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Archive for January, 2012

X’ed Out! Can Simon Cowell’s House Cleaning Save The X Factor?

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on January 31, 2012

By JAMES PONIEWOZIK

Call it Rachel Crow’s revenge. (Or, if you prefer, Drew Ryniewicz’s.) After a first season of decent but not blockbuster-sized ratings, reports came out Monday that Simon Cowell had pulled a triple elimination on The X Factor, firing judges Paula Abdul (again!) and Nicole Scherzinger as well as host Steve Jones. (Fox has officially announced the latter two departures, but multiple outlets are reporting Abdul’s ouster as well.)

Each of the defenestrated stars had their critics in the show’s first US season—from the get-go, I was put off by Jones’ chilly TV-presenter style, Scherzinger was a judge who seem to resist, well, judging, and while Paula got her American Idol incoherence under control, it felt like some of her on-air personality went with it. But really, are The X Factor’s problems ones that can be fixed with a personnel change, or do they go deeper? Read the rest of this entry »

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Brain work

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on January 31, 2012

By Alun Anderson

Scientists will begin to map the wiring, or “connectome”, of the human brain

 

Human brains are the most complex objects in the known universe. Inside each one are some 100 billion nerve cells wired together with a million billion connections. No computer comes close to its complexity, nor does the entire global telecommunications network, which connects only 5 billion mobile phones. In sheer numbers, the brain is just beaten by the Milky Way with its 200 billion or more stars, but they are spread across 100,000 light years, not packed into a one-and-a-half-litre capacity skull.

New brain-imaging technology, a sophisticated descendant of the magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanners found in many hospitals, is now making it possible to see inside living brains. With support from America’s National Institutes of Health, a consortium of scientists around the world, led by Washington University in St Louis and the University of Minnesota, is working together on the Human Connectome Project. The goal is to chart the brain’s major connections, see how they vary between individuals and figure out which parts of the brain work together in networks, something anatomists could never do by looking at slices of brain under a microscope. In the preliminary phase of the project, scanners have been fine-tuned and programs which visualise their data developed to provide brain-connection maps of extraordinary power and beauty. In mid-2012 the excitement will really begin as the first of 1,200 volunteers to have their brains scanned will enter the machines. Data from the first 100 of them will be made public in the autumn. Read the rest of this entry »

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Syria Uprising: Assad Forces Beat Back Damascus Rebels Ahead Of UN Security Council Resolution Vote

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on January 31, 2012

By Khaled Yacoub Oweis and Louis Charbonneau

AMMAN/UNITED NATIONS, Jan 31 (Reuters) – Syrian government forces reasserted control of Damascus suburbs on Tuesday after beating back rebels at the capital’s gates as diplomatic pressure mounted on President Bashar al-Assad at the United Nations.

Western and Arab diplomats pushed for a U.N. Security Council resolution which would call for Assad to step down to defuse a 10-month-old uprising against his family’s dynastic rule.

They will make the case for a resolution adopting a plan by the Arab League for Assad to quit, with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe and Britain’s William Hague presenting a united western front.

The resolution’s fate depends on whether the Arabs and their Western backers can persuade Russia not to veto it.

But a senior Russian diplomat said in Moscow the move would only set the stage for civil war, Interfax news agency reported. Read the rest of this entry »

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So Solid Crew’s Mc Harvey Reveals ‘Relationship’ With Cheryl Cole

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on January 31, 2012

Former So Solid Crew rapper Mc Harvey has revealed he bonded with Girls Aloud star Cheryl Cole following her split from ex-husband Ashley.

The star has sensationally revealed he grew close to Cheryl in 2010 when fans thought she was dating dancer Derek Hough.

When asked about his secret relationship with Cheryl, MC Harvey told Now magazine: “Oh my God, oh my God! How the hell do you know that? Gosh. She’s a good girl. We’ve got a great respect for each other.”

Despite refusing to confirm a full-on romance out of respect for Cheryl, he said: “There was a relationship and an attraction to each other’s aura. I am not going to sit here and say we went to that restaurant and this restaurant. But I’m sure people aren’t stupid.”

The rapper admitted Cheryl confided in him after the breakdown of her marriage to footballer Ashley Cole but Harvey is no angel himself – he left wife Alesha Dixon for pop star Javine Hylton, with whom he had daughter Angel in 2008, but the couple split the following year.

Revealing more about his relationship with Cheryl, he said: “We’ve known each other for years. But then (after Cheryl split with Ashley) we started confiding in each other. A lot of it was like, ‘We can’t trust anyone out there, so we’re just going to trust each other.'”

He added: “You know when two people have been through the same stuff and confide in each other? That’s what it was. And then naturally when you confide in each other you become more…. (goes silent)” Read the rest of this entry »

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Content of Mind, Enlightenment, State of Peace & Joy

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on January 31, 2012

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Destination Persian Gulf? US nuclear sub and destroyer enter Red Sea

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on January 31, 2012

Greece: The Los Angeles-class attack submarine USS Annapolis is escorted by a US Naval Support Activity harbor security boat as she departs Souda harbor in Souda Bay, Greece on March 30, 2010. (AFP Photo / Paul Farley)

Greece: The Los Angeles-class attack submarine USS Annapolis is escorted by a US Naval Support Activity harbor security boat as she departs Souda harbor in Souda Bay, Greece on March 30, 2010. (AFP Photo / Paul Farley)

Two ships of the US Navy, the nuclear submarine USS Annapolis and the destroyer USS Momsen have passed through the Suez Canal into the Red Sea. Although their destination is confidential, they are now getting dangerously close to the Persian Gulf.

The ships’ passage was a major operation for the Suez administration as due to safety reasons they had to close off the canal to all other traffic and even shut down the bridge, disrupting the link between the banks for some four hours. The traffic on the roadways alongside the canal was also restricted, Interfax news agency reports.

There are no reports regarding the destination of the vessels, but the news come amid the ongoing crisis in the relationship between the US and Iran. There is mounting speculation that the Annapolis and the Momsen are heading to the Persian Gulf to reinforce the US naval forces already present in the region.

Currently the US has two aircraft carrier groups in the region headed by USS Abraham Lincoln and USS Carl Vinson. It is expected that another aircraft carrier, USS Enterprise, will join the strike force in March. Read the rest of this entry »

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Assad must go, no foreign forces in Syria: UNSC draft

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on January 31, 2012

The UN draft resolution on Syria calls for President Assad to hand power over to his deputy and clarifies that no foreign forces will be deployed to the country, the Associated Press reports.

The resolution also demands the Syrian government put “an end to all human rights violations and attacks against those exercising their rights to freedom of expression.”

But Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Moscow has no intentions of telling President Assad to step down.

“Russian politics is not to ask someone to resign,” he told Australia’s ABC TV channel. “Regime change is not our profession,” the minister added.

He also rejected out of hand any accusation that Russia unconditionally supports the Syrian leader. “We are not President Assad’s friends or allies,” he stressed. Lavrov made it clear earlier on Tuesday that Assad’s continuing tenure as president is not a precondition for a settlement in Syria.

Western diplomacy is making another attempt to use the UN as a tool to promote its foreign policy agenda, drafting a new and ambiguous resolution on Syria which sets out a roadmap to topple President Bashar Assad.

The resolution fails to take account of the positions of countries like Russia and China, which have presented a united front opposing regime change in Damascus.

Moscow says the new resolution contains a threat to “adopt further measures if Syria does not comply with the terms of the resolution,” opening the door to a Libya-style foreign intervention in the conflict-torn Middle Eastern country. Read the rest of this entry »

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Madonna’s Directing Challenge

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on January 31, 2012

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बुद्ध जन्मथलो र लुम्बिनी भ्रमण वर्ष

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on January 31, 2012

सन् २०१० को मध्यतिर दक्षिणपूर्वी एशियाली राष्ट्र लाओस पुगेको थिएँ । बौद्ध धर्मावलम्बीहरुको बाहुल्यता रहेको लाओसको राजधानी भियन्टाइन शहर सुनौला बुद्ध मूर्ति तथा मन्दिरहरुले झकिझकाउ थियो । २५ सय वर्ष अघि आफ्नो देशमा जन्मेका बुद्धको ज्ञानको ज्योति लाओसमा प्रज्वलित भैरहेको देख्दा म कम्ता फुरुङ्ग भइनँ । ती सबै दृश्य देख्दा लाओसी जनता बुद्ध जन्मथलोबारे राम्रै जानकार होलान् भन्ने लागेको थियो । यसैबीच मैले त्यहाँका केही साथीहरुलाई आफू बुद्धको जन्मेको देशबाट आएको भन्दा उनीहरुले बुद्ध त भारतमा जन्मेका होइनन् र भने । बुद्धको जन्मस्थल नेपालको लुम्बिनी हो कसरी भारत हुन्छ भन्दा उनीहरुले भारतीय दूतावासले हरेक वर्ष आयोजना गर्ने साँस्कृतिक कार्यक्रममा बुद्ध भारतमा जन्मेको जानकारी दिइने गरेको बताए । यो सुनेर म चेत खाए । यो त एउटा सानो घटनामात्र हो । भारतले नेपालको दूतावास तथा कुटनीतिक नियोग नरहेका लाओसजस्ता अरु देशहरुमा यस्ता कुप्रचार कति विस्तार गरेको होला भन्ने कुरा यसैबाट अनुमान गर्न सकिन्छ । 

By रतन भण्डारी

नेपाल भ्रमण वर्ष २०११ पछि २०१२ लाई नेपाल सरकारले लुम्बिनी भ्रमण घोषणा गरेको छ । बुद्ध जन्मस्थल लुम्बिनी प्रचारप्रसार तथा विकास निर्माणमा भ्रमण वर्षले योगदान पुर्याउनुको साथै पयर्टन प्रवद्र्धनमा समेत टेवा पुग्ने आशा लिइएको छ । भारतले संसारभर बुद्ध भारतमा जन्मेको कुप्रचारलाई चिर्न समेत भ्रमण वर्ष सहायकसिद्ध हुने कुरामा विश्वास गर्न सकिन्छ । तर चीन, कोरियाजस्ता छिमेकी तथा मित्र राष्ट्रहरुले लुम्बिनी विकासमा सहयोग उपलब्ध गराउन खोज्दा भारतले अनेकन बहानामा बखेडा झिक्दै आएको सत्य पनि कहीँबाट छुपेको छैन । यसका बाबजुद नेपाल सरकारले घोषणा गरेको लुम्बिनीलाई भ्रमण वर्षलाई सफल पार्नु आम नेपालीको कर्तव्य हो ।

सन् २०१० को मध्यतिर दक्षिणपूर्वी एशियाली राष्ट्र लाओस पुगेको थिएँ । बौद्ध धर्मावलम्बीहरुको बाहुल्यता रहेको लाओसको राजधानी भियन्टाइन शहर सुनौला बुद्ध मूर्ति तथा मन्दिरहरुले झकिझकाउ थियो । २५ सय वर्ष अघि आफ्नो देशमा जन्मेका बुद्धको ज्ञानको ज्योति लाओसमा प्रज्वलित भैरहेको देख्दा म कम्ता फुरुङ्ग भइनँ । ती सबै दृश्य देख्दा लाओसी जनता बुद्ध जन्मथलोबारे राम्रै जानकार होलान् भन्ने लागेको थियो । यसैबीच मैले त्यहाँका केही साथीहरुलाई आफू बुद्धको जन्मेको देशबाट आएको भन्दा उनीहरुले बुद्ध त भारतमा जन्मेका होइनन् र भने । बुद्धको जन्मस्थल नेपालको लुम्बिनी हो कसरी भारत हुन्छ भन्दा उनीहरुले भारतीय दूतावासले हरेक वर्ष आयोजना गर्ने साँस्कृतिक कार्यक्रममा बुद्ध भारतमा जन्मेको जानकारी दिइने गरेको बताए । यो सुनेर म चेत खाए । यो त एउटा सानो घटनामात्र हो । भारतले नेपालको दूतावास तथा कुटनीतिक नियोग नरहेका लाओसजस्ता अरु देशहरुमा यस्ता कुप्रचार कति विस्तार गरेको होला भन्ने कुरा यसैबाट अनुमान गर्न सकिन्छ ।

यसरी भारतले बुद्ध भारतमै जन्मेको कुप्रचार रोकेको छैन । सन् २००९ को शुरुतिर “चाँदनी चोक टु चाइना” नामक हिन्दी चलचित्रमा समेत बुद्ध भारतमा जन्मिएको विवादास्पद सम्वाद भारतीय सेन्सर बोर्डबाटै स्वीकृत भएको थियो । बोधगयालाई “अन्तर्राष्ट्रिय बुद्ध केन्द्र” बनाउने नाममा केही महिना अघि चीनको राजधानी बेइजिङमा भारतीय दूतावासले आयोजना गरेको कार्यक्रममा बुद्ध भारतमा जन्मेको खुलेयाम कुप्रचार गरिएको थियो । खासगरी नेपालले लुम्बिनी विकासमा देखाएको तत्परताबाट अतालिएको भारतले हतारहतार बेइजिङमा सो कार्यक्रम गरेको थियो । बेइजिङमा कार्यक्रम अघि भारतले काठमाडौँमै त्यसको पूर्वतयारी गरेको र केही नेपाली सहभागीहरुलाई पनि उक्त कार्यक्रममा सहभागी गराइएको पनि सुनिन्छ । यसरी विगतदेखि नै भारत बुद्ध भारतमा जन्मेको झुठलाई पुष्टि गर्न अनेकौँ हतकण्डा अपनाउँदैआएको छ । यसका लागि उसले सबै अश्त्र प्रयोगमा ल्याएको छ । एकताका भारत नेपालको लुम्बिनी पारी ईटा थुपारेर नक्कली कपिलवस्तुसम्म खडा गर्ने अभियानमा जुटेको थियो । शुद्धोदनको दरवार पिपरहवामा अनि बुद्धको मावली रामग्राम-देवदह नभइ भारतको महाराजगाज भन्ने हौवा मचाएको थियो । तर ऐतिहासिक-पुरातात्विक प्रमाण विनाको नक्कली भारतीय कपिलवस्तुलाई हावा खान धेरै दिन लागेन । केही नलागे पछि अजितकुमार त्रिपाठी तथा चन्द्रमान पटेलजस्ता तथाकथित भारतीय इतिहासकारहरुलाई अघि सार्दै भारतले बुद्धको जन्मथलो उडिसाको भुवनेश्वरनजिक कपिलेश्वरतिर भएको कुतर्क पेस गर् यो । उडन्ते कथाझै रचिएको उडिसाको ुतथाकथित कपिलवस्तु को पनि धेरै दिन टिकेन । भारत सरकारमात्र नभई भारतीय साधुसन्त समेत बेलाबखत बुद्ध भारतमा जन्मेको अभिव्यक्ति दिँने गरेका छन् । गत जेठ महिनामा भारतीय योगगुरु भनिने रामदेवले समेत उनको भ्रष्टाचार विरोधी आन्दोलनका बेला बुद्ध भारतमा जन्मेको भनेर खुला अभिव्यक्ति दिए । तर उनको भनाइको कतैबाट खण्डन भएन ।  Read the rest of this entry »

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Gordon Brown To Release Book Of Predictions For 2025 In November

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on January 31, 2012

His critics might suggest that a lack of foresight characterised Gordon Brown’s time in front line politics, whether over the economic crash during his time as Chancellor or the status of his television mic while campaigning for reelection as Prime Minister.

His supporters might be a bit more generous however and say that the former leader’s forthcoming new book 2025: Shaping a New Future – a prediction of how the world will be in 2025 – could be the former Labour leader’s magnum opus, the tome we’ve all been waiting for from one of the towering political intellects of our time.

Due out in November, 2025: Shaping a New Future will be the eleventh book Brown has either edited or penned himself and his first since 2010’s Beyond the Crash: Overcoming the First Crisis of Globalisation.

A spokesperson for Simon & Schuster told The Bookseller: “In [the book], Brown charts the massive technological, demographic social and political forces – including the explosive growth of a global middle class, reinventing our world.”

According to the Guardian, in it he will argue that by 2025: Read the rest of this entry »

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China: The Paradox of Prosperity

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on January 31, 2012

For China’s rise to continue, the country needs to move away from the model that has served it so well 

 IN THIS issue we launch a weekly section devoted to China. It is the first time since we began our detailed coverage of the United States in 1942 that we have singled out a country in this way. The principal reason is that China is now an economic superpower and is fast becoming a military force capable of unsettling America. But our interest in China lies also in its politics: it is governed by a system that is out of step with global norms. In ways that were never true of post-war Japan and may never be true of India, China will both fascinate and agitate the rest of the world for a long time to come.

Only 20 years ago, China was a long way from being a global superpower. After the protests in Tiananmen Square led to a massacre in 1989, its economic reforms were under threat from conservatives and it faced international isolation. Then in early 1992, like an emperor undertaking a progress, the late Deng Xiaoping set out on a “southern tour” of the most reform-minded provinces. An astonishing endorsement of reform, it was a masterstroke from the man who made modern China. The economy has barely looked back since.

Compared with the rich world’s recent rocky times, China’s progress has been relentless. Yet not far beneath the surface, society is churning. Recent village unrest in Wukan in Guangdong, one province that Deng toured all those years ago; ethnic strife this week in Tibetan areas of Sichuan; the gnawing fear of a house-price crash: all are signs of the centrifugal forces making the Communist Party’s job so hard. Read the rest of this entry »

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Dr Joe Dispenza – How to evolve our brain to experiment a new reality? Stepping in the unknown

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on January 30, 2012

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Facebook Upshot: Some Own Status

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on January 30, 2012

हाम्रो नेपालमा: म र नेपाल सरकारको उप-सचिबबाट रिटायर्ड भएको एक जना म्यूजिओलोजिस्टले ३ महिना लगाएर नेपाल टुरिज्म बोर्डको पहिलो तल्लाको दुई हलमा बनाइएको म्यूजियमको डिजाइन कार्यको पहिलो ड्राफ्ट ३ वटा भोलुममा बुझाएको केही समयमा नै म अस्ट्रेलिया हिंडे । किर्तिपुरको २०० रोपनीमा बनाइने म्यूजियमको अबधारणा अनुरुप बनाइएको सो म्यूजियमको हाम्रो रिपोर्टलाई केही परिमार्जन गर्न लगाइएर अहिले डिजाइनकर्ताको नाम अरुको राखिएको छ रे । आर्थिक भ्रस्टाचारको त कुरा गरेर साध्यै छैन, यो बौद्धिक भ्रस्टाचारको पराकास्ठा भएन र? यस्तालाई अख्तियार लैजानु पर्ने हो कि होइन होला?

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    • Ashutosh Sigdel ho yo ta gambir aparadh ho yo kuralai tyatikai 6odna hunna………hoinara?

      Saturday at 11:37am · Unlike ·  2
    • Ram Kumar Shrestha हामीले तयार गरेको डिजाइन र अहिले तयारी अवस्थामा रहेको म्यूजियममा एउटै फरक के छ भने म अस्ट्रेलिया हिंडेपछि सिद्धार्थ बनस्थलीका बिद्यार्थीहरुको एउटा सोंचलाई पनि त्यस्मा स्थान दिने क्रममा एउटा आइटम थप्दा अन्यमा केही Plinth Area अलि अअलिली घटाऊने काम भएको छ । त्यो स्वाभाबिकै हो ।

      Saturday at 11:47am · Like
    • Ram Tamang akhtiyarma pani haina sir yastalai ta pasupati aaryaghatle lanu parne ho.yak ta desko lagi ghus khanu nai mahapap ho vane arkako buddi chorer biddwan banna khojnelai k vannu……….tiniharulai ta aryaghatma pani thau nahola…i…..?

      Saturday at 12:00pm · Unlike ·  1
    • Jb Rai त्यस्तो घिनलाग्दो आचरण र ब्यहोरा नेपाली समाजको एउटा निश्चित समूहमा बिधमान छ र त्यो सबै तिर सल्किएर नजावोस्! 🙂

      Saturday at 12:01pm · Unlike ·  2
    • Ram Kumar Shrestha टुरिज्म बोर्डमा पहिलो ड्राफ्ट बुझाउने बित्तिकै समाज कल्याण परिषदका संभबत पहिलो सदस्य-सचिबलाई पनि ती ३ भोलुमको एक कपी बुझाईएको छ म, प्रो डा गणेश गुरुङ र केही साथीहरु गएर ।

      Saturday at 12:05pm · Like

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Would You Buy Obama’s Old Car for $1 Million?

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on January 30, 2012

eBay / cubfanatic23

EBAY / CUBFANATIC23

A typical 2005 Chrysler 300C, fully loaded and in pristine condition, is expected to fetch up to $19,142 on the market, according to Kelley Blue Book, the authority on used-car prices. But what if the vehicle had been leased by none other than the President of the United States of America? An eBay seller is hoping that detail will justify a $980,000 price hike.

Lisa Czibor, a seasoned eBay car seller based near Chicago, is pulling out all the stops to prove that Barack Obama once piloted the grey 300C she has listed for sale on behalf of its owner Tim O’Boyle. She even posted a photograph of the car’s title written in Obama’s name. But the most shocking detail associated with the sale: the price. Owning then-senator Obama’s ride will cost a cool $1 million.

(PHOTOSObama’s First Two Years: An Inside View) Read the rest of this entry »

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13-Year-Old Girl Becomes Powerlifting World-Record Holder

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on January 30, 2012

Abbey Watson holds eight world powerlifting records — and she’s still in middle school.

Powerlifters often go unnoticed, remaining in the shadows of their more recognized athletic counterparts. But lifter Abbey Watson, who at age 13 already holds eight world records, is strong-arming people into taking notice.

The Colorado native recently returned from the Powerlifting Federation national competition in Oklahoma City with several achievements under her belt, including the word record for squats in her weight class, according to Denver’s NBC affiliate KUSA. She set the record by lifting 143.3 pounds — nearly 40 pounds more than her body weight.

(LISTTop 10 Sports-Fashion Controversies)

Three years ago, Watson’s father brought her along to a gym outside Denver, where she tried her hand at weight lifting. She enjoyed it so much that she returned for several more sessions, eventually attending workouts three days a week before school. “I am amazed. I am surprised she has latched on to it as much as she has,” Watson’s dad, Steve, told KUSA. “I was just hoping she would get into a good workout habit. I never thought she would compete.” Read the rest of this entry »

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