. With lines written in Yash Chopra land–kal chup ek biwi thi, aaj bol ek maa rahi hai; and gaaliyon ka shor taaliyon main chhup jayega–and enough cricket to keep the kids happy, this is a family drama for the family.advertisementlast_img read more