Sunday, May 27, 2012

Monday, May 21, 2012

Dr Who News - The Doctor's Wife wins the Bradbury Award at the Nebulas

Doctor Who News

The Doctor Who story The Doctor's Wife has won the Ray Bradbury Award for Outstanding Dramatic Presentation in this year's Nebula Awards, the annual event held by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.

Although Doctor Who was nominated for the same award last year, this is the first time the programme has been successful. In winning the award the team beat several Holloywood movies including Martin Scorsese'sHugo and Woody Allen's Midnight in Paris.

The Doctor's Wife was the fourth episode of the 2011 series of Doctor Who. It was written by acclaimed authorNeil Gaiman and directed by Richard Clark

In accepting the award, Neil Gaiman paid tribute to the creators of Doctor Who. Posting on twitter he said 

Thanked everyone, including Verity Lambert and Sydney Newman. Also thanked Steven Moffat who made it what it was. Best showrunner ever.
Richard Clark also took to twitter to express his delight at the award. 
Perfect start to Sunday - kids stayed in bed till 6.30, sun is shinning [sic] and The Doctor's Wife just won The Hugh [sic] Bradbury award. It's not everyday you can claim to have stolen a march on Scorsese AND Woody Allen.
Show-runner Steven Moffat congratulated the team 
Hey, you two! FANTASTIC news. Doctor Who has never bagged one of those, tho' we've tried. Clearly we needed YOU.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Neil Gaiman’s singular vision

Neil Gaiman has spent a career mapping out the myths that make our world worth living in.

A cartographer of the fantastical, terrifying, chaotic, and sublime world beneath our waking life, he perfected the graphic novel into a work of high literary art with The Sandman (1989-96), an epic 75-part comic-book series about the adventures of an unlikely hero named Dream, who is the very personification of dreaming. (He’s the baby brother of Death, a charming, perky, and likable, if awfully pale, antiheroine.)

On Thursday, Gaiman, 51, delivered the commencement address at the University of the Arts’ graduation ceremony, where he also was awarded an honorary Ph.D. in fine arts.

“The one thing that you have that nobody else has is you: your voice, your mind, your story, your vision,” the British-born, Minneapolis-based novelist and screenwriter told the 526 newly minted graduates.

“So write and draw and dance and play as only you can. ... Leave the world more interesting for your being here.”

In a sweet bit of irony that he pointed out to his audience, Gaiman never attended college.

Like fellow comic-book pioneer and friend Alan Moore (The Watchman), Gaiman is an autodidact who has mastered an impressive range of literary, artistic, and philosophical subjects without any formal education.

“I learnt to write by writing,” said Gaiman, whose works include more than half a dozen traditional prose novels, including Neverwhere (1996), Anansi Boys (2005), and The Graveyard Book (2008), the first novel ever to be awarded both the Carnegie and Newbery medals.

Two other books, Stardust (1998) and Coraline (2002), have been adapted into hit films, while his extraordinary dissection of American myths, 2001’s American Gods, is being adapted into an HBO series.

Gaiman flew into town Wednesday morning with his wife, singer-songwriter Amanda Palmer, who is about to launch a world tour. (“I’ll have 18 months where I don’t have to be anywhere,” Gaiman said of her impending departure.)

Not the least bit nervous on the eve of what he admitted was his very first commencement address, Gaiman took some time out for a chat about his growing body of children’s books, including Graveyard, which is being adapted into a film by Coraline director Henry Selick.

Brothers killed over witchcraft

The Indian Express

Two brothers were hacked to death at a Malda village by an angry mob who suspected their wives practised witchcraft .
The incident comes close on the heels of two women, including a 10-year-old girl, being beaten to death in North Dinajpur on April 3 for allegedly practising black magic.
Around 10.30 pm yesterday, a mob of tribal villagers armed with traditional weapons barged into the house of Beshaku and Sonua Pahari, both brothers, at Palasshbari village in Englishbazzar police station area in Malda.
According to police sources, the villagers were after Lakshmi Pahari, wife of Beshaku Pahari, and Sumi Pahari, wife of Sonua Pahari, whom they suspected to be witches responsible for spreading diseases in the area.
The mob first chopped both the brothers to death and severely thrashed Lakshmi Pahari and her daughter, who were later rescued by the police. Sumi Pahari managed to escape from the spot.
Block Development Officer of the area Gopal Chandra Das said: “I am told that the victim’s family believed in modern treatment, which made them unpopular in the village. Police have started investigations into the matter.”
While most men have fled the village after the incident, police have arrested three villagers.
Lakshmi and her daughter have been admitted to a local hospital.
A senior police official said, “We have arrested three villagers and we are investigating into the matter. Preliminary investigations revealed that the victims were killed due to belief in witchcraft.”

Friday, May 18, 2012

Lady Gaga, Indonesia: Singer Has To Cancel Concert After Accusations Of Impropriety

Huffington Post

JAKARTA, Indonesia — Lady Gaga will have to cancel her sold-out show in Indonesia following protests by Islamic hard-liners and conservative lawmakers, who said her sexy clothes and dance moves will corrupt young people.

National police spokesman Boy Rafli Amar, responding to the pressure, said Tuesday that the permit for her June 3 "Born This Way Ball" concert had been denied.

Indonesia, a nation of 240 million people, has more Muslims than any other. Although it is secular and has a long history of religious tolerance, a small extremist fringe has become more vocal in recent years.

Hard-liners have loudly criticized Lady Gaga, saying the suggestive nature of her show threatened to undermine the country's moral fiber. Some threatened to use physical force to prevent her from stepping off the plane.

Lawmakers and religious leaders, too, have spoken out against her.

Worried they could not guarantee security, local police recommended the permit for the show be denied, said Amar, adding that national police decided Tuesday to comply.

It was supposed to be the biggest show on Lady Gaga's Asian tour, with fans snapping up every seat in Jakarta's 52,000-seat Gelora Bung Karno stadium – half of them in the first two hours of sales.

Permits usually are issued about three weeks before a concert in Jakarta, so it is common to sell tickets well ahead of receiving a permit. It was not immediately clear if the ticket sales would be refunded. The local promoter, Michael Rusli, could not be reached for comment.

"I'm very disappointed," said Mariska Renata, who had tickets to the Jakarta show.

She said by bowing to the wishes of "troublemakers," authorities only give them more power. "We are mature enough to be able to separate our own moral values from arts and culture," Renata said.

Lady Gaga's Asian tour started late last month and many of the stops have sold out. The South Korean concerts were limited to fans 18 or older because conservatives there raised objections.

SPOILERS - Dr. Who News!

The Last Of Amy and Rory...

Last week saw the final scenes recorded on location for the characters Amy and Rory, aka Karen Gillan and Arthur Darvill - the latter who comes 'full circle' as the location at St. Cadoc's Hospital in Caerleon was where he filmed his first day on location back in 2009!

Their last scenes to be filmed come from the penultimate episode for the Ponds, the fourth of the next series. Their departure on screen will be in the following episode, the fifth, which was recorded last month. After the final shots were completed Karen Gillan tweeted "And that's a wrap! Bye bye from the ponds. We love you."

The final scenes were observed by several of the production team past and present, including lead writer Steven Moffat and former executive producers Piers Wengerand Beth Willis, with a party taking place afterwards to celebrate.

Another 'closure' took place on Friday, with the final day's production at Upper Boat. The studios, located in Pontypridd just outside Cardiff, have been home to Doctor Who since the third series and have also been the base for Torchwood and The Sarah Jane Adventures. The complex was the first BBC studio centre totally dedicated to drama, and was set up in the wake of the success of Doctor Who following the series' revival in 2005. Production will now continue in full at the new purpose-built studios at Roath Lock in Cardiff Bay.

Photos: BBC Doctor Who / Facebook, 11th May 2012

With Karen and Arthur's final scenes recorded, the "handover" to new girl Jenna-Louise Coleman will begin filming shortly, though as with previous introductions her first story to be recorded may not be her first story on screen!

Available Today - 'The Woman in Black' with Daniel Radcliffe

Thursday, May 17, 2012

This is the BEST Non-Film Review EVER!!!! - 'The Avengers'

Negative—I would never let my family see such a demonic movie as this!!! The violence and witchcraft is appalling. We as Followers of the Cross are NEVER to bow down to anyone but Jesus Christ, the Great I AM. Please read 1 Cor. 6:7-11 and Galatians 5:19-23. Witchcraft and Idolatry were what brought down the ancient Hebrews. May the Great I AM forgive anyone who sees this film. This movie will bring many “Christians” down the Broad Road of Destruction!!! The evil language in this film is just as disturbing. Think about it for a minute, is not The Hulk thing just a demonic monster?? Do not be deceived, the Great I AM is not to be mocked!! We are to be careful of what “entertains” us. 

Also, understand that the villain Loki is a god of joking. Thus, when you see this movie, the Enemy of all of us is laughing at those he is bringing to destruction by seeing this filth!! Please Brothers and Sisters of the Cross, watch something else or just stay home!!! …We as Followers of the Cross must guard our hearts and keep them pure. Jesus Christ wants our hearts and if our hearts are polluted how can he have our hearts or even see it if we watch such filth?
My Ratings: Moral rating: Extremely Offensive / Moviemaking quality:
—Christopher West, age 43 (USA)

Who's going to see it again this weekend?

Pat Robertson: Destroy Buddha Statue, Episcopal Church Is 'Apostate' (VIDEO)

Huffington Post

Pat Robertson appeared yet again on the Christian Broadcasting Network's "700 Club," and yet again his remarks were unabashedly forthcoming.
When a viewer asked if it was OK that her Christian friend had a Buddha statue, Robertson advised her to "break it." The Buddha wasn't his only attack of the night. Earlier in the show he also went after the Episcopal Church, telling the "700 Club" that it was "a matter of time" before the Church was declared "an apostate."

HC issues guidelines to curb witchcraft practice

IBN Live

Cuttack, May 17 (PTI) Orissa High Court today directed the state government to spread awareness involving all gram panchayats in order to curb violence arising out of witchcraft practice and black magic. Disposing off a PIL filed by Odisha Rationalist Society, a Division Bench of the High court comprising Chief Justice V Gopala Gowda and Justice S K Mishra formulated a guideline to check nuisances created by witchcraft as no such law is prevalent in the state to curb this practice. Asking the state police to register cases under Indian Penal Code (IPC) and prosecute the perpetrators of such practices, the High Court said police should record statements of the accused and witnesses under Section 164 of CrPC. Further the High Court pointed out that all the guidelines set up by it shall be in force until a law to check the menace is enacted. While 38 people are said to have died in Naxal attacks in 2011, the state recorded 58 deaths due to witchcraft linked violence and nearly 300 people have died of it in last five years. In order to curb violence arising out of witchcraft practice, Odisha Rationalist Society had approached the High Court seeking to issue guidelines to eradicate crime in the name of superstitions, blind belief and black magic. 

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Ghana: Witches' Will Suffer Victimisation

All Africa

The Northern Regional Coordinator of the Domestic Violence and Victims Support Unit (DOVVSU), ASP Emmanuel Holortu, has raised the alarm about the attempted disbandment and repatriation of the alleged witches into their original communities by the government.
He expressed fears that it would offer the opportunity for their accusers and other irate community members to further victimise them.
"If much education or sensitisation is not done in those communities before the alleged witches are sent there, once again, stay with those who accused, maimed, tortured and humiliated them, the possible result would be that government and the civil society organisations would rather pick body bags."
Speaking at a Capacity Building Workshop in Tamale for members of the Anti-witchcraft Allegation Campaign Coalition (AWACC), organised by the Grassroots Sisterhoods Foundation, the DOVVSU boss observed that "the alleged witches would be killed by the same people who banished them if the government rushes to integrate them into the society." It was under the theme: "Protecting women against witchcraft allegation is a civil responsibility: Witchcraft allegation is criminal."
"Those people still believe that the people they have accused and have gone to the camps are still witches, so they can easily kill them."
ASP Holortu advised the government and Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) advocating for the disbandment of the witches camps, to also sensitise the alleged witches to understand that they did not specifically need to go back to their own communities to live their lives, but they could live peacefully in any other part of the country with a little support from government and the CSOs.
He said even though the issue of witchcraft accusation had been in existence for several decades now, there was the need for the victims to know that they had protection under the 1992 Constitution, and ought to report people who accuse them or unlawfully attack them for witchcraft to the police.
"Normally after beating, humiliating and being banished from the communities, the people end up stealing properties and burning houses and farms of the alleged witches, and all these things ought to be reported to the police."
The Executive Director of the Grassroots Sisterhood Foundation, Madam Fati Alhassan, in no uncertain terms, condemned the issue of witchcraft accusation and its accompanied humiliation, harassment, torture and killings.
She said witches and wizards were found everywhere in the world, and did not understand why the issue of witchcraft had become calamitous to people in Northern Region alone.
So far, there are seven witches camps found in Bonyase in the Central Gonja District, Gambaga in the East Mamprusi District, Gushegu in the Gushegu District, Kukuo in the Nanumba South District, Naboli in the Gushegu District, Gnani in the Yendi Municipality, and Kpatinga in the Gushegu District, all within the Northern Region.
According to Madam Alhassan, the issue of witchcraft accusation and the banishment had become an issue of "belief, spiritual and culture" of the people, and thus, there was the need for all stakeholders, including the government and the media, to do more sensitisation before talking about repatriating the alleged witches.
"It is very difficult to change people's belief. If it is a moral issue, it is different, but when it is about beliefs and spiritual issues, it is difficult to change. We need to put in place pragmatic measures to get the get the community members go along with us, because, we, on our own, did not banish them, it is the community that banished them, and receiving them back into the community will not be easy. So there is the need for us to do more education in the communities, the religious and traditional leaders, the youth, and even the security personnel who are supposed to protect these women but have their own beliefs."
The Executive Director of the Grassroots Sisterhood Foundation and a former media practitioner called on the media to also play their roles effectively, and support the various anti-witchcraft advocacy organisations to succeed.
The Northern Regional Population Officer, Naa Chief Alhassan Issahaku Amadu, in a Power Point presentation, described it as inhuman for anybody conceived, carried in the womb for nine months and nurtured by woman, to turn to accuse the same woman as being a witch, beat and humiliate for something the accuser cannot substantiate.
He noted with concern that the continuing celebration of witchcraft allegations in Northern Region was promoting poverty among households, since most of the alleged witches are always the breadwinners of their families.
According to Chief Alhassan, the witchcraft allegation also weakens the cohesiveness of social and family networks, increases the illiteracy and school dropout levels, and reduces the social value of most grandmothers, mothers, sisters, aunties and children.
Meanwhile, the labeling of some kinsmen and women as witches and wizards, and banishing them into camps where they live in inhuman and deplorable conditions, is a violation of their fundamental human rights, as it displaces them from their homes, breaks up their families, and also destroys their lives, because they are often humiliated, tortured, killed or expelled.
These women are Ghanaians, and are supposed to be protected under the Constitution of Ghana, but the reality is that they are completely enslaved by their own cherished families and communities.
They are often sent to the market square naked, where their accusers invite more hands to inflict deep pains and harassment on them. These suspected witches have no right to defend themselves or challenge their accusers.
The Chronicle is aware that convincing people of the spuriousness of superstitions, when those superstitions form a fundamental part of the very lens through which reality itself is experienced, is no mean feat.
Belief in witchcraft not only fills in the gap left by a lack of education and information, but can coexist with, and even underpin believers' informed understandings of issues. But there is still the need for stakeholders to keep the momentum, and gradually, Ghana would get to the envisaged destination where the issue of witchcraft accusation will become a thing of the past. The government ought to sensitise the public to know that accusing a woman of witchcraft violates Section 5 of Ghana's 1992 Constitution, which ensures human rights and makes cultural practice that dehumanises or injures the physical or mental health of a person illegal.
The Constitution also states that a person is not guilty of a crime until a court of competent jurisdiction proves otherwise.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Raising concerns over Hindu temple icon found by dumpster

News10 California

YUBA CITY, CA - A battle is brewing in Yuba City over a holy statue from a Hindu temple. The religious icon was found outside by the dumpsters.

"I started shaking. I didn't know what to do. It's our religion being tossed away," said Himant Pandit, a worshipper.

Pandit said he was devastated that an important religious icon representing Shiva, the creator and destroyer of humanity, was found outside the Sri Narayan Hindu Temple wrapped in a black trashbag. He said he got permission from the temple caretaker and temple founder to take it home for safekeeping.

Meanwhile, the temple caretaker said she put the statue outside by the rosebushes---temporarily--- to clear out the smell and the bugs. She said the icon was a magnet for bugs. Worshipers would make offerings and rub yogurt and honey on the icon and not wash it off with water.

"I said we had a big problem. It was worms," said Sushil Bhopal, the temple caretaker. "Sometimes, flies, and mosquitos come."

The temple board and founder now want the icon back, saying it's temple property. But, Pandit says the icon has been desecrated and needs to be replaced. The temple has replaced the icon with one a fraction of the size.

The temple's attorney was unavailable for comment Monday evening.

By Suzanne Phan,


Uganda: People Turn to Witchcraft to Keep Jobs

All Africa

As unemployment continues to bite, more literate Ugandans are turning to witchcraft to get and secure their jobs, a New Vision survey has revealed.
The survey shows that more people in Kampala use sorcery to get white-collar employment, and to gain favour before their bosses for payrise and promotions. New Vision interviewed 100 corporate workers, aged between 18 and 45, in and around Kampala. Of the respondents, 57 were males.
Majority (66%) said witchcraft was a common practice at workplaces while 16% were undecided about its prevalence. Although 17% said witchcraft was not common at workplaces, only 4% strongly believed in what they were saying. Besides, 60% of the respondents, mostly males, testified that they had either heard or seen signs of witchcraft in their offices.
Of those who saw witchcraft, majority were aged between 18 and 20 years, followed by those in the 41-45 age group and others between 36 and 40 years. Also, 41% of the respondents said an "average number" of their colleagues in offices depend on witchcraft while 17% said "too many" of their workmates use it. However, some 42% believe "too few" of their workmates use witchcraft to secure their jobs.
About 90% of the respondents reported that people practice witchcraft to seek job promotion while 12% said others use witchcraft to prosper in businesses.
Astonishingly, others use witchcraft either to harm or hurt workmates, besides seeking favour and power at workplaces, as reported by 17% of the interviewees. According to the Witchcraft Act 1957, practising witchcraft is a crime punished with imprisonment exceeding five years on conviction. Threatening someone with death by witchcraft attracts life imprisonment on conviction.
However, despite the law barring it, the vice continues unabated across the country because many people are desperate. The World Bank in its 2008 report said Uganda had the highest youth unemployment rate and the youngest population in the world. It warned that unless
Uganda scales up her efforts to create jobs, the youth would be more involved in crime and armed conflicts.
Another report by the African Development Indicators 2008/2009, which focused on youth and unemployment in Africa, showed that 83% of Ugandan youth are jobless. It is estimated that over 37,000 youth who graduate fail to get employment each year.
No wonder, according to the survey, witchcraft ranked highly alongside hardwork, sexual manipulation, technical know-who, and bribery among the ways people use to get and maintain jobs, gain promotions or get new ones.
The survey was conducted in the first week of April in randomly selected corporate organisations in and around Kampala.
Of the respondents, 61% had bachelor's degrees, 20% had attained postgraduate training and 17% had secondary school as their highest level of education, while 2% had attended tertiary institutions.
Also, 13% of the respondents were at the level of administrative/ office manager or supervisors in their different organisations, 27% professionals, 9% technicians, 32% casual and only four operational workers.
Majority (62%) had spent between one and five years at their workplaces, 15% had worked between six and 10 years while 12% of them reported having worked between 10 and 25 years.
Respondents also cited witchcraft alongside corruption, nepotism, tribalism and jealousy among workers as the key problems affecting teamwork at workplaces.
Indeed, 60% of the respondents, majority being males, affirmed having been involved or seen workmates involved in discussions to do with witchcraft. Of these, 20% disclosed that they have been involved in office discussions about witchcraft for more than 10 times, while 41% reported three to 10 times.
Another 36% cited once or twice while only 3% had not taken part in the discussions. Majority of the respondents (83%), mainly women, said their attitude to work would be affected, though in differing degrees, if they knew that a colleague practises witchcraft.
Asked how the situation is likely to be in at least three years to come, most of the workers (69%) believe the vice will increase in workplaces.
Of these, 45% said witchcraft will "increase a lot" while 24% said the rate of increase will be little. But 15% don't expect the rate to change. Only 16% think that witchcraft in workplaces may reduce in the coming three years.
However, the survey discovered that the level of witchcraft in corporate organisations may not be any different from that taking place in small and medium scale enterprises in the country.

Monday, May 7, 2012

'The Avengers' actually made more!!! Total updated to...

Disney announced today thatThe Avengers opened even stronger than the studio originally thought. Instead of an estimated $200.3 million, which is the figure Disney reported yesterday, the superhero extravaganza actually debuted to $207.4 million last weekend — or $38.2 million more than the previous opening-weekend record holder, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows — Part 2($169.2 million).
The Avengers grossed $80.8 million on Friday (second-biggest Friday after Deathly Hallows — Part 2), $69.5 million on Saturday (best Saturday ever), and $57 million on Sunday (top Sunday ever). The Joss Whedon film became the first movie to reach $150 million in just two days, and the first to cross $200 million in three days. The Avengers has also been a powerhouse in foreign markets, having grossed an estimated $447.4 million overseas in 12 days (since debuting in several territories on April 25). The picture set opening-weekend records in Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Ecuador, Central America, Peru, Bolivia, Hong Kong, Malaysia, New Zealand, Philippines, and United Arab Emirates.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Why?!?! - Tom Cruise's Next Mission: Replacing Hugh Jackman in Van Helsing Reboot!

Hugh Jackman, Van Helsing, Tom CruiseUniversal Pictures; Jeffrey Ufberg/WireImage

Tom Cruise has some big shoes to fill. Some big, thickly accented, monster-hunting shoes.

Universal announced this week that the A-lister is attached to take the lead in a reboot of the previously Hugh Jackman-starring Van Helsing, which is one of several films on the studio's production slate. Thanks to his foray into Anne Rice territory, Cruise is no stranger to a big-screen bloodsucker, but going from vampire to vampire slayer? Now that's range.

This time around, to ensure that Cruise's incarnation fares better than Jackman's, the gothic reimagining is bringing in the big guns, enlisting the help of a couple of guys who know a thing or two about franchises.

MORE: Snapped on Set: Skinny Anne Hathaway and Haggard Hugh Jackman Are Très Misérables!

The reboot came about as a result of a two-year production deal Universal signed with writers Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci, two names eminently familiar to movie geeks enthusiasts.

The writing team is not only the brain trust behind the forthcoming Star Trek 2, but also Transformers and Mission Impossible: III, where they previously teamed with Cruise. The dynamic duo was also recently brought in by Sony to give a once-over to the script for the sequel to The Amazing Spider-Man.

In other words, they know what they're doing. Which is good news for their Van Helsing cohorts, Cruise included: While Jackman's stab at the slayer grossed more than $300 million worldwide, it wasn't exactly heralded as a creative masterpiece.

Show us what you can do,  gentlemen.

Beatles’ ‘Yellow Submarine’ Restored, To Get Limited Theatrical Release Next Month

Deadline Hollywood
Robert Zemeckis’ 3D remake of the Beatles’Yellow Submarine may have sunk to the bottom of the movie development ocean, but the title is very much alive. The original 1968 animatedYellow Submarine feature has been restored and is rolling out in select markets, starting Saturday at the Ziegfeld Theatre in New York. It plays May 10, 17 and 19 at Arclight Theatres around Southern California (the full screening schedule is available here). Previously out of print, Yellow Submarine was cleaned up and restored in 4K digital resolution. EMI and the Beatles’ Apple Corps brought on D&E Entertainment to handle the project. The spiffed-up film will released on DVD and Blu-ray on June 4 outside the U.S., and on June 5 domestically.
Directed by George Dunning, and written by Lee Minoff, Al Brodax, Jack Mendelsohn and Love Story author Erich Segal, Yellow Submarine was a product of the psychedelic era in popular culture, and was acclaimed at the time for its unconventional visual style and distinctly Beatles cheeky attitude. It also contained some of John Lennon and Paul McCartney’s most popular songs, including “Eleanor Rigby,” “Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds” and the title track, which reached No. 1 in the U.S. and UK. The film’s thin plot involves efforts by the Beatles to bring happiness and music back to the mythical Pepperland, which has been forced to go to war with the Blue Meanies.