Court delays Hari Puttar movie release

A court in India has postponed the release of a film entitled Hari Puttar, after complaints from the makers of the blockbuster Harry Potter films.

Hollywood company Warner Bros has filed a lawsuit against all parties involved in the production and distribution of the Hari Puttar film.

It has been quoted as saying the the title of the Indian movie is confusing.

Mirchi Movies, the makers of the Bollywood children’s film, have denied the accusations. It told the BBC that India’s Hari Puttar had nothing to do with the Harry Potter wizard movies, to which Warner Bros owns the rights.

Mirchi says that Hari is a popular Indian name, and Puttar means ‘son’ in Hindi and Punjabi.

The Indian film tells the story of a 10-year-old boy who moves to England with his family and becomes involved in a plan to save the world.

Warner Bros has a sense of humor only about things other than money. Since their universe is wholly concerned with money, they have no sense of humor about anything.

Thailand’s People Power “uprising” opposes democratic election

It looks a lot like a “people power” revolution, the kind of brave and joyous pro-democracy uprising that has toppled dictators from the Philippines to Serbia. For more than two weeks, thousands of people have camped on the grounds of the prime minister’s office, cheering and clapping as speakers with microphones have stood on the back of a truck and called for the downfall of the government.

But in fact the protest is more like a counterrevolution by the Thai establishment against the rising electoral power of the mostly rural poor.

The government the protest seeks to bring down, whatever its faults, was democratically elected with a huge majority. The new order the protest proposes would roll back democracy by replacing an elected Parliament with one that is mostly appointed, keeping power in the hands of the country’s royalist, bureaucratic, military elite.

“This is a very weird situation where a reactionary movement is mobilizing people by using conservative ideology mixed with leftist language,” said Prajak Kongkeerati, a leading political scientist at Thammasat University.

Whichever way the confrontation ends, analysts say, democracy is unlikely to be the winner.

Not unlike the model used by the country club set in Latin America – from Bolivia to Venezuela.

Even you have a government elected [and re-elected] by a popular majority, the combination of media and money controlled by the old compradores, support from Imperial America’s politicos and the tame U.S. media, lends credence to demonstrations which are guaranteed coverage by the same people who initiated the mobs in the first place.

Losing elections isn’t significant to people who haven’t anything approaching democracy in their hearts. Power and the right to rule is all that counts to the people funding the pots and pans brigades.

U.S. hospitals ‘Flunk’ colon cancer

Never miss a tee time, though

School has barely begun, but many U.S. hospitals have already received their report card in colon cancer. They flunked.

A new study finds the majority of hospitals don’t check enough lymph nodes after a patient’s colon cancer surgery to determine if the disease has spread.

Checking more lymph nodes is linked to improved survival of colon cancer because it allows doctors to accurately diagnose the stage of disease and prescribe the most effective treatment…

“It’s disappointing that despite so much emphasis on this particular issue, so many hospitals still aren’t checking enough lymph nodes to ensure they diagnose the accurate stage of cancer,” said Karl Bilimoria, M.D., lead author and a surgery resident at the Feinberg School. “Knowing the accurate stage of your disease affects your survival and treatment. That’s critical.”

Colon cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in the United States.

Phew! Pretty scary.

I’m not surprised at casual ineptness in American hospitals. You would hope that surgeons dealing with cancer might be up to standard, though.

Hurricane Ike – live from Houston is streaming live – right-click on the link and open in a new window or a new tab – when you get to their stream page, click on the video image to start the stream.

Update: Their servers are getting heavily loaded – transmission erratic.

If you’re a DirecTV subscriber, they’re carrying KHOU live on channel 361. If it doesn’t show up, reboot your receiver and it will add the channel.

I’ve been a Formula 1 fan for 54 years. No more.

Conspiracy, controversy, confusion. Perhaps Formula One should be re-named Formula Con.

The fall-out from Sunday’s Belgian Grand Prix has sparked outrage, anger, widespread debate, leading to an appeal which means the race will now be won or lost in some London law firm’s office.

Without a shadow of a doubt, that is wholly unsatisfactory, and not the way one of the most enthralling, dynamic finishes to a race for many a year should be concluded.

That’s how Ian Parkes led off his column on the Spa debacle. I’ve followed Formula 1 since Day 1, I’m the sort of maniac motorsports fan who has slept [or tried to] alongside the beginning of the Mulsanne Straight, camped out at Lime Rock for Opening Day.

My feelings run deeper than many – and I’m tired of trying to keep up with bureaucrats fiddling with specifications and race results the way Bernie diddles the taxman. It’s over.

Someone mail me a penny postcard when Formula 1 becomes a motorsport, again.

Roy Keane speaks out about “Warner the Clown”

Keaneo on a sunny day in Sunderland

Sunderland manager Roy Keane called FIFA vice president Jack Warner a “clown” for intervening in the club-versus-country dispute over striker Dwight Yorke. Yorke missed Trinidad & Tobago’s World Cup qualifier against the United States on Wednesday after Keane told him to return to Sunderland.

Warner, who is from Trinidad, accused Keane of showing “callous disregard” for the national team, drawing a furious rebuke from the Irishman.

The man’s a clown,” Keane said Friday. “He sent me a letter and he was quite happy to give it to the media. I spoke to him on Wednesday and I told him what I thought about him and where I think he should go. He is writing these letters and it is always under the FIFA heading just to impress everybody. If he is vice president of FIFA, then God help us…”

“He (Warner) has not written me a letter about Kenwyne Jones, who got injured playing in a friendly match. They selected Carlos Edwards last year when he was out with a broken leg,” Keane said.

Warner is best known for having a mouth wider than his butt. Though he works really hard at making an ass of himself – he’s not much worse than the rest of the suits in FIFA.

World broadband study places Japan in the lead

Amber and Will doing Command-N

Only Japan has the broadband quality to cope with next-generation internet applications, a new study has revealed.

Sweden and the Netherlands have Europe’s best broadband, according to the 42-nation study sponsored by internet equipment maker Cisco Systems. The UK, Spain and Italy fell just below the quality threshold for today’s web.

No surprise. The United States didn’t make the Top Ten.

The study aims to highlight each nation’s ability to cope with next-generation web applications such as high-quality video streaming.

They developed a “Broadband Quality Score” for each nation based on internet speed both downloading and uploading, the loss of packets of data and latency – a measure of the delays in information routing.
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Dancing in your underwear not a good habit for a Police Minister

The police minister in Australia’s most populous state was forced to quit over reports he “dirty danced” in underwear over the chest of a female colleague in a drunken late-night office party. Matt Brown resigned just three days after being sworn in as police minister of New South Wales state, which includes Sydney.

“I’m a human being and I made a mistake and I am going to cop the consequences,” Brown told reporters. “I am not wanting to duck or weave this issue. As you can imagine this is a pretty tough day for me.”

Witnesses said Brown stripped down to his underpants and danced to loud techno music on a green leather Chesterfield lounge before he “mounted the chest” of a female politician and simulated a sex act.

Embarrassed doesn’t begin to describe it. He conceded he’d been in his underwear and that gave me no option but to demand his resignation,” State Premier Nathan Rees said.

I think it’s pretty funny and probably would vote for the dude. But, let’s face it – dirty dancing at an office party ain’t a sign of understanding your role in public office.

Excuses for fascism alive and well in Italy

Italy’s defence minister paid homage to pro-Nazi troops on Monday, the second senior conservative in two days to voice sympathy with fascism. Defence Minister Ignazio La Russa was speaking at an event marking the anniversary of Rome’s resistance to Nazi occupation in 1943.

Rome’s mayor, former neo-Nazi youth leader Gianni Alemanno, caused controversy on Sunday by saying he “does not and never has” considered fascism to be “absolute evil”,

La Russa, speaking at a memorial for anti-fascists who fell defending Rome from German occupation, also recalled the “Nembo” parachute division from Mussolini’s “Salo Republic” who fought alongside the Germans against the Allies.

“I would betray my conscience if I did not recall that other men in uniform, such as the Nembo from the RSI (Italian Social Republic) army, also, from their point of view, fought in the belief they were defending their country,” the minister said.

Mussolini ruled Italy for more than two decades, allying it with Nazi Germany and enacting anti-semitic laws that ousted Jews from schools and public jobs and ultimately led to the death of nearly 6,000 Italian Jews in Nazi camps.

Only a fool would accept these rationales. Too many of my relatives – both citizens of Italy and members of the Allied Armies which drove the Nazis from Italy – fought in the struggle against Fascism. Only collaborators forgive and forget.

Chunnel fire strands thousands

Truck driver arriving in a rescue shuttle at the French fire station

A major fire aboard a freight train damaged the undersea Channel Tunnel on Thursday, halting all rail traffic, including passenger services, between Britain and continental Europe, the tunnel operator said. Eurotunnel, the company which manages the tunnel, said there would be no freight or passenger travel on Friday and a spokesman said he could not say when services would resume.

The blaze turned one of the two main tunnel shafts into a smoking inferno. No one was killed, but six people fell ill after inhaling fumes and needed hospital treatment in Calais.

The French interior minister said emergency services had contained the fire some four hours after it was first detected and were starting to assess the situation.

It is probable that there is considerable damage because the firemen told me that the blaze got as hot as 1,000 degrees (Celsius),” Interior Minister Michelle Alliot-Marie said.

She said it might take “several weeks” to make the necessary repairs to the tunnel normally dedicated to freight transport, but a separate, parallel tunnel reserved for passenger trains was not touched by the flames, but Eurostar, which runs the passenger trains between London and the continent, was forced to shut down its service when the blaze took hold.

About 40,000 people a day travel through the Chunnel. Early start to the weekend, I guess.