Saturday, April 19, 2014

Good News - Superhero Window Washers Swoop In To Brighten Up Kids' Day At Lurie Children's Hospital

Window washers at Chicago's Lurie Children's Hospital this week continued what is fast becoming a popular tradition to help put a smile on the faces of sick children.

The Chicago Tribune reports that three Lurie window washers donned superhero costumes -- Captain America, Spider-Man and Batman -- on Tuesday in an effort to cheer up and surprise the young patients at Lurie while they went about their work. Nurses call the new tradition, which started last year, "Superhero Day."

While it's hard to say which hospital started the trend a few years back, many children's hospitals have taken to asking their window washers if they wouldn't mind sporting tights, capes and masks for a day to surprise patients.

Window-washing crews in Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Alabama, California and elsewhere have all joined the fun.

While Lurie neuro-oncologist Dr. Stewart Goldman told the Tribune he has no scientific research to back it up, he feels the "Superhero Day" event and the positive feelings it inspires can help the hospital's young patients heal.

“There is power in laughter and joy and excitement," Goldman said.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Fancy seeing you here: Tom Baker meets an old enemy at Doctor Who launch... as he admits he 'won't rule out return to series'

Fourth Doctor Who, Tom Baker, was in good spirits on Monday, especially as he came face-to-face with a dreaded Dalek while attending a launch for the show.
The actor, who played the Time Lord from 1974 to 1981, blew kisses and even stood with his arm around his sworn enemy outside the Ivy Club in London.
The 80-year-old was in town to celebrate the news that The Horror Channel will begin airing 30 of the best classic Doctor Who episodes from Friday, April 18 at 7pm.
New friends: Tom Baker posed with a Dalek outside the Ivy Club in London on Monday at a Doctor Who launch
New friends: Tom Baker posed with a Dalek outside the Ivy Club in London on Monday at a Doctor Who launch

The launch comes as Tom admits he wouldn't rule out a return to the iconic series which he last starred in to celebrate its 50th anniversary special in November 2013.
He told Digital Spy: 'I wouldn't rule anything out. If it was a nice part, with some good lines, I might deign to appear.
'I greatly admire [Twelfth Doctor Peter] Capaldi. He's lovely and apparently he's a great fan of Doctor Who - he might ask for me.'
But he told The Mirror that he didn't get on too well with certain members of the BBC. He said: 'The monsters on Doctor Who were never so amazing as the monsters on the sixth floor of the BBC.
'There were some improbable looking people there.'
Speaking earlier to members of the press, the actor admitted that he felt 'uneasy' about his Who return, having previously turned down a role in 20th anniversary special The Five Doctors in 1983.
Tom played the Fourth Doctor in the BBC series

'Going to Cardiff on a winter's morning at 4 o'clock couldn't possibly be fun,' he said. 'I was a bit uneasy, but Matt Smith was a charming young man. We did this little scene which people liked a lot.
'I turned down The Five Doctors because it wasn't long since I'd left - I had left Doctor Who because I think I'd run my course. Also, I didn't want to play 20% [of the part] - I didn't fancy being a feed for other Doctors. In fact, it filled me with horror!
'Now, of course, if someone asked me to do a scene with some other Doctors, I think, if they let me tamper with the script, it would probably be quite droll.'
Will he, won't he? The actor admitted that he felt 'uneasy' about his Who return, having previously turned down a role in 20th anniversary special in 1983

Sunday, April 13, 2014

World News - KSA facing increased cases of witchcraft

Arab News

Residents in the Kingdom are reporting a dramatic increase in the incidents of black magic, said to be practiced by mostly expats.
The phenomenon is rampant in the Western Province, which records higher numbers in comparison with the other parts in the Kingdom, according to officials. Makkah and Madinah have recorded the highest number of cases, sources have said.

 More than 85 percent of witchcraft-related cases registered in Makkah’s courts involve expats, according to statistics issued by the Ministry of Justice.

 The increase in the number of witchcraft-related cases has prompted authorities at the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice (known in Arabic as the “Haia“) to use social networking sites to spread awareness and close in on sorcerers. In fact, the Haia has an exclusive section on its web site that addresses cases related to witchcraft.

 The commission also recently introduced training programs for field employees in Makkah on how to deal with sorcerers.
“We have implemented certain procedures and systems to deal with cases pertaining to sorcery across the Kingdom,” Ahmed Al-Janard, a spokesman at the commission, told Arab News.

“The Haia recently apprehended a resident in the Eastern Province who was involved in the promotion of witchcraft through his Twitter account,” he said. “He was caught selling a stone that he claimed has the power to eliminate evil, reduce envoy and foster feelings of love.”

A Jeddah court recently sentenced an Asian Qur’an teacher to a four-year prison term and a hundred lashes, in addition to deportation upon completing his sentence, for practicing witchcraft and contacting potential clients on their mobile phones.

 Several uninhabited flats and buildings, meanwhile, are said to possessed by jinn, according to residents who claim to have personally witnessed the supernatural creatures.

“I have frequently witnessed jinn attacks,” said Issa, an imam who cures residents affected by the supernatural creatures. “People come to me saying they had seen a ghost or had experienced strange incidents.”

 “The Qur’an states that jinn have the ability to scare people,” he said. “They are supernatural beings that reside in parallel to our world.”

 “I had rented out a flat in this area even though the structure of the building was outdated because it was affordable,” said Syed Arif, an expat who recently moved onto the Arbaeen district in Jeddah.

“My younger son started to talk to what we thought was an imaginary friend,” he said. “He never wanted to leave the house and stayed in his room for hours. We used to hear him laughing and talking to himself all the time.”

 “When the situation got worse, we consulted a sheikh, who told us our son plays with a jinn,” he said. “He had advised us to move houses if the situation continued.” Amena Ali, a Jeddah residents, told Arab News of her experience with the unseen.

“We use to live in the Bab Makkah area and my daughter once complained that she saw a shadow in the house,” said Amena. “We didn’t pay attention to her, thinking it was her imagination, until my husband encountered the same shadow.”

Ejaz Hamed, a resident in the Rehab district, said that the government has closed off a local building said to be inhabited by jinn, which has not been rented out in years.

 Ahlam Hafez from Riyadh said she paid a sheikh more than SR10,000 to get rid of jinn in a neighboring flat.

“There are believers and non-believers among jinn,” said Mohammed Mukhtar, a sheikh. “Preachers who earn their living by exorcizing spirits should charge affordable fees.”

I still don't understand why 'Disney's Frozen' is so popular???

With $41.4 million in its second week, 'Captain America' holds off 'Rio 2' at the box office

Article by: JAKE COYLE , Associated Press                                                                             

The strong second-week performance for the Walt Disney release in North America was enough to narrowly edge 20th Century Fox's "Rio 2" in a springtime battle of sequels. The animated Amazon jungle tale "Rio 2" debuted with $39 million, according to studio estimates Sunday, almost exactly the opening weekend total of the 2011 Oscar-nominated original.

But "Captain America" has grown considerably in stature since its 2011 original, "The First Avenger." With a global cumulative total of nearly $477 million, "The Winter Soldier" has (in two weeks domestically, three weeks internationally) easily surpassed the $370 million total of "The First Avenger."

For a superhero whose costume is draped with the U.S. flag, Captain America (played by Chris Evans) has proven particularly popular abroad. The international appeal of such a traditionally patriot figure was once doubted.

"The traditional rules just don't apply anymore. It's really about that Marvel brand," said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst for box-office tracker Rentrak. "'Captain America' can play in Peoria just as well as Hong Kong."

"Rio 2," with a voice cast including Anna Kendrick and Jessie Eisenberg, also played well internationally. In its second week of release overseas, it made $62.5 million.
Two other new releases opened in a distant third and fourth place.

The low-budget supernatural horror film "Oculus" took in $12 million for Relativity Media.
The football drama "Draft Day," starring Kevin Costner and directed by Ivan Reitman, debuted weakly with $9.8 million. Made with the cooperation of the National Football League, the Lionsgate release is the second movie this year, along with the thriller "3 Days to Kill," to attempt to restore the 59-year-old Costner to leading man status.

The overall box office for the year is up more than 7 percent over 2013's record box-office haul. The month of April has been propelled especially by the summer-style release of "The Winter Soldier" and a number of less likely successes.

With $39.5 million domestically, the Wes Anderson caper "The Grand Budapest Hotel" has performed exceptionally in a gradual release by Fox Searchlight. The independently released Christian film "God's Not Dead," from Freestyle Releasing, has made a whopping $40.7 million in four weeks.

Just holding in the top five was Lionsgate's teen sci-fi franchise-starter "Divergent," which added $7.5 million in its fourth week to bring its cumulative total to $124.9 million. Lionsgate announced Friday that the third installment in the series (a sequel for 2015 is already in the works) will be split into two releases. The final book in Veronica Roth's young-adult trilogy, "Allegiant," will be made into two installments, one to open in March 2016, the other in March 2017.

Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to Rentrak. Where available, latest international numbers are also included. Final domestic figures will be released on Monday.

1."Captain America: The Winter Soldier," $41.4 million ($60.6 million international).
2."Rio 2," $39 million ($62.3 million international).
3."Oculus," $12 million ($1.3 million international).
4."Draft Day," $9.8 million.
5."Divergent," $7.5 million ($23.2 million international).

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Real Life Heroes - Grandma Rides A Roller Coaster For The First Time, Reminds Us To Always Stay FearlessGrandma Rides A Roller Coaster For The First Time, Reminds Us To Always Stay Fearless

Two Dutch grandmas prove that there's no age limit on conquering your fears.
Ria, 78, and An, 71, from the Netherlands, both nervously decided to fly on a plane for the first time. To prepare, Ria rode a roller coaster -- something she'd also never done before (video above). The pure joy she experiences on the ride is a delight to see.

Later, the pair bravely took their first flight through a marketing campaign by Vodafone which showcases people experiencing activities for the first time.

The telecom company provided them with a private jet from Amsterdam to Barcelona, and a tablet device to keep in contact with their families when they touched down.
And then they were off!

Watch the video below for their full emotional reaction: