Anuradha Koirala – CNN Hero of the Year 2010

For her work towards stopping human trafficking and sex slavery, Anuradha Koirala won the CNN Hero of the year 2010. All the heroes receive $25, 000 for continuing their work, but the winner receives additional $100, 000. Anuradha Koirala plans to contribute the amount towards establishing hospitals for women and children in Nepal.

Anuradha Koirala won the award and she says that the award increases her responsibility even more in stopping the crime. Small children get lured and kidnapped to bigger cities and get forced in to prostitution and sex workers. The crime has roots in many parts of the world. The children or the younger women get traumatized with the incidents. Often, they end with HIV positive, AIDS, STDs, lost limbs, mental depression, and other problems. The kidnappers abandon these workers once they get ill.


Anuradha Koirala and her group in Nepal help these suffering people to regain their lives. The rape victims and sex trafficking survivors are rescued by Anuradha’s group and brought back to the shelter. She teaches the rescued girls and women arts, crafts, sewing and any work they are interested. ‘Maiti Nepal’ helps the children to get hope back to life and adapt to normal life again.

The awards were announced on Thanksgiving night in California. The show was hosted by Anderson Cooper! and the performances included Bon Jovi, John Legend, and Sugarland among other celebrities. CNN Heroes walked the red carpet and received a standing ovation from the audience.

Movie Review: Orange

If the movie is directed by Bommarillu Bhaskar, it has to be different. Orange is in deed different and entertaining, but at times leaves you puzzled what the actual point is.

Ram Charan Teja and Genelia take the lead roles in Orange. Brahmanandam, Prabhu, Manjula play other crucial roles. The rest of the actors include  junior cast and some popular television actors. The hero is a Graffiti artist uncertain of his career and love and is occupied with his own self interests.  He has a history of breaking up with past girl friends just because he cannot commit to them. The hero argues that too much commitment limits his freedom and bounds him in to certain restrictions. At the same time, he wants to be true and does not want to lie.


On the other hand the heroine is a common bubbly student who is crazy about falling in love and having boy friends. She is influenced by the love marriages in her family and chases her college mates in pursuit of love. The hero meets heroine and falls in love with her. He then follows and tries to convince the heroine to love him although he cannot commit his love for her. The heroine in turn refuses him for not committing. The entire story is about convincing from both sides.

The movie is mostly screened in Sydney, Australia. Some of the scenes are shot in Mumbai. The music by Harris Jayraj does meets the expectations and the songs are catchy. Apt comedy by the comedians and the heroine is timed and blended in the story. There are a couple of action sequences and fights. The hero and heroine look so tired that we can see their bulged eyes and improper make up in most of the scenes. Ram Charan looks like a common student but has put on a lot of weight. His dances were good though.

The director highlighted that ladies harass men to change and sacrifice their long term habits and friends. He stresses that men have to undergo a lot in a relationship and have to lie to satisfy spouse or girl friend. But, he forgot to mention that the opposite is also true and has been happening since ages. I think it is true in both the cases and in any relationship change and adjustment are mandatory to gain faith and happiness. 🙂

Cyber Monday surpasses Black Friday Sales

We have seen a heavy sales of over 45 billion on Black Friday but the Cyber Monday is about to surpass the store sales. Amazon, eBay, Walmart, Leapfrog, Meritline, and other stores offer heavy Cyber Monday deals for online shoppers.

Black Friday

Black Friday door busters resulted in heavy shopping in all the local stores. JCPenney and Kohls had clothing for half prices. Bedding, Apparel, Kitchen items and other house hold items for on sale. Toys r us had select toys for reduced price. I must say that the Toys R Us stores did not expect the huge crowd for their first time door buster sales. The staff were unprepared and unequipped causing heavy delays in billing.


KMart advertised the popular black diamond ear rings but not enough stock for the demand. Best buy saw huge sales with shoppers lining up early Thursday night itself. Sony and Toshiba laptops were the big tickets. Popular DVDs and Blue rays were at reduced prices and are ideal for holiday gifts. Sams club and Sears saw a huge sales in electronic appliances, where as Walmart was popular for clothing and toys. Gamestop had one video game free for every two.

Cyber Monday

The Monday after Thanksgiving also known as Cyber Monday is well known for the huge discounts by websites for online shoppers. Free shipping and heavy discounts are rained on customers and the deals are claimed within minutes!

Most of the deals start at  midnight on Sunday. Walmart has cyber week going on and Best Buy has started Cyber Monday deals today itself. Amazon posted the deals on its website. All the retailers participate in the Cyber Monday deals and offer discounts to the shoppers. Shoppers can order online and pick up the goods at a nearby store or get it at their doorstep for free shipping.

Christmas gifts for family, friends, and colleagues are the most sought items along with the electronic gadgets during the Black Friday and Cyber Monday. It does not matter if you retain the item or return it, buying and boosting the economy is important. Let me know what you bought this year. 🙂

Walgreens Jinglecash – Storecredit for selected items

Walgreens has offered store credit for certain items as its Jingle Cash. Selected items include the smaller versions of popular brand cosmetics, toiletries, medicines, and so on. Thanks to my friend who enlightened me with this knowledge.

Go get the free items or reduced items for $2 or less. Apart from the store credit many items are on fifty percent sale. Household items such as rice cooker and bread toaster are for $10. Toys start from $2 and more.  The Mickey brand toys are for $5. Covergirl, Revlon, Colgate and other brands are for free or just $2.


Popular perfumes including Celion Dion, Play boy, Usher, Antnio Banderas, Britney, among others are just $20. Normally these items would be $80 or more. If on sale, they would be $30. But, Walgreens has put these branded perfumes for just $20.

I don’t know what the matter with the Walgreens. They might be having an old stock clearance policy, but have to rush back to claim the store credit in another week! 🙂

Black Friday or Thanksgiving: What are you buying?

Have you made up your mind on what to buy this Thanksgiving or on the day after? The pressure builds as the date arrives and the count down has already begun with some stores offering exclusive online deals much ahead. Hurry up and grab the deals before it is too late. But, do not buy unnecessary stuff just because it is cheap.

Black Friday

The annual tradition of ‘Thanksgiving’ has arrived and families have already begun preparations for the dinner and travel plans. For most families, the day after Thanksgiving or the Black Friday plays a crucial role. It is the day of the year when stores rain discounts, offers, and deals which can never be found during the regular days. Most stores promote holiday shopping and offer goods at reduced prices during certain hours on the day after Thanksgiving. Often, some of the deals are extended to online shopping or also known as ‘Cyber-Monday’.


The mad rush, long queues, lack of parking spaces, midnight shopping, and heavy shopping are worth on some goods which we desperately need and are available at reduced prices on the Black Friday. You can even find shoppers lined up on the Thanksgiving day evening itself to claim the goods as soon as the doors of the stores open.

Stores

So, how do we go about claiming these deals when entire community population is hovering around the stores. It is better to check the previews of the deals online. The stores announce their deals on their websites or through local paper advertisements. Shoppers can get a preview of the deals of what is the price of the item you are looking. Let’s look at the different local stores and their Black Friday deals.

  1. Walmart has given the store layout in its ad, so that shoppers can reach the exact point of the item. The stores open at five in the Friday morning, so you may start standing in the queue right from the day before. 🙂 The toys and video games can be bought starting midnight 12 am itself.
  2. Bestbuy opens the door at five on Friday morning and you can find great deals on electronic items. You can buy online this Thursday itself instead of waiting in the midnight queues. Some of the deals are good through Thursday to Saturday.
  3. Sears opens the doors at seven am on Friday morning till noon. Sears has different offers on all the three days, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.
  4. Kohls opens at three on Friday morning. You can create a list and shop all day on Thursday itself.  Kohls is also popular for its cash back offer!
  5. JCPenney opens the store at four on Friday morning up to one in the noon. The store’s sneak peek reveals the deals the store is going to offer.
  6. Kmart opens at five on Friday till eleven in the morning. You can shop online on Thursday itself and some deals are good on Thursday and Saturday too.
  7. Target opens at four on Friday morning and has posted the Black Friday deals. The sale is extended up to Saturday apart from the exclusive online deals.

Menards, Toysrus, Blair’s farm and fleet, Hyvee, JewelOscoSams and all the local stores have posted their ads.

Choice

The Wii bundle is $197 at Best buy and Sams, but Walmart is pricing $250 along with the Balance board. Board games start at $3 on Walmart and $5 on Kmart. Sears is offering diamond jewelery at reduced prices such as the diamond pendant from $78. JCPenney and Kohls have apparel at reduced prices for everybody.

Most stores have online deals coupled with free shipping and site to store picking to avoid the rush on the Black Friday. You can find many Black Friday deals on Slickdeals, Dealsplus, Amazon, ebay, and Blackfriday.

If you have a group of friends, it is better to share the stores and buy a planned item. Remember that long queues are inevitable and it might take hours before you get in the store. Do not get disappointed if you do not find the planned item when you reach the store.

Whether it is a kitchen item, toys, apparel, electronics, gifts, or a long planned gadget, the main goal is to be safe and happy during the annual Thanksgiving and Black Friday. 🙂 Let me know your best deal.

Movie Review: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows – Part I

The movie version of J.K. Rowling’s seventh book,  Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows, is very engaging and sometimes scary too. I was trapped by the emotions and amazing storytelling in the movie. This fantasy epic is entertaining and has earned $235 million so far.

Past

Harry Potter is a wizard whose parents were killed by Lord Voldemort when he was a  baby. Then, his true identity is hidden and was moved to his relatives, who were Muggles, that is non-wizards. When Harry was eleven, he gets an admission in to the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. At the school, Harry meets his friends and learns new wizard skills. As he grows up, Harry encounters through different challenges and in turn masters newer skills and expertise.


Award winning author, Joanne Kathleen Rowling, captures the audience with her writing. The books so far are:

  1. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone
  2. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
  3. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
  4. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
  5. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
  6. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
  7. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

The fiction takes you to the different worlds yet it seems natural and connected.

Present

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows is the continuation of the Harry Potter’s series. The last movie ended with the death of Dumbledore, the senior guide at the school. The three main characters Harry, Hermione, and Ron are grown up now and are exposed to greater dangers of the death. The teenage wizards are cute to watch and are more emotional now.

The movie starts with Lord Voldemort meeting with all his evil assistants. He intends to destroy Harry and attacks Harry in different situations. Meanwhile, the three friends set up on solving a mystery about a locket which Dumbledore left to Harry in his will. In the journey of solving the mystery, Ron gets hurt. While recovering from the injury, he starts suspecting Harry and Hermione. They encounter mysterious symbols which lead to the Deathly Hollows!

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows has brilliant screenplay and the locations are engaging. The story moves on slowly, which is why I understood most part of it. 🙂 Some parts of the story I think are copied from different myths and epics of the world. Some scenes such as the snake attack and the underwater capture are scary. The kissing scenes are inappropriate for young audiences and unnecessary too. The suspense builds up so you may want to buy the book and know what happens next. 🙂

The release of the movie and the book are synchronized nowadays to increase the curiosity! If you go to the midnight show on the day of release, you can see all the teens and children dressed as the characters from the movie. 🙂 The movie ends abruptly leading to the Part II in July, 2011.

Opt out of the Yellow Pages Paper Version

Why do you need a paper version of the yellow pages when you can get all the addresses online. You can opt out of the delivery service with a simple click.

Yellow pages have been a great source of finding local information. But, the heavy books which we receive and which we never use are a waste of paper. The directories are of course a great source and you can train your children to search through indexes through the book.


But, if you are internet friendly and never use the book, you can stop the book delivery. You can opt out of the yellow pages and be guilt free.

Similarly, you can find other directories at your doorstep and simply opt out. Go green and save the paper. 🙂

Lighting on the Commons

Do not miss the Lighting on the Commons at the John Deere Pavilion this Saturday. The annual event is free and a lot of fun with fireworks and goodies!

Lighting on the Commons is the annual event that kicks off the holiday season in the Quad Cities. Local community people gather at the John Deere Pavilion to celebrate together. People get free horse cart rides around the John Deere Pavilion. Further, free hot chocolate, cookies, and coffee is served for the visitors. Santa’s family greet the visitors and everybody gets an opportunity to take a family picture with them.


Fireworks will be started after the lighting followed by choir by Moline school’s children. The event is free this Saturday from 3.30 pm to 6 pm.  Last year, Anthony Peoples, the meteorologist on WQAD hosted the event and led the countdown for the fireworks. Children will enjoy for sure, adults will have a good time. Be prepared for the cold weather and do not forget to wear your winter gear. 🙂

Declutter your home for a stress free life

Shopping and buying things is a natural trend for all of us irrespective of the economy. Regardless the size of the family and house, we all face a ‘lack of space’ and ‘stuffed closets’ condition. Decluttering helps create more space and gives a chance to shop again!

Kitchen, living room, bed room, kids room, bath room, storage area, garage, and all the rooms in a house need decluttering every year. If you can clear up twice a year you are lucky. Here are some tips for decluttering your home.

  • Clear the closets of any unwanted clothes which you have not worn in the past year
  • Work with your kids and throw away the toys which they don’t need
  • Clear the kitchen cabinets for any unused or unwanted utensils or old pans
  • Clear all the cabinets for expired medications, groceries, or cleaning supplies
  • Shop for closet oranizers in the departmental stores which give extra space
  • Shelfing in the storage area helps to organize better
  • Refrain yourself from buying any new item unless you decide an existing similar item to throw away
  • Do not buy an electronic item or gadget which you do not need right away
  • Avoid buying items just because they are ‘cheaper’
  • Throw away worn out or old footwear which you cannot use any further

Finally, last but not least, in order to maintain your decluttered home, it is better to set up ground rules for all the family members. Hope that they all follow them. 🙂

If you can sort out the waste to give to charity it is good. Yard sale or Garage sale offer some cash for your unused items. I found the red boxes at the gas stations useful to give away old clothes and footwear. Goodwill or Salvation Army are also good places to donate.

Particularly during the holiday season, or when you expect guests, or when a new baby is arriving, or you are moving decluttering is another good reason for a peaceful life and mind. 🙂