Thursday, December 23, 2010

Stephen J Cannell - Iconic Creator Of American TV Series

Screenwriter, actor, novelist and producer Stephen Joseph Cannell, who died after a long illness aged 69 on September 30, 2010, will always be remembered as an American television icon.

Born on February 5, 1941 in Los Angeles, he struggled with dyslexia in school, but graduated from the University of Oregon in 1964 with a degree in journalism.

He was quickly hired by the television production branch of Universal Studios and was soon freelance writing for crime shows as Ironside and Columbo.

Not long after, he received his first full-time gig as the story editor of Jack Webb's police series Adam 12.

Cannell created or co-created nearly 40 television series, mostly crime dramas, including The Rockford Files, The Greatest American Hero, The A-Team, Wiseguy, 21 Jump Street, Silk Stalkings and The Commish.

In the process he had, by his own count, scripted more than 450 episodes, and produced or executive produced over 1,500 episodes.

Cannell also acted occasionally in his series Renegade.

He also served as the host of the 1995–1996 documentary series US Customs Classified.

In the 2000s, Cannell turned his attention to novels. He wrote 14 novels.

He discussed his experiences as a dyslexic in Dislecksia: The Movie. Wikipedia.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Farewell Mr Naked Gun Leslie Nielsen

Leslie Nielsen, the veteran Canadian actor who passed away at 84 on November 28, 2010 was best remembered for his character Frank Drebin in The Naked Gun film series.

Read all about him here. Thanks Wikipedia.

Leslie William Nielsen (February 11, 1926 – November 28, 2010) was a Canadian-American actor and comedian.

Nielsen appeared in over 100 films and 1,500 television programmes over the span of his career, portraying over 220 characters.

Born in Saskatchewan, Canada, Nielsen enlisted in the Royal Canadian Air Force and worked as a disc jockey before receiving a scholarship to Neighbourhood Playhouse.

Beginning with a television role in 1948, he quickly expanded to over 50 television appearances two years later.

Nielsen appeared in his first films in 1956 and began collecting roles in dramas, westerns and romance films.

Nielsen's lead roles in the science fiction film Forbidden Planet (1956) [based on Shakespeare's The Tempest] and disaster movie The Poseidon Adventure (1972) received positive reviews.

Although his acting career crossed a variety of genres in both television and films, Nielsen's deadpan delivery as a doctor in 1980's Airplane! marked a turning point in his career, one that would make him, in the words of film critic Roger Ebert, "the Olivier of spoofs."

Nielsen enjoyed further success with The Naked Gun and its sequels, based on a brief television series he starred in.

His portrayal of serious characters seemingly oblivious to (and complicit in) their absurd surroundings gave him a reputation as a comedian.

In the last decades of his career, Nielsen appeared in multiple spoof and parody films, many of which were met poorly by critics but performed well in box office and home media releases.

Nielsen was recognised with a variety of awards throughout his career and was inducted into both the Canada and Hollywood Walks Of Fame.

He married four times and had two daughters from his second marriage.

Nielsen's uncle Jean Hersholt inspired him to become an actor.

Nielsen was born in Regina, Saskatchewan.

His mother, Mabel Elizabeth Davies, was a Welsh immigrant from Fulham, London, and his father, Ingvard Eversen Nielsen, was a Danish-born Constable in the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

Nielsen had two brothers. His elder brother, Erik Nielsen (1924–2008), was Deputy Prime Minister of Canada during the 1980s.

Their uncle, Hersholt, was an actor best known for his portrayal of Dr Christian in the long-running radio series of the same name and the subsequent television series and films.

Following his graduation from Victoria Composite High School in Edmonton, at 17, Nielsen enlisted in the Royal Canadian Air Force and was trained as an aerial gunner during the latter part of World War II (but was too young to be fully trained and sent overseas).

He briefly worked as a disc jockey at a radio station in Calgary, Alberta, before enrolling at the Lorne Greene Academy of Radio Arts in Toronto.

When he was studying in Toronto, Nielsen received a scholarship for the Neighbourhood Playhouse in the United States.

He later attended the Actors Studio, before making his first television appearance in 1948 on an episode of Studio One, alongside Charlton Heston.

It was not until 1956 when he made his feature film debut in the Michael Curtiz-directed musical film The Vagabond King.

Forbidden Planet in 1956 became an instant success, and roles in Ransom! (1956), The Opposite Sex (1956) and Hot Summer Night (1957) followed.

In 1957 he got the lead role opposite Debbie Reynolds in the romantic comedy Tammy And The Bachelor.

Nielsen also landed the lead role in the Disney mini-series The Swamp Fox, as American Revolutionary War hero Francis Marion.

His early television appearances included parts in Alfred Hitchcock Presents, The Virginian, and The Wild Wild West.

In 1968, he had a major role in the pilot film for the popular police series Hawaii Five-O, and appeared in one of the episodes in the seventh season.

In 1969, he had the leading role as a police officer in The Bold Ones: The Protectors.

Nielsen also starred in the William Girdler-directed 1977 action film Project: Kill.

His last role before portraying mainly comedy roles was the Canadian disaster film City On Fire in which he played a corrupt mayor.

In 1980, he guest starred on the CBS mini-series The Chisholms.

Nielsen's comedic breakthrough came with a supporting role in 1980's Airplane!, a parody of Zero Hour!, Airport, and other movies that dealt with air travel.

In Airplane! his deadpan delivery contrasted with the continual absurdity surrounding him.

The film's directors Jim Abrahams, David Zucker and Jerry Zucker, chose Nielsen for the role based on his ability to play "a fish in water".

The film The Naked Gun spawned two sequels, The Naked Gun 2½: The Smell Of Fear (1991) and Naked Gun 33⅓: The Final Insult (1994).

Nielsen briefly appeared in the World Wrestling Federation in the summer of 1994 on Monday Night RAW, capitalising on his Frank Drebin character.

In 1997, he played Mr Magoo in the live action version of the popular cartoon.

He also appeared in Scary Movie 3 (2003) and 4 (2006).

Nielsen hosted a series of golf instructional videos beginning with 1993's Bad Golf Made Easier.

In his eighties, Nielsen continued to have an active career.

He performed serious roles on screen and stage as well as providing voice-overs and on-camera appearances for commercials.

The sibling relationship with his elder brother Erik Nielsen, a former Deputy Prime Minister of Canada, served as the premise of an HBO mockumentary titled The Canadian Conspiracy.

Nielsen starred in it along with prominent Canadian-born media personalities.

Among his numerous awards, in 1995 Leslie Nielsen received UCLA's Jack Benny Award for his comedic roles.

In 1988, he became the 1,884th personality to receive a star on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame.

In 2001 he was inducted into Canada's Walk Of Fame.

The following year he was made an Officer Of The Order Of Canada.

On February 20, 2002, Nielsen was named an honorary citizen of West Virginia.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Dino De Laurentiis - Iconic Film Maker

Italy’s Dino De Laurentiis who passed away today at 91 will always be remembered as an iconic science fiction film maker.

Read all about him from Wikipedia.

Agostino (Dino) De Laurentiis (August 8, 1919 – November 11, 2010) was an Italian Academy Award-winning film producer.

He was born at Torre Annunziata in the province of Naples.

He produced close to 150 films starting with Lultimo Combattimento (1940).

De Laurentiis initially produced neo-realist films such as Bitter Rice (1946) and the Fellini classics La Strada (1954) and Nights Of Cabiria (1956), often in collaboration with producer Carlo Ponti.

In the 1960s, De Laurentiis produced films as Kiss The Girls And Make Them Die, Navajo Joe (1966), Anzio (1968), a World War II film, Barbarella (1968) and Danger: Diabolik (1968), both successful comic book adaptations, and The Valachi Papers.

In the 1970s, De Laurentiis relocated to Wilmington, North Carolina, the United States.

He made acclaimed films, including The Scientific Cardplayer (1972), Serpico (1973), Death Wish (1974), Mandingo (1975), Three Days Of The Condor (1975), The Shootist (1976), Ingmar Bergman's The Serpent's Egg (1977), Ragtime (1981), Conan The Barbarian (1982) and Blue Velvet (1986).

King Kong (1976) was also a commercial hit, as were Lipstick, the killer whale film Orca (1977), The White Buffalo (1977), the disaster movie Hurricane (1979), the remake of Flash Gordon (1980), Halloween II (the 1981 sequel to John Carpenter's 1978 classic horror film), David Lynch's Dune (1984), and King Kong Lives (1986).

De Laurentiis also made several adaptations of Stephen King's works, including The Dead Zone (1983), Cat's Eye (1985), Silver Bullet (1985) and Maximum Overdrive (1986).

Army Of Darkness (1992) was produced jointly by De Laurentiis, Robert Tapert and the movie's star Bruce Campbell.

They distributed the animated Transformers movie.

De Laurentiis also produced the first Hannibal Lecter film Manhunter (1986).

He passed on adapting Thomas Harris' sequel, The Silence Of The Lambs, but produced the two follow-ups, Hannibal (2001) and Red Dragon (2002), a remake of Manhunter.

He also produced Hannibal Rising (2007), which tells the story of how Hannibal becomes a serial killer.

He had a strong preference for adaptations of books, especially The Bible: In The Beginning (1966), Barabbas (1961) and Dune (1984).

In 2001 he received the Irving G Thalberg Memorial Award from the Academy Of Motion Picture Arts And Sciences.

He had four children with his first wife, actress Silvana Mangano, who died in 1989.

He later married movie producer Martha Schumacher and they had two daughters.

One of the children from his first marriage, Raffaella De Laurentiis, is also a producer.

Another, Federico De Laurentiis (February 28, 1955 – July 15, 1981), died at 26 in an airplane crash.

His grand daughter is Giada De Laurentiis, host of Everyday Italian, Behind The Bash, Giada At Home and Giada's Weekend Getaways on Food Network.

His nephew is Aurelio De Laurentiis, a film producer in his own right and the chairman of SSC Napoli Football Club.

So Long Shamrin

Veteran rock singer Shamrin Abdul Samad of Fotograf who passed away of a heart ailment at 43 today will always be remembered as an alpha male icon.

Shamrin was a popular singer throughout the last two decades, and was known for his manly voice.

Fotograf’s best known songs included Di Alam Fana Cintamu, Jangan Di Ucap Selamat Tinggal and Luka Seribu Rindu.

Fotograf was formed in 1987 and its other members are guitarist Abol, bassist Amran and drummer Ringgo.

It released five albums between 1989 and 1997, and had plans for a new album and reunion concert.

In 2004, Shamrin launched a mini album which he co-produced with rocker Opie of Bloodshed and Rosli Selasih.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

M Rajoli - Malaysia's Mickey Rooney

The late M Rajoli who passed away after a long illness at 65 on September 17, 2010, will always be remembered as a versatile supporting actor.

One of Malaysia's groovy grandpas of film, he starred in countless comedies, TV series and serious movies for the last four decades.

The actor was born Mohamad Razali Mohamad Zin in Pasir Mas, Kelantan, is survived by his wives Hashimah Mohamad Din and former Radio Television Malaysia (RTM) news caster and actress Wan Chik Daud, four children and seven grand children.

Friday, September 17, 2010

About Jimi Hendrix

From Wikipedia.

James Marshall "Jimi" Hendrix (born Johnny Allen Hendricks, November 27, 1942 – September 18, 1970) was an American guitarist and singer-songwriter.

He is often considered the greatest electric guitarist in the history of rock music, and one of the most influential musicians of his era.

After initial success in Europe, he achieved fame in the United States following his 1967 performance at the Monterey Pop Festival.

Later, Hendrix headlined the iconic 1969 Woodstock Festival and the 1970 Isle of Wight Festival.

Hendrix often favoured raw, overdriven amplifiers with high gain and treble and helped develop the previously undesirable technique of guitar amplifier feedback.

Hendrix was one of the musicians who popularised the wah-wah pedal in mainstream rock which he often used to deliver an exaggerated pitch in his solos, particularly with high bends and use of legato.

He was influenced by blues artistes such as B B King, rhythm and blues and soul guitarists as Curtis Mayfield and Steve Cropper, and jazz.

In 1966, Hendrix, who played and recorded with Little Richard's band from 1964 to 1965, said, "I want to do with my guitar what Little Richard does with his voice."

As a record producer, Hendrix also broke new ground in using the recording studio as an extension of his musical ideas.

He was one of the first to experiment with stereophonic and phasing effects for rock recording.

Hendrix won many of the most prestigious rock music awards in his lifetime, and has been posthumously awarded many more, including being inducted into the US Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in 1992 and the UK Music Hall Of Fame in 2005.

An English Heritage blue plaque was erected in his name on his former residence at Brook Street, London, in September 1997.

A star on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame was dedicated in 1994.

In 2006, his debut US album, Are You Experienced, was inducted into the United States National Recording Registry, and Rolling Stone named Hendrix the top guitarist on its list of 100 Greatest Guitarists in 2003.

He was also the first person inducted into the Native American Music Hall Of Fame.

Born Johnny Allen Hendricks in Seattle, Washington, he was the first of two sons of James Allen "Al" Hendricks (1919–2002) and Lucille Jeter (1925-1958).

His father was stationed at Fort Sill in Oklahoma at the time of his birth.

He was known as "Buster" to friends and family, from birth.

Al found it hard to gain steady employment after the Second World War, and the family experienced financial hardship.

Hendrix had two brothers, Leon and Joseph, and two sisters, Kathy and Pamela.

Joseph was born with physical difficulties and at three was given up to state care.

His sisters were given up at a relatively early age, for care and later adoption.

Kathy was born blind.

Hendrix's parents divorced when he was nine.

His mother, a heavy drinker, died in 1958.

Hendrix grew up shy and sensitive, deeply affected by the poverty and family disruption he experienced.

Unusually for his era, Hendrix's high school had a relatively equitable ethnic mix of African Americans, European Americans and Asian Americans.

At 15, he acquired his first acoustic guitar from an acquaintance of his father.

Hendrix was a self-taught guitarist and played with bands around Washington and British Columbia in Canada.

Hendrix was particularly fond of Elvis Presley, whom he saw perform in Seattle, in 1957.

The first formal band he played in was The Velvetones. He later joined the Rocking Kings.

Hendrix completed junior high at Washington Junior High School.

Hendrix got into trouble with the law twice for riding in stolen cars.

He was given a choice between spending two years in prison or joining the army.

Hendrix chose the latter and enlisted on May 31, 1961.

After completing boot camp, he was assigned to the 101st Airborne Division and stationed in Fort Campbell, Kentucky.

He spent a year in the army.

While in the army, Hendrix met fellow soldier and bass player Billy Cox, and they forged a loyal friendship from 1969 until Billy's breakdown shortly before Hendrix's death.

After his army discharge, Hendrix and Cox moved to Clarksville, Tennessee.

They played in Nashville's Jefferson Street, the traditional heart of its African American community and home to a lively rhythm and blues scene.

Their band was known as The Casuals, later King Kasuals.

Hendrix went to New York City in 1964 and befriended Lithofayne Pridgeon (known as Faye) and the Allen twins, Arthur and Albert (now known as Taharqa and Tunde-Ra Aleem).

The twins also performed as backup singers (under the name Ghetto Fighters) on some of his recordings, most notably Freedom.

Pridgeon, a Harlem native with connections throughout the area's music scene, provided Hendrix with shelter, support and encouragement.

Hendrix won first prize in the Apollo Theatre amateur contest.

He was offered the guitarist position with The Isley Brothers' back-up band and readily accepted it.

Hendrix' first studio recording occurred in March 1964, when the Isley Brothers recorded Testify.

Hendrix subsequently went to Nashville and recorded and performed with Little Richard.

He rejoined the Isley Brothers in 1965 and recorded Move Over and Let Me Dance with them.

In the same year, Hendrix joined New York–based R&B band Curtis Knight And The Squires.

He recorded a single with Knight, How Would You Feel backed with Welcome Home.

He also signed a three-year recording contract with entrepreneur Ed Chalpin.

While the relationship with Chalpin was shortlived, his contract remained in force, which caused considerable problems for Hendrix later on.

The legal dispute has continued to the present day.

Hendrix had his first composer credits for Hornets Nest and Knock Yourself Out released as a Curtis Knight And The Squires single in 1966.

He also formed his own band The Blue Flame and later the Jimi Hendrix Experience.

Hendrix then met Chas Chandler, who was ending his tenure as bassist in The Animals and looking for talent to manage and produce.

Chandler brought him to London and signed him to a management and production contract with himself and ex-Animals manager Michael Jeffery.

At Chandler's request, Cream let Hendrix join it on stage for a jam on the song Killing Floor.

Hendrix and Cream lead singer Eric Clapton remained friends until Hendrix's death.

His showmanship and virtuosity made instant fans of reigning guitar heroes Eric Clapton and Jeff Beck, as well as Brian Jones and The Beatles.

Further success came in early 1967 with Purple Haze which featured The Wind Cries Mary.

The first Jimi Hendrix Experience album, Are You Experienced, was released in the United Kingdom on May 12, 1967.

On March 31, 1967, he set his guitar on fire at the end of his first performance, as a publicity stunt.

The Beatles' Sir Paul McCartney recommended his group to the organisers of the Monterey International Pop Festival.

This proved a great opportunity for Hendrix.

He opened the festival with Killing Floor, a song he played frequently from 1965 to 1968, as the opener to his shows.

The Jimi Hendrix Experience's second album Axis: Bold As Love in 1967 was his first recording made for stereo release.

Hendrix's third recording was the double album Electric Ladyland (1968).

Electric Ladyland included Voodoo Chile (Slight Return) as well as Hendrix's rendering of Bob Dylan's All Along The Watchtower.

Hendrix often appeared at impromptu jams with B B King and Jim Morrison of The Doors.

After a year in the US, Hendrix moved back to London, where he performed at the Royal Albert Hall in 1969.

Later that year, the Experience disbanded.

At Woodstock 1969, Hendrix recorded Jam Back At The House, Shokan Sunrise, Machine Gun and Message To Love among others.

In 1970, Hendrix worked on his new LP First Rays Of The New Rising Sun.

He then decided to leave his manager Jeffery.

Hendrix's last public performance was an informal jam at Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club in Soho.

Hendrix died in his apartment, apparently of a drug overdose.

In 2006, Seattle honoured Hendrix with the re-naming of a park near the Colman School.

Hendrix synthesised many styles in creating his musical voice and his guitar style was abundantly imitated by others.

Despite his hectic touring schedule and notorious perfectionism, he was a prolific recording artiste and left behind more than 300 unreleased recordings.

His career and death grouped him with Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, Brian Jones, Ron "Pigpen" McKernan (of the Grateful Dead) and Kurt Cobain as one of the 27 Club, a group including iconic 1960s rock stars who suffered drug-related deaths at age 27 within months of each other, leaving legacies in death that have eclipsed the popularity and influence they experienced during their lifetimes.

Despite his popularity and the lavish praise heaped upon his guitar skills, he was surprisingly humble.

Musically, Hendrix did much to further the development of the electric guitar's repertoire, establishing it as a unique sonic source, rather than merely an amplified version of the acoustic guitar.

His music also had a great influence on funk especially through Ernie Isley of The Isley Brothers, Prince, and John Frusciante of the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

His influence even extends to hip hop artistes, as Chuck D of Public Enemy, Ice-T (who covered Hey Joe), and Wyclef Jean.

Miles Davis was also deeply impressed by Hendrix.

In 1992, Hendrix was awarded the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.

In 1987, Leon Hendrix commissioned the James Marshall Hendrix Foundation.

This foundation is based in Renton, Washington.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Congrats To Malaysia Day Award Recipients

Congrats to Malaysia Day Award recipients Tun Abdul Rahman Yaakub (Bapa Kemerdekaan Sarawak, former Sarawak Chief Minister and Governor), Tan Sri Ghani Gilong (ex-Sabah Cabinet Minister), Tan Sri Zainal Abidin Sulong (ex-Foreign Ministry Secretary-General from Kelantan) and Datuk Seri Yuen Yuet Ling (ex-Perak police chief).

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

About Kampung Baru, Kuala Lumpur

Kampung Baru (New Village) took shape in the late 19th century on 114 hectares next to the Klang River in Kuala Lumpur. It was one of the projects by the British administration.

The main objective, says historian Tan Sri Khoo Kay Kim, was to provide a place near the town centre where the Malays could live quite cheaply.

In January 12, 1900, the Selangor Resident gazetted the area as a Malay Agricultural Settlement.

The British thought that by building a village, they would be able to induce them to cultivate rice. But the ones who came did not want to cultivate the land. They were mainly traders.

The land was “partly high flat land and partly swamp”. Each occupant held about a quarter of a hectare. The first residents were the peons and messengers employed in government offices. The bullock cart drivers, mainly from Melaka, were followed by Johoreans and Javanese.

The Malays were rowing sampans up and down the Klang River to transport goods for the miners in the interior, who were predominantly Chinese.

That mode of transport died when the railway arrived in 1886. By 1912, buses and lorries came. The first car came in about 1900.

From the initial 196 holdings in 1904, there are today 1,792 lots comprising both Malay Agricultural Settlement and Non-Malay Agricultural Settlement land like the Jalan Dang Wangi and Jalan Chow Kit lots.

(Many thanks, The Star)

Note that Kampung Baru is not the oldest village in Kuala Lumpur. That honour goes to Pantai (which comprises Pantai Dalam, Kampung Kerinci where RTM is, and Kampung Abdullah Hukum where Mid Valley Megamall is).

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Zsa Zsa Gabor – Hungarian Hottie Of Hollywood

Zsa Zsa Gabor is seriously ill.

She will always be remembered as Hollywood’s Hungarian hottie.

Read all about her here. Thanks, Wikipedia.

Zsa Zsa Gabor was born Sari Gabor in Budapest, Hungary on February 6, 1917.

She was the second of three sisters.

Her late elder sister Magda and late younger sister Eva also became famous actresses in Hollywood, and Eva was best known for voicing Bianca, the flirty, sexy and brave Hungarian mouse in the Disney cartoon movies The Rescuers (1977) and The Rescuers Down Under (1990).

In 1936, she competed in the Miss Hungary beauty contest but was disqualified for being underaged.

She then visited Vienna in Austria and was discovered by tenor Richard Tauber who roped her in for his operetta The Singing Dream.

Gabor married nine times and eight of her marriages ended in divorce.

Zsa Zsa was the only Gabor sister to bear a child, Constance (Francesca) Hilton who was born on March 10, 1947 after an affair with Conrad Hilton (great-grandfather of Paris Hilton).

She was involved in an automobile accident in 2002 and was hospitalised for two months.

In 2005, she suffered a stroke and took two years to recover.

Gabor’s well-known films include Moulin Rouge (1952), Lili (1953), The Story Of Three Loves (1953), Pepe (1960), Every Girl Should Have One (1978), A Nightmare On Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors (1987), The Naked Gun 2 ½: The Smell Of Fear (1991), The Beverly Hillbillies (1993) and A Very Brady Sequel (1996).

Her television series include Gilligan’s Island (1965), F Troop (1966), Bonanza (1967), My Three Sons (1968), Love Boat (1980), The Facts Of Life (1981), Matt Houston (1983), It’s Garry Shandling’s Show (1989) and The Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air (1991).

She was also active in musical theatre.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Three Kings Of Football - Maradona, Pele And Best

Thanks, Wikipedia.

Diego Maradona

Diego Armando Maradona (born October 30, 1960 in Lanus, Buenos Aires) is an Argentinian former football player and the current manager of the Argentine national team.

He is widely regarded as one of the best football players of all time.

Over the course of his professional club career Maradona played for Argentinos Juniors, Boca Juniors, Barcelona, Napoli, Sevilla and Newell's Old Boys, setting world-record contract fees.

In his international career, playing for Argentina, he earned 91 caps and scored 34 goals.

He played in four FIFA World Cup tournaments, including the 1986 World Cup where he captained Argentina and led them to their victory over West Germany in the final, winning the Golden Ball award as the tournament's best player.

In that same tournament's quarter-final round he scored two goals in a 2–1 victory over England that entered football history, though for two very different reasons.

The first goal was an unpenalised handball known as the "Hand Of God", while the second goal was a spectacular 60-metre weave through six England players, commonly referred to as "The Goal Of The Century".

For various reasons, Maradona is considered one of the sport's most controversial and newsworthy figures.

He was suspended from football for 15 months in 1991 after failing a doping test for cocaine in Italy, and he was sent home from the 1994 World Cup in the USA for testing positive for ephedrine.

After retiring from playing on his 37th birthday in 1997, he gained weight and increasingly suffered ill health, not helped by ongoing cocaine abuse.

In 2005 a stomach stapling operation helped control his weight gain.

After overcoming his cocaine addiction, he became a popular TV host in Argentina.

His outspoken manners have sometimes put him at odds with journalists and sport executives.

Although he had little previous managerial experience, he became head coach of the Argentina national team in November 2008.

Maradona was born in Lanus, but raised in Villa Fiorito, a shantytown on the southern outskirts of Buenos Aires, to a poor family that had moved from Corrientes Province.

He was the first son after three daughters.

He has two younger brothers, Hugo and Eduardo, both of whom were also professional football players.

At 10, Maradona was spotted by a talent scout while playing in his neighbourhood club Estrella Roja.

He became a staple of Los Cebollitas (The Little Onions), the junior team of Buenos Aires' Argentinos Juniors.

As a 12-year-old, he amused spectators by showing his wizardry with the ball during the halftime intermissions of first division games.

On October 20, 1976, Maradona made his professional debut with Argentinos Juniors, 10 days before his 16th birthday.

He played there between 1976 and 1981, before a transfer to Boca Juniors.

Joining the squad midway through the 1981 season, Maradona played through 1982, and secured his first league winners' medal.

After the 1982 World Cup, Maradona was transferred to Barcelona in Spain.

In 1983, under coach Cesar Luis Menotti, Barcelona and Maradona won the Copa Del Rey (Spain's annual national cup competition), beating Real Madrid, and the Spanish Super Cup, beating Athletic De Bilbao.

However, Maradona had a difficult tenure in Barcelona.

First a bout with hepatitis, then a broken leg caused by an ill-timed tackle by Athletic's Andoni Goikoetxea jeopardised his career, but Maradona's physical strength and willpower made it possible for him to soon be back on the pitch.

At Barcelona, Maradona got into frequent disputes with the team's directors, especially club president Josep Lluis Nunez.

He was transferred to Napoli in Italy's Serie A.

At Napoli, Maradona reached the peak of his professional career.

He quickly became an adored star among the club's fans, elevated the team to the most successful era in its history.

Led by Maradona, Napoli won their only Serie A Italian Championships in 1986/87 and 1989/1990, placing second in the league twice, in 1987/88 and 1988/89.

Other honours during the Maradona era at Napoli included the Coppa Italia in 1987, (second place in the Coppa Italia in 1989), the UEFA Cup in 1989 and the Italian Supercup in 1990.

Maradona was the top scorer in Serie A in 1987/88.

During his time in Italy, Maradona's personal problems increased.

His cocaine use continued, and he received US $70,000 in fines from his club for missing games and practices, ostensibly because of 'stress'.

He faced a scandal there regarding an illegitimate son, and he was also the object of some suspicion over an alleged friendship with the Mafia.

After serving a 15-month ban for failing a drug test for cocaine, Maradona left Napoli in disgrace in 1992.

By the time he joined his next team, Sevilla (1992–93), he had not played professional football for two years.

In 1993 he played for Newell's Old Boys and in 1995 he returned to Boca Juniors for 2 years.

Maradona also appeared for Tottenham Hotspur in a friendly match against Internazionale, shortly before the 1986 World Cup.

The match was Osvaldo Ardiles' testimonial, who insisted his friend Maradona played.

Tottenham won 2–1.

He played alongside Glenn Hoddle, who gave up his number 10 shirt for the Argentinian.

Maradona would go on to dribble past Hoddle during his "goal of the century" against England in the World Cup that year.

Along with his time at Napoli, international football is where Maradona found fame.

Playing for the Albicelestes of the Argentina national football team, he participated in four consecutive FIFA World Cup tournaments, leading Argentina to victory in 1986 and to second place in 1990.

He made his full international debut at age 16, against Hungary on February 27, 1977.

At 18, he played the World Youth Championship for Argentina, and was the star of the tournament, shining in their 3–1 final win over the Soviet Union.

On June 2, 1979, Maradona scored his first senior international goal in a 3–1 win against Scotland at Hampden Park.

Maradona played his first World Cup tournament in 1982.

In the first round, Argentina, the defending champions, lost to Belgium.

Although the team convincingly beat Hungary and El Salvador to progress to the second round, they were defeated in the second round by Brazil and by eventual winners Italy.

Maradona played in all five matches without being substituted, scoring twice against Hungary, but was sent off with 5 minutes remaining in the game against Brazil for serious foul play.

Maradona captained the Argentine national team to victory in the 1986 FIFA World Cup, winning the final in Mexico against West Germany.

Throughout the 1986 World Cup Maradona asserted his dominance and was the most dynamic player of the tournament.

He played every minute of every Argentina's game, scored 5 goals and made 5 assists.

After scoring two goals in the 2–1 quarter-final win against England his legend was cemented.

This match was played with the background of the Falklands War between Argentina and the United Kingdom and emotions were still lingering in the air throughout the entire match.

Replays showed that the first goal was scored by striking the ball with his hand.

Maradona was coyly evasive, describing it as "a little with the head of Maradona and a little with the hand of God."

It became known as the "Hand Of God," or "La Mano De Dios."

Ultimately, on August 22, 2005 Maradona acknowledged on his television show that he had hit the ball with his hand purposely, and that he immediately knew the goal was illegitimate.

The goal stood, much to the wrath of the English players.

Maradona's second goal was later voted by FIFA as the greatest goal in the history of the World Cup.

This goal was voted Goal Of The Century in a 2002 online poll conducted by FIFA.

Maradona captained Argentina again in the 1990 FIFA World Cup.

An ankle injury affected his overall performance, and he was much less dominant than four years earlier.

At the 1994 FIFA World Cup Maradona played in only two games, scoring one goal against Greece, before being sent home after failing a drug test for ephedrine doping.

Maradona had a compact physique and could withstand physical pressure well. His strong legs and low centre of gravity gave him an advantage in short sprints.

His physical strengths were illustrated by his two goals against Belgium in the 1986 World Cup.

Maradona was a strategist and a team player, as well as highly technical with the ball.

One of Maradona's trademark moves was dribbling full-speed on the left wing, and on reaching the opponent's goal line, delivering accurate passes to his team mates.

Maradona was dominantly left-footed, often using his left foot even when the ball was positioned more suitably for a right-footed connection.

In 2000, Maradona published his autobiography Yo Soy El Diego (I Am The Diego), which became an instant best seller in his home country.

Two years later, Maradona donated the Cuban royalties of his book to "the Cuban people and President Fidel Castro."

FIFA conducted a fan poll on the Internet in 2000, to elect the Player Of The Century.

Maradona finished top of the poll with 53.6pc of the vote.

Subsequently, contrary to the original announcement of how the award would be decided, FIFA appointed a committee of football experts that voted to award Pele the title.

Maradona protested at the change in procedure, and declared he would not attend the ceremony if Pele replaced him.

Eventually, two awards were made, to each of them.

Maradona is of Spanish, Croatian and Native American (Guarani) descent and his maternal great-grandfather Mateo Kariolic was born in Korcula, Dalmatia, Croatia.

On November 7, 1989, he married his longtime fiancee Claudia Villafane in Buenos Aires. They have two daughters, Dalma Nerea (born April 2, 1987) and Giannina Dinorah (born May 16, 1989).

Giannina is now engaged to Atletico Madrid striker Sergio Aguero.

Maradona and his wife were divorced in 2004.

Maradona is a fan of former Cuban President Fidel Castro and Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.

He once slammed the US government of President George W. Bush saying: "I hate everything that comes from the United States President George W. Bush. I hate it with all my strength."


Edison Arantes Do Nascimento (born October 23, 1940), best known by his nickname Pele is a retired Brazilian football player. He is widely regarded by polls amongst football experts, former players and fans as the greatest footballer of all time.

In his native Brazil, Pele is hailed as a national hero.

He is known for his accomplishments and contributions to football.

He is also acknowledged for his vocal support of policies to improve the social conditions of the poor (when he scored his 1,000th goal he dedicated it to the poor children of Brazil).

During his career, he became known as The King Of Football (O Rei Do Futebol) or simply The King (O Rei).

Spotted by football star Waldemar De Brito, Pele began playing for Santos at 15 and his national team at 16, and won his first World Cup at 17.

Despite numerous offers from European clubs, the economic conditions and Brazilian football regulations at that time benefited Santos, and enabled them to keep Pele for almost two decades until 1974.

Pele played as an inside forward, striker and what later became known as the playmaker position.

Pele's techniques and natural athleticism have been universally praised and during his playing years he was renowned for his excellent dribbling and passing, powerful shots, exceptional heading ability, and prolific goal-scoring.

He is the all-time leading scorer of the Brazil national football team and is the only footballer to be a part of three World Cup-winning squads.

In 1962 he was on the Brazilian squad at the start of the World Cup but because of an injury suffered in the second match, he was unable to play the remainder of the tournament.

In November 2007 FIFA announced that he would be awarded the 1962 medal retroactively, making him the only player in the world to have three World Cup winning medals.

Since his retirement in 1977, Pele has been a worldwide ambassador for football and has undertaken various acting roles and commercial ventures.

Pele was born in Tres CoraƧoes, Brazil, the son of a Fluminense footballer Dondinho (born Joao Ramos Do Nascimento) and Maria Celeste Arantes.

He was named after the American inventor Thomas Edison.

He was originally nicknamed Dico by his family. He did not receive the nickname Pele until his school days.

It means Miracle in Hebrew.

Pele grew up in poverty in Bauru, Sao Paulo. He earned extra money by working in tea shops.

At 15, he joined the Santos FC junior team. He played for one season before joining the senior team.

During his time at Santos, Pele played alongside many gifted players, including Zito, Pepe and Coutinho.

Pele made his debut for Santos on September 7, 1956, scoring one goal in a 7–1 friendly victory over Corinthians.

When the 1957 season started, Pele was given a starting place in the first team and, at 16, became the top scorer in the league.

On November 19, 1969, Pele scored his 1000th goal in all competitions. The goal, called popularly O Milesimo (The Thousandth), occurred in a match against Vasco Da Gama, at the Maracana Stadium.

Pele states that his most beautiful goal was scored at Rua Javari Stadium against Sao Paulo rival Juventus on August 2, 1959.

In 1967, the two factions involved in the Nigerian Civil War agreed to a 48-hour ceasefire so they could watch Pele play an exhibition game in Lagos.

After the 1972 season (his 17th with Santos), Pele retired from Brazilian club football.

Two years later, he signed with the New York Cosmos of the North American Soccer League (NASL) for the 1975 season.

Though well past his prime, Pele is credited with significantly increasing public awareness and interest in soccer in the United States.

He led the Cosmos to the 1977 NASL championship, in his third and final season with the club.

On October 1, 1977, Pele closed his legendary career in an exhibition match between the Cosmos and Santos. The Cosmos won 2–1.

Pele's first international match was a 2–1 defeat against Argentina on July 7, 1957. In that match, he scored his first goal for Brazil aged 16 years and 9 months to become the youngest player to score in international football.

His first match in the World Cup was against the Soviet Union (USSR) in the first round of the 1958 FIFA World Cup.

He was the youngest player of that tournament, and at the time the youngest ever to play in the World Cup.

He scored his first World Cup goal against Wales in the quarter finals, the only goal of the match, to help Brazil advance to semi-finals, while becoming the youngest ever World Cup goal scorer at 17 years and 239 days.

On June 19, 1958 Pele became the youngest player to play in a World Cup final match at 17 years and 249 days. He scored two goals in the final as Brazil beat Sweden 5–2.

In the first match of the 1962 World Cup, against Mexico, Pele assisted on the first goal and then scored the second one to go up 2–0 after a run past four defenders.

He injured himself while attempting a long-range shot against Czechoslovakia.

The 1966 World Cup was marked for its brutal fouling on Pele by the Bulgarian and Portuguese defenders.

Brazil was eliminated in the first round, playing only three matches.

Pele scored the first goal from a free kick against Bulgaria, but due to his injury, a result of persistent fouling by the Bulgarians, he was left out for the second game against Hungary.

When Pele was called to the national team in early 1969, he first refused, but then accepted and played in six World Cup qualifying matches, scoring six goals. The 1970 World Cup in Mexico was to be Pele's last.

Pele's last international match was on July 18, 1971 against Yugoslavia in Rio De Janeiro.

With Pele on the field, the Brazilian team's record was 67 wins, 14 draws and 11 losses, and went on to win three World Cups.

Brazil never lost a match while fielding Pele.

Pele also played in the South American Championship. In the 1959 competition he was top scorer with eight goals, as Brazil came second in the tournament.

On February 21, 1966, Pele married Rosemeri Dos Reis Cholby.

He has two daughters Kelly Cristina (January 13, 1967) and Jennifer (1978) as well as a son Edson (August 27, 1970).

The couple divorced in 1978.

Since April 1994 Pele has been married to psychologist and gospel singer Assiria Lemos Seixas, who gave birth on September 28, 1996 to twins Joshua and Celeste.

In 1992, Pele was appointed a United Nations ambassador for ecology and the environment.

He was awarded Brazil's Gold Medal for outstanding services to the sport in 1995.

He also received an honorary British knighthood in 1997 and was appointed a Unesco Goodwill Ambassador.

Pele has published several autobiographies, starred in documentary and semi-documentary films and composed various musical pieces, including the entire soundtrack for the film Pele in 1977.

He appeared alongside other footballers of the 1960s and 1970s, Michael Caine and Sylvester Stallone, in the 1981 film Escape To Victory.

Pele signed a major autobiographical book deal in 2006 with UK luxury publishers Gloria.

In the same period, Pele received a lifetime achievement award from the BBC and helped inaugurate the 2006 FIFA World Cup finals, alongside supermodel Claudia Schiffer.

Pele has also helped to promote viagra and raise the awareness of impotency.

George Best

George Best (May 22, 1946 – November 25, 2005) was a Northern Irish professional football player, best known for his years with Manchester United.

He was a winger whose game combined pace, acceleration, balance, two-footedness, goal-scoring and the ability to beat defenders.

In 1968, he won the European Cup with Manchester United, and was named the European Footballer Of The Year.

When fit, he was an automatic choice for the Northern Ireland team, but he was unable to lead them to the World Cup qualification, despite being capped 37 times and scoring nine goals.

Pele named him as one of the 125 best living footballers in his 2004 FIFA 100 list and Best was named 19th at the UEFA Golden Jubilee Poll.

In his native Northern Ireland, the admiration for him is summed up by the local saying: "Maradona good, Pele better, George Best."

He was one of the first celebrity footballers, but his extravagant lifestyle led to problems with alcoholism which curtailed his playing career and eventually led to his death at 59.

His cause of death was multiple organ failure after a liver transplant.

In 2007, GQ named him as one of the 50 most stylish men of the past 50 years.

The Cregagh Estate honoured George Best by unveiling a mural on what would have been his 60th birthday.

George Best was the first child of Dick Best (1920–2008) and Anne Withers (1923–1978), and grew up in Cregagh, Belfast.

Best had four sisters and a brother.

In 1957, at 11, the academically gifted Best passed the 11 plus and went to Grosvenor High School, but he soon played truant as the school specialised in rugby.

Best then moved to Lisnasharragh Secondary School, reuniting him with friends from primary school and allowing him to focus on football.

At 15, Best was discovered in Belfast by Manchester United scout Bob Bishop.

Best made his Manchester United debut, aged 17, on September 14, 1963 against West Bromwich Albion at Old Trafford and this resulted in a 1–0 victory.

Best hit the headlines at 20 when he scored two goals in a European Cup quarter-final match against Benfica in 1966, and his long hair prompted the Portuguese press to dub him "O Quinto Beatle (The Fifth Beatle)".

Best's talent and showmanship made him a crowd and media favourite.

Called "The Fifth Beatle" for his long hair, good looks and extravagant celebrity lifestyle, he even appeared on Top Of The Pops in 1965.

Other nicknames included the "Belfast Boy".

Best opened two nightclubs in Manchester, in the late 1960s - Oscar's and Slack Alice's (which later became 42nd Street Nightclub).

He also owned fashion boutiques, in partnership with Mike Summerbee of Manchester City.

However, he developed problems with gambling, womanising and alcoholism.

In 1974, aged 27, Best quit United for good.

His last competitive game for the club was on January 1, 1974 against Queens Park Rangers at Loftus Road.

In total Best made 470 appearances for Manchester United in all competitions from 1963 to 1974, and scored 179 goals.

Best had a brief spell at Cork Celtic in December 1975. He played only three league games, against Drogheda United, Bohemian and Shelbourne, but despite attracting big crowds he failed to score or impress.

He then had a brief resurgence in form with Fulham in 1976–77.

Best played for three clubs in the United States: Los Angeles Aztecs, Fort Lauderdale Strikers and later San Jose Earthquakes.

He also played for Scottish club Hibernain, Bournemouth and the Brisbane Lions.

He was capped 37 times for Northern Ireland, scoring nine goals. Of his nine international goals four were scored against Cyprus and one each against Albania, England, Scotland, Switzerland and Turkey.

On May 15, 1971, Best scored possibly the most famous "goal" of his career at Windsor Park in Belfast against England.

Best continued to be selected for Northern Ireland throughout the 1970s, despite his fluctuating form and off pitch problems.

In 1998, Best became a football pundit on the Sky Sports live show Soccer Saturday. His last appearance on the show was in 2004.

In November 2004, 58-year-old Best agreed to join Premier League club Portsmouth as a youth coach, citing his desire to get involved in football again.

Best was married twice, first to Angela MacDonald-Janes (1978–1986). They had a son, Calum, who was born in 1981.

He married Alex Pursey in 1995 in Kensington and Chelsea, London. They divorced in 2004.

In 2004, his second wife Alex appeared as a contestant on the reality television programme I'm a Celebrity ... Get Me Out Of Here! and alleged that Best was violent towards her during their marriage.

This issue was, in fact, covered in Best's authorised 1998 biography Bestie in which Alex claimed that Best punched her in the face on more than one occasion, something which Best never denied.

Best's last words were "Don't die like me". It was a way of warning others not to risk suffering a similar fate as a result of alcoholism.

Belfast City Airport was renamed George Best Airport as a tribute to Best.

The official new name and signage was unveiled to a gathering of the Best family and friends at the airport on May 22, 2006 which would have been his 60th birthday.

In June 2006, Sarah Faberge, great-grand daughter of Russian Imperial Jeweller Carl Faberge was commissioned to create the George Best Egg, in tribute to Best.

The first egg from the collection is now on permanent public display at the George Best Airport.

For the first anniversary of his death, Ulster Bank issued one million commemorative five pound notes. The notes sold out in five days.

Best has written or co-written 6 autobiographies.

In 1984 Best made a fitness album with Mary Stavin called Shape Up And Dance.

A warts-and-all biopic simply entitled Best was released in 2000.

Best has been mentioned in the song In The Name Of The Father written by Bono, Gavin Friday and Maurice Seezer and performed by Bono.

Friday, June 25, 2010

About Johor Baru

Thanks, Wikipedia.

Johor Baru is the capital city of Johor in southern Malaysia.

It is the southernmost city in Malaysia.

It is the third largest city in Malaysia after Kuala Lumpur and Ipoh.

It is located between the Skudai River on the west and Tebrau River on the east. To its south is the Johor Straits.

Tampoi Road forms its northern border with the district and town of Skudai.

In recent years Skudai has upstaged Johor Baru to become Johor's main economic hub and administrative centre.

Johor Baru was originally known as Tanjung Puteri (Princess Cape) or Tanjung Iskandar (Iskandar's Cape), Iskandar being a famous Sultan of Johor.

Johor Baru received its current name on January 1, 1866.

On January 1, 1994 it became a city, Malaysia's fifth after Georgetown, Kuala Lumpur, Ipoh and Kuching.

Malays form 44pc of Johor Baru's residents, followed by Chinese (42pc) and Indians (14pc).

The Chinese of Johor Baru are mainly Hokkiens (including Swatow [Teochew], Hainan and Foochow [Hokchew]). There is a small number of Cantonese and Hakkas.

The Indians of Johor Baru are mainly Tamils. The rest are Punjabis, Malayalees and Telugus.

Johor Baru is one of Malaysia's most bustling cities thanks to its proximity to Singapore. Many Singaporeans have invested in Johor Baru, and Johor, for years. Johor Baru and Singapore are linked by the Causeway.

Tampoi and Larkin are Johor Baru's main industrial areas. In recent years, Johor Baru's former satellite town of Skudai has become the state's major economic hub.

Another former satellite town, Pasir Gudang, has also become a major economic hub and industrial area.

Both Skudai and Pasir Gudang are Johor's main ports. The port in Skudai is Tanjung Pelepas. Skudai also houses the Second Link to Singapore and Johor's new administrative centre Kota Iskandar (Nusajaya).

Skudai also houses the Malaysian University of Technology (UTM).

The Sultan Ismail Airport is located in the neighbouring town of Kulai.

Best 104, the country's first private radio station is based in Johor Baru.

Johor Baru's main shopping centre is City Square near the Johor Baru Railway Station.

Johor Baru's sister cities are Istanbul in Turkey, Jeddah in Saudi Arabia, Shenzhen in China, and Kuching in Sarawak, Malaysia.

Famous personalities from Johor Baru include present and former Cabinet Ministers Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein, Datuk Shahrir Samad, Datuk Seri Khaled Nordin, Tan Sri Syed Hamid Albar, the late Tun Dr Ismail Abdul Rahman and the late Datuk Ali Ahmad, entertainers Suhaimi Abdul Rahman (Amy of Search), Datuk Abdul Rahman Hassan, Datuk Sharifah Aini, Julie Dahlan, Aziz M Osman, Dina Nadzir, Nabila Huda Suhaimi, Intan Sarafina Yahya, Khairul Nizam Wahi, Hairina Halim, Khairul Nizam (Toi) Baharom, Maulana Mohamad, Diddy Muhid, Lufya Omar, Betty Banafe, Linda Onn, Fahrin Ahmad, Zamarul Hisham, Diana Rafar, Linda Rafar, Ain Rahmat and Ekin Rahmat.

About Kluang

Thanks, Wikipedia.

Kluang is a town and district located in the middle of the state of Johor in Malaysia.

Kluang lies about 110 km north of Johor Baru, east of Batu Pahat, west of Mersing and south of Segamat.

Its name is derived from the Malay word 'keluang' which is a flying fox (fruit bat).

The Mengkibol River runs through Kluang Town.

The district of Kluang is now run by two municipal councils namely Kluang Municipal Council that is centred in Kluang Town and Simpang Renggam Municipal Council that is centred in Simpang Renggam Town.

Kluang Town is the district capital.

During World War 2, Kluang was used by the Japanese as a base to attack Singapore and Sumatra.

From 1963-1973, the British used it as a base for its aircraft workshops.

Kluang has 2 famous mountains namely Gunung Lambak and the higher Gunung Belumut.

The Mengkibol River runs through the town.

Kluang is landlocked and has no seafront.

Kluang is served by a railway and roads linking it to all neighbouring districts.

It has a railway station as well as a bus station.

Kluang was a rubber-planting district, but rubber was replaced by oil palm in the last four decades.

It is also a major light industrial district in Johor.

Kluang High School is one of the best known schools in Kluang, and the Chong Hwa High School is the second biggest Chinese secondary school in Malaysia.

Kluang's two major shopping centres are Kluang Mall and Kluang Parade.

Kluang's Railway Station is famous for its Chinese coffee shop called Kluang Rail Coffee.

Kluang Rail Cafe is now a major franchise with branches around Malaysia.

The Kluang suburb of Machap is famous for its pottery.

Famous Malaysians who were born in or hail from Kluang include former Ministers Datuk Seri S Samy Vellu (who is actually from Batu Caves in Selayang, Selangor) and Datuk Seri Azalina Othman, her musician uncle Datuk Shake (Datuk Sheikh Abdullah Ahmad), former KL Mayor Tan Sri Mohmad Shaid Taufek, and singers/musicians Zainal Abidin, Arab, Aub, Noraniza Idris and Haziq Rosebi.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Steve Jobs - The World’s Most Influential Arab Bizman

Thanks, Wikipedia.

Steven Paul Jobs, (born February 24, 1955) is an Arab-American business magnate and the co-founder and chief executive officer of Apple.

Jobs also previously served as chief executive officer of Pixar Animation Studios. He became a member of the board of The Walt Disney Company in 2006, following the acquisition of Pixar by Disney.

In the late 1970s, Jobs, with Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak and Mike Markkula designed, developed and marketed one of the first commercially successful lines of personal computers, the Apple II series.

In the early 1980s, Jobs was among the first to see the commercial potential of the mouse-driven graphical user interface which lead to the creation of the Macintosh.

After losing a power struggle with the board of directors in 1985, Jobs resigned from Apple and founded NeXT, a computer platform development company specialising in the higher education and business markets.

Apple's subsequent 1996 buyout of NeXT brought Jobs back to the company he co-founded and he has served as its CEO since 1997.

In 1986, he acquired the computer graphics division of Lucasfilm which was spun off as Pixar Animation Studios.

He remained CEO and majority shareholder until its acquisition by the Walt Disney Company in 2006.

Jobs is currently a member of Walt Disney Company's board of directors.

Jobs' history in business has contributed much to the symbolic image of the idiosyncratic, individualistic Silicon Valley entrepreneur, emphasising the importance of design and understanding the crucial role aesthetics play in public appeal.

His work driving forward the development of products that are both functional and elegant has earned him a devoted following.

Beginning in January 2009, Jobs took a five-month leave of absence from Apple to undergo a liver transplant.

Jobs officially resumed his role as CEO of Apple on June 29, 2009.

Jobs was born in San Francisco and was adopted by Paul and Clara Hagopian of Mountain View, Santa Clara County, California.

Jobs' birth parents were Joanne Simpson and Abdulfattah Jandali — a Syrian Muslim political science professor — also the parents of the novelist Mona Simpson.

While in school, Jobs attended lectures at the Hewlett-Packard Company in Palo Alto, California.

He was soon hired there and worked with Steve Wozniak as a summer employee.

He later took a job as a technician at Atari, a manufacturer of popular video games.

Jobs then travelled to India with a college friend (the first Apple employee), Daniel Kottke, in search of spiritual enlightenment.

He came back a Buddhist.

He returned to his previous job at Atari and was given the task of creating a circuit board for the game Breakout.

In 1976, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Ronald Wayne and Mike Markkula founded Apple.

In 1978, Apple recruited Mike Scott from National Semiconductor to serve as CEO for several turbulent years.

In 1983, Steve Jobs lured John Sculley away from Pepsi-Cola to serve as Apple's CEO.

In 1984, Jobs introduced the Macintosh to a wildly enthusiastic audience.

The Macintosh became the first commercially successful small computer with a graphical user interface. The development of the Mac was started by Jef Raskin, and eventually taken over by Jobs.

Around the same time, Jobs founded another computer company, NeXT Computer.

Jobs marketed NeXT products to the scientific and academic fields because of the innovative, experimental new technologies it incorporated.

In 1986, Jobs bought The Graphics Group (later renamed Pixar) from Lucasfilm's computer graphics division.

The first film produced by the partnership, Toy Story, brought fame and critical acclaim to the studio when it was released in 1995.

Over the next ten years, under Pixar's creative chief John Lasseter, the company would produce the box office hits A Bug's Life (1998), Toy Story 2 (1999), Monsters Inc. (2001), Finding Nemo (2003), The Incredibles (2004), Cars (2006), Ratatouille (2007), WALL-E (2008) and Up (2009).

Finding Nemo, The Incredibles, Ratatouille, WALL-E and Up each received the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature, an award introduced in 2001.

In 1996, Apple announced that it would buy NeXT. The deal was finalised the same year, bringing Jobs back to the company he co-founded.

Jobs married Laurene Powell, on March 18, 1991.

The couple have a son, Reed Paul Jobs and two other children.

Jobs also has a daughter, Lisa Brennan Jobs (born 1978), from his relationship with painter Chrisann Brennan.

Lisa gave birth to a son in 1993, making Steve a grandfather.

Steve Jobs is a Beatles fan.

On November 27, 2007, Jobs was named the most powerful person in business by Fortune Magazine.

On December 5, 2007, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and First Lady Maria Shriver inducted Jobs into the California Hall Of Fame.

On November 5, 2009, Jobs was named the CEO Of The Decade by Fortune Magazine.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

The A-Team - Iconic 1980s Alpha-Male Action TV Series

Thanks, Wikipedia.

The A-Team is an American action adventure television series about a fictional group of ex-United States Army Special Forces who work as soldiers of fortune while being on the run from the military after being branded as war criminals for a "crime they didn't commit".

The A-Team was created by writers and producers Frank Lupo and Stephen J. Cannell (who also collaborated together on Wiseguy, Riptide and Hunter).

Despite being thought of as mercenaries by the other characters in the show, the A-Team always acted on the side of good and helped the oppressed.

The show ran for five seasons on the NBC television network, from January 23, 1983 to December 30, 1986, for a total of 98 episodes.

It remains known in popular culture for its cartoon-like use of over-the-top violence (in which people were seldom seriously hurt), supposedly formulaic episodes, featuring the ability to form weaponry and vehicles out of old parts, and its distinctive theme tune.

The show also served as the springboard for the acting career of wrestler Mr T (Lawrence Turand, who starred in Rocky 3), who portrayed the character of BA Baracus, around whom the show was initially conceived.

Some of the show's catchphrases such as "I love it when a plan comes together", "Hannibal's on the jazz" and "I ain't gettin' on no plane!" have also made their way onto T-shirts and other merchandise.

Although not directly referenced in the series, the name of the show comes from "A-Teams", the nickname for Operational Detachments Alpha (ODA).

The US Army Special Forces uses the term ODA for their 12-man direct operations teams.

A feature film based on the series is planned for release by 20th Century Fox on June 11, 2010.

The A-Team revolves around the four members of a former commando outfit and current group of mercenaries.

Their leader is Colonel John "Hannibal" Smith (the late George Peppard of The Blue Max and Breakfast At Tiffany's), whose plans tend to be unorthodox but effective.

Lieutenant Templeton "Faceman" Peck (Dirk Benedict who played Starbuck in the original Battlestar Galactica), usually referred to as "Face", is a smooth-talking con-man who serves as the team's appropriator of vehicles and other useful items.

The team's pilot is Captain Howard Matthew "Howling Mad" Murdock (Dwight Schultz), who has been declared "insane" by the US Army.

Finally, there is the team's strong man and mechanic, Sergeant Bosco Albert "Bad Attitude" Baracus (Mr T) also known as BA.

Three female characters, reporters Amanda Allen (Melinda Culea of Glitter, Knots Landing and Joey Lawrence's series Joey/Brotherly Love) and Tawnia Baker (Marla Heasley of Battlestar Galactica and TJ Hooker) and Vietnam War orphan Tia (Tia Carrere) assisted the team in the early seasons.

Later, they were replaced by special effects expert Frankie Santana (Eddie Velez of Cagney And Lacey, Hill Street Blues and White Chicks).

During their adventures, the A-Team was constantly met by opposition from the military police.

In the show's first season they were led by Colonel Lynch (William Lucking), but he was replaced for the second, third and fourth season by Colonel Decker (Lance LeGault) and his aide Captain Crane (Carl Franklin).

For the latter portion of the show's fourth season, the team was hunted by General Harlan "Bull" Fullbright (Jack Ging).

The fifth season introduced General Hunt Stockwell (Robert Vaughn) who, while serving as the team's primary antagonist, was also the team's boss and joined them on several missions.

He was often assisted by Carla (Judith Ledford).

Famous guest stars in the series included Boy George, Hulk Hogan, the late Rick James (Superfreak), David McCallum (British actor best known for The Invisible Man, The Man From UNCLE with Vaughn, and Sapphire And Steel), Pat Sajak and Vanna White (both in Wheel Of Fortune).

During the Vietnam War, the A-Team's commanding officer, Colonel Morrison, gave them orders to rob the Bank of Hanoi to help bring the war to an end.

They succeeded in their mission, but on returning to their base four days after the end of the war, they found their CO murdered by the Viet Cong and his headquarters burned to the ground.

Therefore no proof existed that the A-Team were acting under orders, and they were sent to prison by a military court.

They were sent to Fort Bragg, from which they escaped before they could actually stand trial.

In the final episode, "The Grey Team", Hannibal, after being misled by Stockwell one time too many, tells him that the team will not work for him any more.

At the end, the team discusses what they will do if they get their pardon, and it is implied that they will continue doing what they are doing as the A-Team.

The series always featured a GMC van owned by Baracus as the getaway vehicle for the team and sometimes in episodes a white corvette with a red stripe appeared as Face's vehicle.

In early episodes the team used M16 rifles, while in later episodes they used the Ruger AC-556 rifles.

In the coming film Liam Neeson plays Hannibal, Bradley Cooper of Valentine's Day plays Faceman, South African actor, producer and director Sharlto Copley of District 9 plays Murdock and wrestler Quinton "Rampage" Jackson is BA.

The film is directed by brothers Ridley and Tony Scott.

Instead of being Vietnam War veterans, the team is re-written as Gulf War veterans.

There will be cameos by Schultz (now riding high in Ben 10) and Benedict.

Clint Eastwood - King Of Hollywood's Alpha-Males

One of the grand old men of Hollywood, Clint Eastwood is the classic American alpha-male.

A sifu (master) of Hollywood, he is best known for his no-nonsense work ethics, spartan and health-conscious lifestyle, dedication to lifelong work and productivity, and raw masculinity which only Wolverine (played by Australian Hugh Jackman) can eclipse.

He turns 80 on May 31, 2010 and I take this opportunity to wish him a happy birthday, continued success and good health.

Read all about him, courtesy of Wikipedia.

Clinton Elias Eastwood, Jr. (born May 31, 1930) is an American film actor, director, producer and composer.

He has received five Academy Awards, five Golden Globe Awards, a Screen Actors Guild Life Achievement Award and five People's Choice Awards — including one for Favourite All-Time Motion Picture Star.

Eastwood is known for his anti-hero acting roles in violent action and Western films.

Following his role as a cast member of the TV series Rawhide starting in 1958, he went on to star as the Man With No Name in the Dollars trilogy of Spaghetti Westerns in the 1960s and as Inspector Harry Callahan in the Dirty Harry films of the 1970s and 1980s.

These roles have made him an enduring icon of masculinity.

Eastwood is also known for his comedic efforts in Every Which Way But Loose and Any Which Way You Can, his two highest-grossing films.

For his work in the films Unforgiven (1992) and Million Dollar Baby (2004), Eastwood won Academy Awards for Best Director and Best Picture and received nominations for Best Actor.

These films, as well as Play Misty For Me (1971), The Outlaw Josey Wales (1976), Escape From Alcatraz (1979), Pale Rider (1985), In The Line Of Fire (1993) and Gran Torino (2008) have all received great critical acclaim and commercial success.

He has directed most of his star vehicles as well as films he has not acted in, such as Mystic River (2003) and Letters From Iwo Jima (2006), for which he received Academy Award nominations.

He also served as the nonpartisan mayor of Carmel-By-The-Sea, California from 1986–1988, tending to support small business interests on the one hand and environmental protection on the other.

Eastwood was born in San Francisco, California, to Clinton Elias Eastwood Sr. (1906–1970), a steelworker, and Margaret Ruth Rutherford (1909–2006), a factory worker.

He was a large baby (5.62 kg) and was named "Samson".

Eastwood is of British ancestry.

The family settled in Piedmont, California, where Eastwood attended Piedmont High School.

Eastwood held several jobs as he moved to different areas, including a paper carrier, grocer clerk, forest firefighter and caddy.

After graduating high school in 1949, Eastwood was drafted into the US Army.

He was stationed at Fort Ord where his certificate as a lifeguard got him appointed as a life-saving and swimming instructor.

Eastwood safeguarded film and television actors who had joined the Army through the Special Services Programme.

In 1951, while on leave, Eastwood rode in a Douglas AD bomber that ran out of gas and crashed in the ocean near Point Reyes.

After escaping the sinking fuselage, Eastwood and the pilot swam several miles to the shore.

He later moved to Los Angeles and wed college student Maggie Johnson in 1953.

In 1954, Eastwood made his first film audition, trying out for a part in Six Bridges To Cross. It was unsuccessful.

He also tried out for Brigadoon, The Constant Nymph, Bengal Brigade and The Seven Year Itch, all without success.

Eastwood eventually starred in the film Revenge Of The Creature, set in the Amazon jungle, which was the sequel to The Creature From The Black Lagoon.

Universal presented him with his first TV role, NBC's Allen In Movieland in 1955, starring Tony Curtis and Benny Goodman.

In 1958 he starred as Rowdy Yates in Rawhide. The TV series won the American Heritage Award as the best Western series.

Eastwood also appeared in Western comedy series Maverick, with James Garner.

In late 1963, Eastwood starred in A Fistful Of Dollars directed by Sergio Leone of Spain.

This film was a benchmark in the development of Spaghetti Westerns. Eastwood became a new icon of Western heroes, more lawless and desolate than usual.

It also made Eastwood a major film star in Italy. The film also redefined Western heroes into bounty hunters with distinct moral ambiguity.

A Fistful Of Dollars spawned two sequels, For A Few Dollars More in 1965 and The Good, The Bad And The Ugly in 1967.

Eastwood's iconic anti-hero in the trilogy was known as The Man With No Name.

In 1969, he starred in Hang 'Em High which was influenced by Rawhide.

He also starred in the World War II epic Where Eagles Dare.

In the same year he starred in his only musical Paint Your Wagon with Lee Marvin.

In 1970, Eastwood starred in the Western Two Mules For Sister Sara with Shirley MacLaine and the World War II movie Kelly's Heroes with Telly Savalas (Kojak) and Donald Sutherland.

Another major film in this year was The Beguiled, which was well-received in France.

In 1971, Eastwood directed his first film Play Misty For Me.

He also stepped into the iconic role of Inspector Harry Callahan, a tough, no-nonsense cop in Dirty Harry.

As Callahan, Eastwood defined the "follow-no-rules" cop film genre.

However, his character was also criticised for being misogynistic and disrespectful of human rights.

In 1972, he starred in the Western Joe Kidd. A year later, he starred in the Western High Plains Drifter.

In 1973, he reprised his role as Callahan in Magnum Force.

A year later he joined Jeff Bridges in action film Thunderbolt And Lightfoot.

In 1975 he starred in The Eiger Sanction, a commercial failure, and The Outlaw Josey Wales. It also starred his son Kyle, then seven.

He also did a third Dirty Harry film The Enforcer in 1976. Panned by critics, it marked Tyne Daly's first major screen appearance (she later became famous in Cagney And Lacey).

In 1977, Eastwood directed and starred in The Gauntlet as a down-and-out cop.

Two years later he appeared in Escape From Alcatraz, based on the true story of Frank Lee Morris, who, along with John and Clarence Anglin escaped from the notorious Alcatraz prison in 1962.

In 1980, Eastwood directed and played the star of a Wild West Show in the comedy film Bronco Billy.

His children Kyle and Alison had small roles as orphans.

In 1982, Eastwood directed and starred in Honkytonk Man, based on the novel by Clancy Carlile about country music singer Red Stovall, set during the Great Depression.

In 1982, Eastwood also directed, produced and starred in the Cold War-themed Firefox, based on a 1977 novel by British novelist Craig Thomas.

The fourth Dirty Harry film Sudden Impact in 1983 was considered the darkest, "dirtiest" and most violent film of the series. However, it was also the most popular.

In 1984, Eastwood starred in the thriller Tightrope set in New Orleans.

Eastwood starred in the period comedy City Heat with Burt Reynolds in 1984.

A year later he starred in Steven Spielberg's TV series Amazing Stories. Spielberg later produced Flags Of Our Fathers and Letters From Iwo Jima with Eastwood as director.

In 1986, Eastwood starred in the military drama Heartbreak Ridge, about the 1983 US invasion of Grenada.

Eastwood's fifth and final Dirty Harry film, The Dead Pool was released in 1988. It starred Jim Carrey and Liam Neeson.

Carrey later appeared with Eastwood in the poorly received comedy Pink Cadillac (1989).

In 1990 Eastwood starred as a character closely based on the legendary film-maker John Huston in White Hunter Black Heart.

The film was shot in Zimbabwe and Pinewood Studios in England.

He also directed and co-starred with Charlie Sheen in The Rookie.

In 1992, he revisited the Western genre in the self-directed film, Unforgiven, taking on the role of an aging ex-gunfighter.

The film, also starring esteemed actors as Gene Hackman, Morgan Freeman and Richard Harris, laid the groundwork for later Westerns as Deadwood.

It was nominated for nine Academy Awards, including Best Actor for Eastwood and Best Original Screenplay.

It won four, including Best Picture and Best Director for Eastwood.

As of 2009, Unforgiven is the last Western film that Eastwood has made.

In 1993, Eastwood played Frank Horrigan, a guilt-ridden Secret Service agent in the thriller In The Line Of Fire, co-starring John Malkovich and Rene Russo and directed by Wolfgang Petersen.

Later in 1993, Eastwood directed and co-starred with Kevin Costner in A Perfect World.

Eastwood starred opposite Meryl Streep in the love story The Bridges Of Madison County in 1995.

He also directed and starred in the well-received political thriller Absolute Power and Midnight In The Garden Of Good And Evil in 1999.

In 2000, Eastwood directed and starred in Space Cowboys, which also starred Tommy Lee Jones, Donald Sutherland and James Garner.

Two years later, he appeared with Jeff Daniels in the thriller Blood Work.

In 2003, he directed the crime drama Mystic River which won two Academy Awards, Best Actor for Sean Penn and Best Supporting Actor for Tim Robbins, as well as nominations for Best Director and Best Picture.

In 2005, Eastwood produced, directed and starred in Million Dollar Baby with Hilary Swank.

He played a cantankerous trainer who forms a bond with a female boxer (played by Swank) whom he reluctantly trains after being persuaded by his lifelong friend (played by Morgan Freeman).

She becomes paralysed in a fight and he assists her suicide.

The film won four Academy Awards, Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actress (Swank) and Best Supporting Actor (Freeman).

Eastwood also received a nomination for Best Actor and the trio was nominated for the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance By A Cast In A Motion Picture.

In 2006, Eastwood directed two films about the Battle Of Iwo Jima in World War II.

The first one, Flags Of Our Fathers, focused on the men who raised the American flag on top of Mount Suribachi.

The second one, Letters From Iwo Jima, dealt with the tactics of the Japanese soldiers on the island and the letters they wrote to family members.

Letters From Iwo Jima was the first American film to show a war issue completely from the view of an American enemy.

Both films were praised by critics and garnered several Oscar nominations, including Best Director and Best Picture for Letters From Iwo Jima.

In 2007, Eastwood directed and produced Changeling, based on a true story starring Angelina Jolie.

He also directed, produced and starred in Gran Torino, and wrote the film's theme song.

Gran Torino became his highest grossing film.

In 2009, Eastwood directed Invictus, with Morgan Freeman as Nelson Mandela and Matt Damon as rugby team captain Francois Pienaar.

In the same year he directed Hereafter, a thriller film starring Matt Damon as "a reluctant psychic".

Eastwood is politically conservative and Republican. However he is against authoritarianism and US invasions (of Korea, Vietnam and Iraq), and for gun control, gay rights, feminism and abortion.

His first marriage to model Maggie Johnson in 1953 resulted in the birth of Kyle in 1968 and Allison in 1972. They divorced in 1975.

His second wife from 1975 to 1989 was Sondra Locke who starred in some of his films (Every Which Way But Loose, Any Which Way You Can and Bronco Billy).

His third wife from 1989 to 1995 was actress Frances Fisher who starred with him in Unforgiven. They had a daughter, Francesca in 1993.

In 1996, he married television host Diana Ruiz, 35 years his junior.

As a singer and musician, Eastwood loves jazz. In 1996 he hosted a jazz concert titled Eastwood After Hours and wrote Why Should I Care with Linda Thompson and Carole Bayer Sager.

His son Kyle is a jazz musician.

Eastwood also owns the Tehama Golf Club in Carmel-By-The-Sea.

Eastwood is one of only two people to have been twice nominated for Best Actor and Best Director for the same film (Unforgiven and Million Dollar Baby), the other being Warren Beatty (Heaven Can Wait and Reds).

Along with Beatty, Robert Redford, Richard Attenborough, Kevin Costner and Mel Gibson, he is one of the few directors best known as an actor to win an Academy Award for directing.

On February 27, 2005, at 74, he became one of only three living directors (along with Milos Forman and Francis Ford Coppola) to have directed two Best Picture winners.

He was also, at age 74, the oldest recipient of the Academy Award for Best Director.

Eastwood has directed five actors in Academy Award–winning performances - Gene Hackman in Unforgiven, Tim Robbins and Sean Penn in Mystic River and Morgan Freeman and Hilary Swank in Million Dollar Baby.

Eastwood has received numerous other awards, including an America Now TV Award.

He received an honorary degree from the University Of The Pacific in 2006 and an honorary degree from the University Of Southern California in 2007.

In 2009, he was made French Legion Of Honour Commander. He was previously made French Legion Of Honour Knight in 2007.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Dennis Hopper - Iconic Bad Boy Of American Film

After Gary Coleman, we've lost Dennis Hopper, an iconic bad boy of American cinema.

He succumbed to cancer at 74 on May 29, 2010.

Here's his life story from Wikipedia.

Dennis Lee Hopper (May 17, 1936 – May 29, 2010) was an American actor, filmmaker and artist.

He made his first television appearance in 1955, and appeared in two films featuring James Dean, Rebel Without A Cause (1955) and Giant (1956).

Over the next ten years, Hopper appeared frequently on television in guest roles, and by the end of the 1960s had played supporting roles in several films.

He directed and starred in Easy Rider (1969), winning an award at the Cannes Film Festival and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay as co-writer.

He was unable to build on his success for several years, until a featured role in Apocalypse Now (1979) brought him attention.

He subsequently appeared in Rumble Fish (1983) and The Osterman Weekend (1983), and received critical recognition for his work in Blue Velvet and Hoosiers, with the latter film garnering him an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor.

He directed Colors (1988), and played the villain in Speed (1994).

Hopper's later work included a leading role in the television series Crash.

Hopper, who grew up in Kansas City and San Diego credited veteran actor Vincent Price as the man who introduced him to acting.

Hopper was married five times, including to actress Michelle Phillips for two weeks in 1970.

He is survived by four children.

As an artist he created the album cover for Tina Turner's River Deep, Mountain High in 1966.

Throughout his life, he battled drug addiction.

He campaigned for Barack Obama in the 2008 presidential election.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Lynn Redgrave - Royalty Of British Cinema

Thanks, Wikipedia.

Lynn Rachel Redgrave (March 8, 1943 – May 2, 2010) was an English actress.

A member of a well-known British family of actors, Redgrave made her theatrical debut in 1962.

In the mid-1960s she appeared in the films Tom Jones (1963) and Georgy Girl (1966) which won her a New York Film Critics Award and nominations for an Academy Award and a Golden Globe Award.

In 1967, she made her Broadway debut and also performed in the London West End.

She performed with her sister Vanessa in Three Sisters In London and in the title role in a television production of Whatever Happened To Baby Jane?

Redgrave made a return to films in the late 1990s in Shine (1996) and Gods And Monsters (1998), for which she received another Academy Award nomination.

Redgrave was born in London, the daughter of actors Sir Michael Redgrave and Rachel Kempson.

Her brother was Corin Redgrave and her sister was Vanessa Redgrave.

She was the aunt of Joely Richardson, Gabriel Nero, Jemma Redgrave and Natasha Richardson.

After training in London's Central School Of Speech And Drama, Redgrave made her professional debut in a 1962 production of A Midsummer Night's Dream at the Royal Court Theatre.

She was invited to join The National Theatre and worked with directors as Lord Laurence Olivier, Franco Zeffirelli and Noel Coward.

In the 1960s she appeared in films such as Tom Jones (1963), Girl With Green Eyes (1964), The Deadly Affair (1966) and Georgy Girl (also 1966).

In 1967 she made her Broadway debut in Black Comedy with Michael Crawford and Geraldine Page.

In 1983, she played Cleopatra in an American television version of Antony And Cleopatra opposite Timothy Dalton.

In 1988 she narrated a dramatised television documentary, Silent Mouse, which told the story of the creation of the Christmas carol Silent Night.

Highlights of her movie career also included The National Health, Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Sex, The Happy Hooker and Getting It Right.

For American television she was seen in the series Teachers Only, House Calls, Centennial and Chicken Soup.

She also did Heinz television commercials.

She also starred in BBC productions such as The Faint-Hearted Feminist, A Woman Alone and Fighting Back.

In 1967, Redgrave married British actor and director John Clark. Together they had three children. They were divorced in 2000.

She died a year after her niece Natasha Richardson and a month after her brother Corin.

About Bill Gates

Thanks, Wikipedia.

William Henry Gates III (born October 28, 1955) is an American business magnate, philanthropist and chairman of Microsoft, the software company he founded with Paul Allen.

He is consistently ranked among the world's wealthiest people and was the wealthiest overall from 1995 to 2009.

During his career at Microsoft, Gates held the positions of CEO and chief software architect and remains the largest individual shareholder with more than 8 percent of the common stock. He has also authored or co-authored several books.

Gates is one of the best-known entrepreneurs of the personal computer revolution.

Gates has pursued a number of philanthropic endeavours, donating large amounts of money to various charitable organisations and scientific research programmes through the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, established in 2000.

Gates stepped down as chief executive officer of Microsoft in 2000. He remained as chairman and created the position of chief software architect.

In 2006, Gates announced that he would be transitioning from full-time work at Microsoft to part-time work and full-time work at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

He gradually transferred his duties to Ray Ozzie, chief software architect and Craig Mundie, chief research and strategy officer.

Gates' last full-time day at Microsoft was June 27, 2008. He remains at Microsoft as non-executive chairman.

Gates was born in Seattle, Washington, to William H Gates Sr and Mary Maxwell, of English, German, Irish and Native American descent.

His father was a prominent lawyer and his mother served on the board of directors of First Interstate BancSystem.

His maternal grandfather J W Maxwell was a National Bank president.

Gates is the second of three siblings.

At 13 he enrolled in the Lakeside School, an exclusive school. There he became interested in programming BASIC and wrote his first computer programme, an implementation of noughts and crosses that allowed users to play games against the computer.

It was here that he met and became close friends with Paul Allen.

After his administrators became aware of his programming abilities, Gates wrote the school's computer programme to schedule students in classes.

At 17, Gates formed Traf-O-Data to make traffic counters based on the Intel 8008 processor.

In early 1973, Bill Gates served as a congressional page in the US House of Representatives.

Gates graduated from Lakeside School in 1973. He enrolled at Harvard College in the autumn of 1973.

While at Harvard, he met Steve Ballmer (of Belarussian descent), who later succeeded Gates as CEO of Microsoft and computer scientist Christos Papadimitriou, with whom he wrote a paper about pancake sorting.

The following year saw the release of the MITS Altair 8800 based on the Intel 8080 CPU and Gates and Allen saw this as the opportunity to start their own computer software company.

He talked this decision over with his parents, who were supportive of him.

After reading the January 1975 issue of Popular Electronics that demonstrated the Altair 8800, Gates contacted Micro Instrumentation And Telemetry Systems (MITS), the creators of the new microcomputer, to inform them that he and others were working on a BASIC interpreter for the platform.

MITS president Ed Roberts agreed to meet them for a demo.

The demonstration, held at MITS' offices in Albuquerque, was a success and resulted in a deal with MITS to distribute the interpreter as Altair BASIC.

Allen was hired into MITS and Gates took a leave of absence from Harvard to work with Allen in November 1975.

They named their partnership Microsoft and had their first office located in Albuquerque.

Gates never returned to Harvard to complete his studies.

Microsoft's BASIC was popular with computer hobbyists.

Microsoft became independent of MITS in late 1976.

The company moved from Albuquerque to Bellevue, Washington on January 1, 1979.

During Microsoft's early years, all employees had broad responsibility for the company's business.

Gates oversaw the business details, but continued to write code as well.

In the first five years, he personally reviewed every line of code the company shipped and often rewrote parts of it as he saw fit.

In 1980, IBM approached Microsoft to write the BASIC interpreter for its upcoming personal computer,the IBM PC.

After adapting the operating system for the PC, Microsoft delivered it to IBM as PC-DOS.

Gates oversaw Microsoft's company restructuring on June 25, 1981, which re-incorporated the company in Washington and made Gates President of Microsoft.

Microsoft launched its first retail version of Microsoft Windows on November 20, 1985.

From Microsoft's founding in 1975 until 2006, Gates had primary responsibility for the company's product strategy.

Gates' role at Microsoft for most of its history was primarily a management and executive role. However, he was an active software developer in the early years.

Gates appeared in a series of ads to promote Microsoft in 2008. He appeared with Jerry Seinfeld.

Gates married Melinda French from Dallas, Texas on January 1, 1994. They have three children.

In 1994, Gates sold some of his Microsoft stock to create the William H. Gates Foundation which is the largest transparently operated charitable foundation in the world.

As of 2007, Bill and Melinda Gates were the second most generous philanthropists in America, having given over $28 billion to charity.

Time magazine named Gates one of the 100 people who most influenced the 20th century, as well as one of the 100 most influential people of 2004, 2005 and 2006.

Time also named Gates, Melinda and U2's lead singer Bono (Paul Hewson) as the 2005 Persons Of The Year for their humanitarian efforts.

Gates has authored two books, The Road Ahead (1995) and Business @ The Speed Of Thought (1999).

He also starred in the film Waiting For Superman.

Monday, April 26, 2010

About Ponggal

Thanks, Wikipedia.

Ponggal is a harvest festival widely celebrated by Tamils and other Indians.

Ponggal coincides with the festival Makara Sankranthi celebrated throughout India.

Ponggal in Tamil means "boiling over." The boiling over of milk in the clay pot symbolises material abundance for the family.

The festival occurs between January 13 and 15, from the last day of the Tamil month Maargazhi to the third day of the month of Thai.

It marks the sun’s northward shift.

The day preceding Ponggal in Tamil Nadu is Bhogi. It is a day to discard old materials and repaint one’s house.

On Ponggal, families boil rice with milk, brown sugar, cashew nuts and raisins.

Telugus, Orissans, Bengalis, Punjabis, Marathis and Gujaratis call the festival Sankranthi. Gujaratis also call it Uttarayana and Punjabis also call it Lohri.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

About Banting (Kuala Langat)

Thanks, Wikipedia.

Banting is one of Selangor's major towns. It is situated in the south-west of Selangor and is the district capital of Kuala Langat.

Banting is famous for its seafood, homestay programmes for tourists, the National Space Centre in its suburb Kancong Darat, the Teluk Panglima Garang Free Trade Zone, historical suburbs Jenjarom, Jugra and Teluk Datuk, seaside suburbs Morib and Tanjung Sepat, and Carey Island (Pulau Si Alang) which is the home of the Mahmeri Senoi Aborigines.

Jenjarom is famous for its Dong Zen Fo Guang Shan Buddhist Temple.

Jugra houses a mausoleum of Selangor royalty and two old palaces of the Sultan namely Istana Bandar (Town Palace) and Istana Jugra (Jugra Palace).

It also houses the Sultan Alauddin Sulaiman Shah Mosque.

Morib was one of the first landing points of the British when they recaptured Malaya from the Japanese at the end of World War II.

Teluk Datuk houses a British era post office.

Carey Island is a delta island at the mouth of the Langat River. It has oil palm plantations and villages of the Mahmeri Senoi people.

Famous Malaysians from Banting include the 'badminton royalty' the Sidek Brothers, former Cabinet Minister Datuk Seri Shafie Salleh, former Selangor Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hormat Rafei and his son, rock singer and guitarist Din Hormat of Estranged, television personality Rina Omar, award-winning actor Rosyam Nor, travel journalist Zalina Mohamad Som and businessman Mark Ganesan.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

First Kadazan Consul-General In Canton

Thanks a million, Malaysian National News Agency (Bernama).

Francisco Munis, 39, has been appointed Malaysia's Consul-General in Canton (Guangzhou), China, the first Sabahan diplomat to head a Malaysian mission overseas.

Previously, he served as assistant secretary at the Foreign Ministry's protocol department before being posted in 2001 to the Malaysian Embassy in Mexico as first secretary.

Upon his return in 2006, he served at the Information and Public Diplomacy Department of the Ministry as Director of Research and Documentation.

He holds a Bachelor of Science Honours degree from Loughborough University, the United Kingdom.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Sabah’s 20 Point Agreement

1. No state religion in Sabah. Changed by third Chief Minister Tun Datu Mustapha Harun in 1973.
2. English is second official language of Sabah. Still is.
3. The Malaysian Constitution should not be the same as the Malayan Constitution. It is not.
4. The Sabah Governor should not be eligible for Kingship. He is not.
5. The federation is called Malaysia. It is.
6. Immigration is controlled by Sabah. It is.
7. Sabah has no right to leave Malaysia. It does not.
8. There should be Sabahan-isation of the civil service in Sabah. There has been.
9. British officers should remain in the civil service until such time that Malaysians can take over their duties. They did.
10. Sabahans born in Sabah after Malaysia’s formation should automatically be Malaysian citizens. They are.
11. Sabah should retain control over its finance. It does.
12. Indigenous Sabahans should enjoy the same special rights as Malays in Peninsular Malaysia. They do.
13. Sabah Chief Minister should be elected by the State Legislative Assembly. He is.
14. Sabah should have a proper Ministerial system and State Legislative Assembly. It has.
15. Sabah should have its own education system. Abrogated by third Chief Minister Tun Datu Mustapha Harun in 1973.
16. Kuala Lumpur cannot withdraw special safeguards granted to Sabah without the approval of the Sabah State Legislative Assembly. It cannot.
17. Sabah’s representation in the Federal Parliament should be larger than any Peninsular Malaysian state. It is.
18. Sabah’s Governor is titled Yang Dipertua Negeri. He is.
19. Sabah’s official name is just Sabah. It is.
20. Land and Local Government should be fully governed by Sabah laws. They are.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Candle In The Wind (For Din)

(Original by Sir Elton John)

Goodbye funny friend
May you ever stay in our hearts
You made us laugh at ourselves
You brought us cheer when we were crying

In a world of madness
Your sense of humour
Was the mark of sanity
The pillar of unity
1 Malaysia that set us free

And it seems to me
You lived your life
Like a candle in the wind
Never riding off in the sunset
Or when rain set in
And your laughter will always
Be heard amongst
Malaysia's rolling hills
Your candle's burnt out
Long before your
Legend ever will