Spanish actors Javier Bardem and Penelope Cruz tied the knot in the Bahamas earlier this month, the latter’s publicist told late Tuesday night. The wedding took place at a friend’s house, said Cruz’s publicist Amanda Silverman, without specifying exactly when it happened.
It was a small ceremony with just family members, Silverman said. Cruz wore a dress designed by her long-time friend, John Galliano. Both Bardem and Cruz are Academy Award-winning actors.
Bardem, 41, won the Oscar for best supporting actor for his role in the 2007 movie, “No Country For Old Men.” Cruz, 36, won an Oscar in 2009 for her supporting role in “Vicky Cristina Barcelona.” The couple started dating in 2007 and appeared on screen together in the film. Prior to that, Cruz was linked to Matthew McConaughey and Tom Cruise.
When we think about leadership, we tend to focus almost entirely on the leader. Yet without followers, there is no leader. Leadership is participatory: leaders and followers exist in a mutually beneficial relationship where each adds to the effectiveness of the other.
Key to this process is listening, because leadership is as much about listening as it is about talking, or perhaps more so. From the beginning, a leader must be informed by the followers’ values, beliefs, and aspirations, the followers’ identity. The commitment gap people frequently experience, the difference between what the leader desires and what the followers actually do, can often be traced back to not aligning the elements of leaders’ and followers’ identities—who they think they are—to find common ground on which to function and grow.
In an article that appeared in the August 2007 issue of Scientific American Mind, titled “The New Psychology of Leadership,” authors Stephen D. Reicher, Michael J. Platow and S. Alexander Haslam present research supporting the idea that effective leaders—those who can move followers from one behavior to another—grasp what their followers believe they are and represent, and then create a shared identity. They write, “The development of a shared identity is the basis of influential and creative leadership. If you control the definition of reality, you can change the world.”
The year 2000 came and went. If we flash back for a moment, we recall that in the period up to 2000, the chaos was expected to wrap our civilization computer and electrified. It was called Y2K: a flaw in the simple design of the software was supposed to cause the end of the civilized world. Power stations, telecommunications, bank accounts, billing processes were all supposed to be paralyzed or thrown into a state of chaos.
But it never happened. Instead, in late 1999 and early 2000 is best known for the amazing displays of fireworks in major cities worldwide, many of them on television and shared with viewers of all nations. The spectrum of the end of the world was a ghost.
A decade later, where are we? Wars are fought in Iraq and Afghanistan with the help of sophisticated computerized weapons. A sluggish global economy desperately trying to restart itself. The Internet is an indispensable part of life for the majority in the Western world and even for a considerable number of people in the developing world. And we are told on another end of the world was approaching.
If we are to believe the latest hype, 21 or 23 December 2012, when the world will really come to an end climate. This time, fear was triggered by an interpretation of the ancient Mayan calendar, favored by many books and documentaries. And it gave birth, perhaps surprisingly, yet another Hollywood disaster film.
Leonardo DiCaprio calls filming a scene for the thriller in the middle of a blizzard “insane.”
“You periodically felt like you were a part of something truly insane, but it was all in a day’s work,” Leonardo DiCaprio told me during a junket for the movie “Inception.” Even if that day’s work includes shooting on a mountain in the middle of a blizzard.
Based on an original script by director Christopher Nolan, “Inception” is a film that defies easy sound-bite descriptions. Its Russian nesting doll-like structure of a dream enclosed within a dream enclosed within another dream virtually demands multiple viewings. Think Philip K. Dick meets “The Italian Job.”
Nolan’s previous silver screen venture was a little movie called “The Dark Knight” — the highest grossing non-James Cameron movie in American history. So for this go-around, the director’s vast, ambitious vision seems to have been utterly unfettered by financial constraints. And it shows.
“Inception” was shot in Tokyo, Los Angeles, Morocco, London, Paris and the Canadian Rockies. It features shots of the French capital folding in on itself M.C. Escher-style, a zero-G fist fight, and a freight train blasting through the streets of downtown Los Angeles. And in one sequence, Leo and the gang stage a raid on a snow-bound Alpine fortress — the aforementioned shoot in the blizzard.
Leo describes an exchange he had with an assistant director during production. “When we started shooting one of the ADs said, ‘Before you get to lunch we want to do some of the avalanche shots.’ ‘OK, how is that going to happen?’ ‘We’re going to blow up a couple mountains and we’re going to start a couple of avalanches and you’re going to get in there and be a part of it and then we’ll take you to lunch.’ And this is kind of what you expect on a Chris Nolan set.”
Co-star Ellen Page agreed. “It was definitely the most extreme environment I’ve ever filmed in.”
And if you thought that cast worked hard, try the production crew. That fortress had to be constructed out of wood and plaster — carried straight up the mountain — without the use of normal construction equipment. It was so cold up there that paint froze on the brush.
For a summer movie season that has proved to be easily the lamest in recent memory, filled with tepid adaptations and tired ’80s retreads, Christopher Nolan’s brand of cinematic insanity might just be what the doctor ordered.
According to an article in USA Today, Costly College Prerequisite: Decorate Dorm, 17.6 billion dollars is expected to be spent on back to school shopping for students in kindergarten through college this year. That’s $527.08 per family – an 18% rise from last year. Back to school shopping falls right behind holiday shopping for retailer’s most profitable season. Why?
Sure, there are some necessities that need to be bought when going back to school. My sons both have a page long list of items that they are required to have on the first day of school – pencils, composition notebooks, scissors, a box of tissues, etc. When I was a kid, schools supplied those things, but budgets are ever tightening and now families are required to buy them. I certainly won’t be buying $527.08 worth of necessary supplies, though. I don’t think anyone will be buying $527.08 of necessary supplies, unless their definition of necessary is different from mine.
There was an entire section at Target dedicated to the necessities for a college dorm room. This was separate from the traditional back to school section with school supplies. This section had coordinated dorm bedding, rugs, lamps, wall hangings and desk top accessories. Other items that many college kids consider necessities are computers (okay, I’ll give them that), microwaves, TV’s, DVD players, gaming consoles, mp3 players, hand held gaming systems, and stereos.
Kohls, Ikea, JCPenney, and other mid-priced retailers all have back to school collections of “must-have” items. And let’s not forget the new clothes. Having to show up to school in last year’s clothes just might make a child die of embarrasment.
Whether it’s stuff for a college student or a kindergarten student, many of the “must-have’s” simply aren’t. I can tell you from experience they aren’t. When I went to college, I lugged the bedding from my home bed including the pillow and comfortor back and forth to the dorms. Same with my towels (all two of them that my mom let me take from the hall closet). My stereo consisted of a radio alarm clock that played cassettes. If I wanted to watch TV, I could have gone to the common room. There was no big “our baby is going to college” shopping trip. But that was (gulp) 20 years ago.
Could today’s college freshmen do the same? Of course, they could. For most kids all it would take would be for a parent to say, “No.” Or better yet, raise them to be responsible, sustainable consumers from a young age so they won’t expect $1285 worth of new stuff (what the average college freshmen spends) when they go off to college.
A typical back to school shopping trip for a grade schooler or high schooler consists not only of paper and pencils but a new backpack, lunch box, shoes, clothes, and locker accessories (yes, locker accessories, I’m not making this up). When parents shop like this for kids when they are young, it’s no wonder college freshmen expect so much and retailers make it so easy for them to buy it in one shopping trip in one section of the store.
It’s time to curb the back to school shopping for so much stuff. Reuse last year’s backpacks and lunch boxes and sneakers and dorm bedding. When you do need to buy items, buy with long term in mind so things won’t go out of style. No self-respecting fourth grade girl will want to go to school with last spring’s High School Musical 2 backpack when everyone knows that Hannah Montana is where it’s at this month. So skip the pop pictures on the backpacks and buy nuetral.
If your kid doesn’t really need it, don’t buy it. Your child won’t die of embarrasment. I know this from experience, too, because my kids are still alive and well and carrying the same backpacks they’ve had for years.
“Stairway to Heaven” is a song by the English rock band Led Zeppelin, released in late 1971. It was composed by guitarist Jimmy Page and vocalist Robert Plant for the band’s untitled fourth studio album (often called Led Zeppelin IV). It is often referred to as one of the greatest rock songs of all time.
The song has three sections, each one progressively increasing in tempo and volume. The song begins in a slow tempo with acoustic instruments (guitar and recorders) before introducing electric instruments. The final section is an uptempo hard rock arrangement highlighted by Page’s intricate guitar solo accompanying Plant’s vocals that end with the plaintive a cappella line: “And she’s buying the stairway to heaven.”
“Stairway to Heaven” was voted #3 in 2000 by VH1 on its list of the 100 Greatest Rock Songs, and was placed at number 31 on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of “The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time”. It was the most requested song on FM radio stations in the United States in the 1970s, despite never having been officially released as a single there. In November 2007, through download sales promoting Led Zeppelin’s Mothership release, “Stairway to Heaven” hit No. 37 on the UK Singles Chart.
Led Zeppelin – Stairway to Heaven Lyrics
There’s a lady who’s sure all that glitters is gold
And she’s buying a stairway to heaven.
When she gets there she knows, if the stores are all closed
With a word she can get what she came for.
Ooh, ooh, and she’s buying a stairway to heaven.
There’s a sign on the wall but she wants to be sure
‘Cause you know sometimes words have two meanings.
In a tree by the brook, there’s a songbird who sings,
Sometimes all of our thoughts are misgiven.
Ooh, it makes me wonder,
Ooh, it makes me wonder.
There’s a feeling I get when I look to the west,
And my spirit is crying for leaving.
In my thoughts I have seen rings of smoke through the trees,
And the voices of those who stand looking.
Ooh, it makes me wonder,
Ooh, it really makes me wonder.
And it’s whispered that soon if we all call the tune
Then the piper will lead us to reason.
And a new day will dawn for those who stand long
And the forests will echo with laughter.
If there’s a bustle in your hedgerow, don’t be alarmed now,
It’s just a spring clean for the May queen.
Yes, there are two paths you can go by, but in the long run
There’s still time to change the road you’re on.
And it makes me wonder.
Your head is humming and it won’t go, in case you don’t know,
The piper’s calling you to join him,
Dear lady, can you hear the wind blow, and did you know
Your stairway lies on the whispering wind.
And as we wind on down the road
Our shadows taller than our soul.
There walks a lady we all know
Who shines white light and wants to show
How everything still turns to gold.
And if you listen very hard
The tune will come to you at last.
When all is one and one is all
To be a rock and not to roll.
And she’s buying a stairway to heaven.
You better shape up, “Grease” fans. Or, at least, you better shape up your singing voices, because what you once may have done only in the shower, you will soon be able to do in movie theaters.
Paramount Pictures, the film studio behind the hit movie that remains one of the highest grossing musicals of all-time with nearly $400 million at global box offices, will soon unveil a sing-a-long version of the film in theaters.
Starting on July 8, the studio begins a run of the new, interactive “Grease” in major US cities, and it is hoping the film’s legions of fans around the world will demand the kids of Rydell High School, including stars John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John, turn up on movie screens in their own hometowns.
Randal Kleiser, who directed the 1978 movie based on a hit Broadway play of the same name, ties the film’s enduring popularity to upbeat songs such as “You’re the One That I Want” and “Summer Nights” and the film’s universal tale of young love.
After a long absence from movie theaters, musicals have seen a resurgence in recent years in the form of “High School Musical,” “Mamma Mia!” and current TV hit “Glee,” among others. On Broadway, musicals such as Tony winner “Memphis,” rock band Green Day’s “American Idiot” and critical hit “Fela!” have wowed a fresh new set of fans.
“I think the current resurgence in musicals today is because of the state of the world economy,” Kleiser said. “If you look at other times of economic hardships, audiences flocked to movies to escape from the dire circumstances around them. Musicals are the ultimate escape.”
Jennifer Lopez has canceled a concert planned for the Turkish part of Cyprus occupied by the following criticism that the appearance would make a political statement, an entertainment website reported.
“Jennifer Lopez would never knowingly support any state, country, institution or regime that has been associated with any form of abuse of human rights,” a representative of the singer and actress said Thursday TMZ website.
“After a thorough review of relevant circumstances in Cyprus, it was the management decision to withdraw from the appearance. It was a team decision that reflects our sensitivity to political realities in the region.”
Lopez was to perform July 24 at a new hotel and casino in Turkish-occupied northern Cyprus. But the plans have drawn criticism, including the United States American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association, which made the concert would give more credibility to the 1974 invasion by Turkey, which led to a partition of the island.
Association President Nicholas Karacostas protested that the appearance of Lopez would be “used to lend credence to an illegal entity recognized only by Turkey at the international level, and that is unfortunate.”
Cyprus has been divided since Turkey occupied the north in response to a coup Athens and Nicosia aimed at uniting the island with Greece. The TRNC (Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus) is recognized only by Turkey, which maintains troops on the Turkish Cypriot side, while the Greek Cypriot south of the island enjoys international recognition.
If you’ve ever dreamed of being an astronaut, you’ve probably idly checked out the price of one of those private rocket flights into orbit. And you’ve probably compared them unfavorably to a nice five-bedroom house in a fashionable urban area, and decided you didn’t want to go into space quite that badly after all. But courtesy of NASA, now you can take a trip all the way to the moon — for free.
OK, so there’s a catch. NASA’s moon “trip” is probably a little more virtual than you might have had in mind. Moonbase Alpha challenges gamers to step into the oversized moon-boots of an astronaut stationed on a fictional (but plausible) moon base. Your mission (should you choose to accept it) is to restore life support to base, after a meteor strike cripples a solar panel.
It’s available for free over digital delivery system Steam, and you can either play it on your own or as part of a six-strong team. Available base-fixing resources include a fully stocked equipment shed, robotic repair units, and a totally sweet lunar rover.