Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Sydney - New Year's Eve Fireworks - video spectacular space theme

Sydney New Year's Eve: First big bang dazzles 9pm crowds

Sydney celebrates NYE

The countdown to midnight begins as revellers pack Sydney's foreshore and harbour to watch the world famous fireworks display. Nine News.
The first big bang of New Year's Eve has taken off, with an intergalactic-themed burst of fireworks at 9pm.
The explosion of lights and sound was accompanied by songs reminding people to ‘‘Live it up’’ and that ‘‘Anything could happen’’.
The water was awash in an alien-like green glow from the hundreds of fireworks around the harbour’s edge, as explosions that resembled spaceships, stars and planets burst into the air above the city.
The 9pm fireworks display on Sydney Harbour for New Year's Eve 2014.
World renowned: Sydney's 9pm fireworks did not fall short of expectation. Photo: Edwina Pickles
A spaceship with two little aliens took flight from the bridge to complete the 10-minute display.
The soundtrack for the fireworks featured 13 pieces of music, including Live It Up by Mental as Anything, Here's To Never Growing Up by Avril Lavigne and Anything Could Happen by Ellie Goulding.

New Years Eve 2013. 9pm Fireworks. Mrs Macquaries Chair. Tuesday 31st December 2013. Photograph by James Brickwood. SMH NEWS 131231
The alien under the bridge. Photo: James Brickwood

Water rescues

But more than 100 New Year’s Eve revellers have been helped from two sinking boats in Sydney Harbour.
Police say 100 party-goers were rescued from a yacht near Garden Island about 8pm when the vessel began taking on water.
The 9pm fireworks display on Sydney Harbour for New Year's Eve 2014
Circular Quay: Fireworks are let off under the Harbour Bridge in the 2013. Photo: Edwina Pickles
A water police boat took 60 people to safety, while another 40 found refuge on a nearby private boat.
Following the 9pm fireworks, some other on-water revellers had their evening disrupted when their boat started sinking at Farm Cove in front of Mrs Macquarie's chair.
A Fairfax Media photographer captured the image of the 30-foot yacht upturned in the water with the Harbour Bridge in the background.
New Years Eve 2013. PIC shows a 30ft yacht sinking in the harbour. Mrs Macquaries Chair. Tuesday 31st December 2013. Photograph by James Brickwood. SMH NEWS 131231
The yacht sinking in the Harbour just in front of Mrs Macquarie's chair. Photo: James Brickwood
Water police were sent out to rescue the six passengers on board and all were unharmed, a police spokeswoman said.

Getting ready

About an hour before the 9pm family show, raindrops fell on the heads of those who had crowded onto the foreshore for the display - but meteorologists said it was just a passing shower.
Many of the best spots to view tonight's fireworks extravaganza filled up so quickly that they are were closed to potential skygazers from 5.30pm.
Areas around the Royal Botanic Gardens, Circular Quay and the north shore are full and closed to more people, a spokeswoman for the Transport Management Centre said.
Residents to the north of the Harbour Bridge say visitors are being turned away from Blues Point Reserve, which looks like "tent city" and where crowds of teenagers have gathered in previous years to watch the fireworks.
Those heading to the reserve at McMahons Point were being redirected to Bradfield Park under the Harbour Bridge at Kirribilli.
In Pyrmont, security guards are searching the bags of every person trying to cross the Pyrmont Bridge and making those who are carrying alcohol wait for an escort before they can cross.
In an effort to keep alcohol and glass away from the harbour's alcohol-free zones, private security guards and rangers are  personally taking people who are carrying alcohol as far away as possible from the zones.
A spokewoman from the Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority said this happened every year but the wait for people hoping to cross the bridge should not be more than 15 minutes.
The closures are causing many to change plans or turn to the television for a good view of the fireworks.
About 1.6 million people are expected to flock to Sydney's city centre for the fireworks shows at 9pm, the one-minute bonus fireworks at 10.30pm and the big hurrah at midnight.
The displays will include 11,000 aerial shells and 25,000 shooting comets that will explode from seven barges spread across six kilometres of Sydney Harbour.
For the first time in a decade, 1000 fireworks will also be shot from the top of the Opera House, as well as from the Harbour Bridge and from jet skis stationed in the harbour
Most of the road closures for the city are now completed or under way. The cycleways and pedestrian paths over the Harbour Bridge have also been closed.

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/sydney-new-years-eve-first-big-bang-dazzles-9pm-crowds-20131231-304d0.html#ixzz2p3ibSysX

Monday, December 30, 2013

BEYONCE "Self-Titled" Part 4 . Liberation - video

Bon Jovi has top grossing $$$ tour with US $260m (Beyonce in 2nd place)

Jon Bon Jovi performs in concert with his band Bon Jovi on their Because We Can Tour 2013 in Philadelphia. Photo / AP
Jon Bon Jovi performs in concert with his band Bon Jovi on their Because We Can Tour 2013 in Philadelphia. Photo / AP
Bon Jovi not only has the year's top tour, but the rock band has achieved a career high.
The New Jersey-based act's worldwide tour grossed US$259.5 million this year, topping Pollstar's annual top 20 list and setting a record for the band itself.
Beyonce is second with US$188.6 million. She ended her tour last week in Brooklyn, New York. Pink, Justin Bieber, and Bruce Springsteen round out the top five.
The global concert business scored a record year with the top 20 tours, earning US$2.43 billion in primary ticket sales. It generated US$1.96 billion last year.
The top 20 list also included Taylor Swift, Elton John, Rihanna, Depeche Mode and One Direction. The Rolling Stones' comeback tour ranked twelfth, a notch under Paul McCartney.

From Mother to Her Daughter - very beautiful!


"My dear girl, the day you see I’m getting old, I ask you to please be patient, but most of all, try to understand what I’m going through.

If when we talk, I repeat the same thing a thousand times, don’t interrupt to say: “You said the same thing a minute ago”... Just listen, please. Try to remember the times when you were little and I would read the same story night after night until you would fall asleep.

When I don’t want to take a bath, don’t be mad and don’t embarrass me. Remember when I had to run after you making excuses and trying to get you to take a shower when you were just a girl?

When you see how ignorant I am when it comes to new technology, give me the time to learn and don’t look at me that way... remember, honey, I patiently taught you how to do many things like eating appropriately, getting dressed, combing your hair and dealing with life’s issues every day... the day you see I’m getting old, I ask you to please be patient, but most of all, try to understand what I’m going through.

If I occasionally lose track of what we’re talking about, give me the time to remember, and if I can’t, don’t be nervous, impatient or arrogant. Just know in your heart that the most important thing for me is to be with you.

And when my old, tired legs don’t let me move as quickly as before, give me your hand the same way that I offered mine to you when you first walked.

When those days come, don’t feel sad... just be with me, and understand me while I get to the end of my life with love.

I’ll cherish and thank you for the gift of time and joy we shared. With a big smile and the huge love I’ve always had for you, I just want to say, I love you... my darling daughter."

- Unknown,

Shaolin warrior training - here is the real thing - quite awesome really - full video

Raiders of the Lost Kung Fu - the infamous documentary - video - prepare to be shocked - watch right to the end...

American Hustle - Best Film of the Year? - video, pics, article

American Hustle
Rude, wily, sexy and bursting with brio, David O Russell’s portrait of a late 1970s American scam can pass, if you squint, as an inside-out version of Inside Llewyn Davis: While Joel and Ethan Coen find inspiration in the lives of men for whom being pretty good at what they do is no guarantee of success, Russell is jazzed by the lives of men – and one adventuress of a woman – who barrel ahead on gusts of confidence in their own lies. Using the FBI’s sting operation known as Abscam as the basis for his story, Russell presides, with giddy confidence himself, over a dead-serious farce in which the con is king – personally, professionally, politically – and it is difficult to tell the bluffers from the believers. You won’t find a better ensemble of terrific actors having the time of their lives. You won’t find a more amazing hairdo, either, than the thing Christian Bale arranges on his head. (Sony)

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Britney Spear's Debut - Heckfire and Brimstone in Las Vegas

Heckfire and Brimstone

‘Britney: Piece of Me,’ Britney Spears’s Las Vegas Residency

Ronin 47/Splash News
Britney: Piece of Me Britney Spears’s Las Vegas residency had its debut on Friday at the Axis Theater at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino.
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LAS VEGAS — For the last six years, the state of Britney Spears has been summed up best — and most frequently — by the simple phrase she intoned at the top of “Gimme More,” from 2007, that has since become a catchphrase: “It’s Britney, bitch.”
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Britney Spears was swarmed by vampiric dancers when she landed.
Not a tease, nor a boast, nor a taunt, it’s almost apologetic, an apt tagline for a star whose power is self-evident, but also blank and tautological. It’s what might appear on the business card of a performer with nothing left to add.
No surprise then that at 32, with more than two decades of performing under her belt, Ms. Spears has already arrived at the laurel-resting portion of her career, landing in a greatest-hits production so winning that it barely needs her at all.
Mostly, she’s a pinball during the 90-minute extravaganza “Britney: Piece of Me,” her new residency at the Axis Theater at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino here that had its debut on Friday. Magical things are happening all around her — ornate sets, clever video displays, fiery dancing — but Ms. Spears is there mostly to activate memories, to be a souvenir for the eyes. Rarely did the voice booming out over the speakers appear to be coming directly from Ms. Spears’s mouth. Always a notch or three less committed than her backup dancers, she was at times downright listless.
But that’s not new: Ms. Spears has long been the pop star most obscured by her own songs. Especially in the second half of her career, since the mid-2000s, the period that followed her tabloid-documented meltdowns, she’s been putty for producers, who give her muscular tracks that ask little of her vocally — and even less emotionally — but leave her with an air of power and control.
Judging by the show’s narrative, she was invested with that power by dark forces. Early in the night, during the melancholic “Everytime,” she was a winged angel falling to earth, swarmed by vampiric dancers in all black when she landed. When they fled, Ms. Spears was remade. Now in a goth dominatrix outfit, she shifted gears to a medley of
“...Baby One More Time” and “Oops!...I Did It Again,” the two early hits that cemented Ms. Spears’s image as knowing naïf.
This was Ms. Spears at her toughest during this show, which covers about two dozen songs from the whole span of her career, and which she’ll repeat some 100 times over the next two years. In general, the set design was more imposing than she was. At points she performed from inside a ring of fire, on top of a rolling pyramid, jumping off a huge prop tree and under a sheet of water falling from the ceiling. Even during “Freakshow,” when she had an audience member — in this case, the “Extra” host Mario Lopez — bound in a harness so she could walk him like a dog, she came off playful, not salacious. (Ms. Spears then signed a T-shirt for him.)
“Britney: Piece of Me” comes on the heels of Ms. Spears’s energetic but rarely inspiring eighth album “Britney Jean” (RCA), which sold only about 107,000 copies in its first week, the lowest opening of her career. She may have the name recognition of a global superstar, but not the drawing power she had even a few years ago. Performing here, in this 4,600-seat hall, is a relatively low-risk proposition, and doesn’t demand that she extend her relevance. (The first single from “Britney Jean” was “Work Bitch,” a nod to “It’s Britney, bitch.”)
This is also a transitional moment for Las Vegas, a town becoming less reliant on older-audience-skewing musical revues and leaning more heavily on nightclubs. Ms. Spears’s show is a midpoint between the then and now, a legacy act with cross-generational appeal offering a show that might as well have been run by a D.J. (This newly renovated theater, too, is a hybrid, with two standing-room pits and a row of V.I.P. bottle-service tables abutting the stage’s lip.)
“Piece of Me” is probably the least staid of the single-artist Vegas residencies; everything about it, save Ms. Spears, is splashy and top volume. The costumes, by Marco Marco, were vibrant, and the choreography, by the Squared Division, was powerful, particularly during “Scream & Shout,” when dancers maneuvered a pair of circular hamster-wheel-like structures. As for Ms. Spears, the version of her displayed on screen — from old videos and the like — almost always looked more confident and more comfortable than the Ms. Spears who was onstage.
That contrast was only heightened by the fact that throughout the night, one of Ms. Spears’s disciples, Miley Cyrus, was at a front row V.I.P. table, dancing enthusiastically and singing along. If Ms. Spears is one of the last Stepford pop stars, Ms. Cyrus is a new model — unpredictable, self-determining, actually fun.
Ms. Cyrus has long pledged loyalty to Ms. Spears as her childhood idol, and even collaborated with her on a song from her Ms. Cyrus’s album, “Bangerz” (RCA), though Ms. Spears sounds robotic, especially up against Ms. Cyrus’s natural effervescence. But Ms. Cyrus’s presence in Las Vegas — she was one of a handful of celebrities at this show, along with Katy Perry and Selena Gomez — wasn’t wholly to display her devotion to Ms. Spears.
Later that night, she hosted the opening of Beacher’s Madhouse at the MGM Grand, an extension of the rowdy Los Angeles post-vaudeville nightclub of the same name. What had seemed, up close, like a night for Ms. Spears’s coronation as the latest of this city’s marquee names was in fact just a prelude. Ms. Spears may have hosted a cool party, but the night went on without her.
“Britney: Piece of Me” continues through 2015 at the Axis Theater at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino in Las Vegas; 855-234-7469, planethollywoodresort.com.

2nd suicide bombing in Russia - are the Winter Olympics safe?

Volgograd blasts: New deadly explosion hits Russian city

The blast took place at a busy time on a busy route, as Daniel Sandford explains

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At least 12 people have been killed and more than 20 others hurt in a suspected suicide bombing on a trolleybus in the Russian city of Volgograd.
The blast comes a day after 17 people died in another suicide attack at the central station in the city.
Security has been tightened at railway stations and airports across Russia.
Moscow is concerned militant groups could be ramping up violence in the run-up to the 2014 winter Olympic Games in the city of Sochi.
The Olympic venue is close to Russia's volatile north Caucasus region.
Volgograd lies about 900km (560 miles) south of Moscow, 650km north of the North Caucasus and 700km north-east of Sochi.
Witnesses described a scene of carnageWitnesses described a scene of carnage following the blast
Screen grab of the moment the blast struck Volgograd-1 station, Russia, 29 December 2013CCTV footage captured the moment of the first bomb attack on Sunday
Busy market
The latest explosion took place near a busy market in the city's Dzerzhinsky district.
Maksim Akhmetov, a Russian TV reporter who was at the scene of the blast, said the trolleybus was packed with people going to work in the morning rush hour.
He described the scene as "terrible", adding that the bus was "ravaged" and that there were "bodies everywhere, blood on the snow".
The explosion removed much of the bus's exterior and broke windows in nearby buildings.
The figures given for the number of dead and injured are still fluctuating - and a one-year-old child is said to be among the victims.

Recent attacks inside Russia

  • 29 December 2013: Suspected female suicide bomber kills at least 14 in attack at Volgograd-1 train station
  • 27 December 2013: Car bomb kills three in the southern city of Pyatigorsk
  • 21 October 2013: Suspected female suicide bomber kills six in attack on bus in Volgograd
A spokesman for Russia's Investigative Committee said both explosions were now being treated as acts of terrorism.
Sunday's blast rocked Volgograd-1 station at around 12:45 (08:45 GMT) at a time of year when millions of Russians are travelling to celebrate the New Year.
A nearby security camera facing the station caught the moment of the blast, showing a bright orange flash behind the station's main doors.
The explosion shattered windows and sent debris and plumes of smoke from the station entrance.
No group has yet said it was behind the blast.
An Islamist insurgency in the North Caucasus region has led to many attacks there in recent years. Insurgents have also attacked major Russian towns.
The attacks show that the bombers do not need to target Sochi directly to attract international attention - any part of Russia will do, says the BBC's Daniel Sandford in Moscow.

Michael Schumacher, ex-F1 champion, critical after ski fall

Michael Schumacher, ex-F1 champion, critical after ski fall

Schumacher is an experienced skier, reports the BBC's Hugh Schofield

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Michael Schumacher, seven-time Formula 1 world champion, is in a critical condition after a skiing accident, says the French hospital treating him.
The 44-year-old German suffered serious brain trauma, was in a coma on arrival and underwent a brain operation.
He was skiing off-piste with his son in the French Alps on Sunday when the accident occurred.
Schumacher was wearing a helmet when he fell and hit his head against a rock, his manager Sabine Kehm said.
Early reports had said his condition was not life-threatening and he reportedly walked away from the accident complaining only of feeling a bit shaken.

Michael Schumacher

Michael Schumacher
  • Born: 3 January 1969
  • First GP win: Belgium 1992
  • Last GP win: China 2006
  • Races started: 303
  • Wins: 91 (155 podium finishes)
  • Championships: 7 (1994, 1995, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004)
The accident took place in the French ski resort of Meribel on Sunday morning.
The resort's director, Christophe Gernignon-Lecomte, said Schumacher was attended to by two ski patrollers who requested helicopter evacuation to the nearby valley town of Moutiers.
He was subsequently moved to the bigger facility at Grenoble, in south-east France. His wife Corinna and two children are with him.
"Mr Schumacher was admitted to the University Hospital of Grenoble at 12:40 [11:40 GMT], following a skiing accident which occurred in Meribel in the late morning," the Grenoble hospital said in a statement.
"He suffered a severe head injury with coma on arrival, which required immediate neurosurgical intervention. He remains in a critical situation."
The hospital statement was signed by the facility's neurosurgeon, the professor in charge of its anaesthesia/revival unit, and the hospital's deputy director, reports said.
A hospital official declined to give more details and said more information would be given out on Monday, said Reuters news agency.
Experts say it is likely that his brain began to swell and the urgent surgery was required to relieve the pressure, says the BBC's Hugh Schofield in Paris.
'Like a father'
Professor Gerard Saillant, a close ally and friend of Schumacher, and his former Ferrari team boss Jean Todt are at the hospital.
Helicopter outside Grenoble Hospital (29 Dec 2013)The retired race driver was reportedly conscious when he was airlifted to hospital
Prof Saillant is an expert in brain and spine injury. He oversaw Schumacher's medical care when the German broke his leg in the 1999 British GP.
The German, who is due to turn 45 on 3 January, retired from F1 for a second time in 2012.
Schumacher won seven world championships and secured 91 race victories during his 19-year career.
He won two titles with Benetton, in 1994 and 1995, before switching to Ferrari in 1996 and going on to win five straight titles from 2000.
After the German retired in 2006, he was seriously hurt in a motorcycling accident in Spain three years later, during which he suffered neck and spine injuries.
But Schumacher managed to recover and made a comeback in F1 with Mercedes in 2010.
After three seasons which yielded just one podium finish, he quit the sport at the end of last year.
F1 drivers from around the globe have expressed their shock at the news of the accident.
British ex-racer Martin Brundle, who was Schumacher's F1 teammate at Benetton, tweeted: "Come on Michael, give us one of those race stints at pure qualifying pace to win through, like you used to. You can do it."
Brazilian driver Felipe Massa posted a picture of himself and Schumacher on Instagram, with the Portuguese message: "I'm praying for God to protect you, brother!"