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Highly Recommended : Fantastic Mr. Fox.

Cast

George Clooney as Mr. Fox
Meryl Streep as Mrs. Felicity Fox
Bill Murray as Clive Badger
Willem Dafoe as Rat
Owen Wilson as Coach Skip

Directed by Wes Anderson.

Music by Alexandre Desplat.

Released on 13th November 2009 .

Roald Dahl was a man with a heck of an imagination. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory , James and the Giant Peach, to name a few, are all his creations. Only recent technology has allowed us to capture the essence of his work. Fantastic Mr. Fox is animated using stop-motion. That provides for a refreshing break from all the animated technology that you see everyday.

The interaction between the animals and humans is the core of the story. The wild nature of the animals and their dilemma of weather to suppress their instincts or to give in is the main theme of the film. It shows great interaction between different kinds of animals. Foxes, Badgers,

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Bangladesh Cricket: Tour of New Zealand 2010

Bangladesh is standing up. The real trials of any team are away tours. That has never been a strong point for us. 2009 was and will always be a great year for Bangladesh Cricket. The question was how great. Now, I believe we are seeing quite the answers. We are good enough to give any team a scare at any time in every match. The every match part is what’s new.

The question that everyone asked at the start of this year is whether the whitewashes over West Indies and Zimbabwe meant anything. Whether we would be able to play half as well with the “real” test playing countries. Well, as Virender Sehwag knows, we aren’t ordinary. Now Daniel Vettori knows what Sehwag had to be taught. Bangladesh isn’t ordinary.

Mahmudullah has been a revelation

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Highly Recommended : The Boondock Saints 2: All Saints Day.

Everybody’s favourite Irish Saints from Boston are back. This time around, they are out for revenge.
Written and directed by The Boondock Saints creator Troy Duffy, starring Sean Patrick Flanery as Connor MacManus and Norman Reedus as Murphy MacManus, hence reprising their roles. Almost all the cast members return, giving it an authenticity and feeling of the original, even thou 10 years have gone by since the original.

Thou based in Boston, it was actually shot in Toronto. There seems to be some sort of delay issue with Boondock Saints. That was the issue with part one and the same with this. Supposed to be out before 2009, even now it has not got a wide release. But this is a cult film we are talking about. The movie has great dialogue and has classic Boondock Saints cinematic.

Boondock Saints 2 is just like the first movie. In fact, do not watch this if you by some chance have not seen the original. A lot of continuity is present. Just like the first one, this is all about the brothers and their killings of evil men. Like the first, it too is based in Boston. This time around thou, everyone is scared of them and their legend.  You see, they have been out of action, and were rusting away in their homeland of Ireland. But someone wants them back. We get a glimpse as how to Noah MacManus a.k.a. Il Deuce, the father MacManus, gets into/starts the family business of killing evils.

There are a few notable additions to the cast. Julie Benz as a Special Agent totally steals the show at some parts. She has so many great lines. Literally everything she says is gold. Romeo the Mexican, the new buddy of the MacManus brothers, is the constant comic relief of the film.  He takes over Rocco’s role from the first film, and does a great job. The movie has an ending that is simply unbelievable and leaves you waiting for more. Who knows how long it will be before Part 3?

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University Life: Survival of the Slickest.

There are a billion blogs offering a billion apparent working solutions to a billion problems. Not so many blogs about university kids trying to get a hang of things. This is such a blog. Unlike other blogs, these methods are not guaranteed but ones I have used and am using.

University is no cake walk. Take it from me, as someone who continues to struggle with academics on a regular basis and barely makes through as far as grades are concerned. University life is without a doubt the most interesting and dare I say maybe even important time of one’s life. It is the final educational obstacle to overcome before becoming a full-fledged corporate robot (or otherwise, if you are the few that stick to being the one that is different).

University life has many different components. Some are very essential, while some are more recreational. There are components in my university life that may not be important to you at all and vice versa. I don’t drink or smoke or do any of the related crap. So my experience is vastly difference for what you are normally accustomed to hearing about (or have experienced in) University.

The first thing you need to do in university is decide what you want to be and what you are willing to do to get there.  University isn’t a place where the smartest or most popular necessarily win. It’s a place where the slickest survive longer and better. It takes a combination of skills to get through, not just any one skill. University can help make you into the person you want and need to be. But first you have to decide what you want to be. After you are done with university it may be too late or you may have become something you had no intention of being.

Being slick means making the best of your given and acquired resources. That involves not being a crybaby about what you do not have or being arrogant about what you do have. Finishing assignments on time, attending classes and labs, giving exams are all parts of being slick. I myself am guilty of not being among the slickest even now.  We shall focus on the different topics later. This is just an introduction.

It may well happen to be that like myself, you are not slick enough, or just aren’t getting it done or getting what you want. No worries, like the elders always tell me. We have time to work on things and we shall.

For now, list down what you are, what you want to be, what you have, don’t have and need. We will be working on them. Stick around.

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Jamming and Lessons from Dream Theater’s Jordan Rudess.

Jordan Rudess is a rarity. A rockstar virtuoso who happens to be a keyboardist. Not just an ordinary one but one for a band called Dream Theater.

Dream Theater are the kings of progressive rock.  They have a stellar line up which includes James LaBrie on Vocals, John Myung on Bass,  John Petrucci on Guitars and Mike Portnoy on Drums. Any other keyboardist would just be a dot compared to these guys. But Jordan Rudess is a special case. He is quite simply a magician with his fingers on the keys.

Jordan Rudess has been giving lessons for quite a while now. Even thou he offers keyboard lessons and I am a guitarist, I can clearly see now why he is so highly rated.

Jamplay and Jordan Rudess teamed up to offer lessons on Jamplay. I was lucky enough to attend one of these online sessions. The sessions involved us students posting question to Jordan, which he would answer back by video conferencing. Seeing Jordan Rudess play is seeing a master at work. This guy has the gear and the talent. For someone as good as he is, he is very humble and nice as well. He is a great teacher, explain everything in a very simple and precise way.

Jordan was playing on his Korg OASYS, which let me tell you, is a magnificent beast. That thing has a 2.8 GHz Pentium 4 CPU and up till 2GB of RAM.

I was lucky enough to have my question answered by Jordan, which was incidentally the first question he answered.  I asked him about practice routines. He replied that was a very good question. He went on to say that practice was very important and gave some tips on practicing.

After that we had a little jam session where Jordan would play notes on his keyboard and we at home jammed along. Quite not your average jam session, but with video conferencing, the sky is the limit.
Even thou we only heard what we and Jordan played, it was simply unbelievable.

Its not often that you get to meet your heroes who inspire you to do what you do. Far less, that your hero is even bigger than you dreamed.

Jordan Rudess is far far bigger than you can ever imagine.