Oscars 2011

The 83rd Academy Awards broad casted on ABC last night were good in the beginning but failed to engage the audience till the end. Anne Hathaway and James Franco hosted the awards show while the King’s Speech, Colin Firth, and Natalie Portman won the Oscars last night.

Oscars

The Academy Awards or the Oscars are given every year to recognize best performances of the year. It is the most prestigious award for any actor. The awards, red carpets, and parties are the most hyped and talked about throughout the year. All the actors were best dressed last night and the ladies were amazing to watch. Designer clothes, shoes, accessories, make up, and so on are carefully planned well in advance.

The music performances by Celine Dion, A.R. Rahman, PS 22 Chorus, Gwyneth Paltrow, Randy Newman among others were mesmerizing. The tributes to legends and lost people were good enough. The Kodak theatre in Hollywood, California was enormous with good stage and adjustments. Kodak could accommodate three thousand people and the decorations were impeccable.

The audiences might be bored with the never ending presentations but I think the guests did have a good time. The stars were best dressed and had multiple parties to attend. Elton John and Vanity fair apart from the Governor’s ball are the parties that the stars attend.

Inception won for its visual effects and sound editing and mixing. The Toy Story 3 won the best animation and best original song. King’s Speech won the best director, best film, and best actor. Black Swan won the best actress award while Melissa Leon won the supporting role in the Fighter.  The social network won the best song, best adapted screenplay, and film editing. Overall, the Oscars show was disappointing but I guess the movies are good to watch. 🙂

World Cup Cricket 2011

World cup has a significance in most of the cricket followers’ lives. Apart from the players and coaches, the entire world stands with the team and cheers. World cup cricket provides an opportunity to witness some of the greatest games, boost the economy, and may often link to important events in the family.

ICC

The International Cricket Council monitors and administers the cricket worldwide. The World Cup is a greatest event in the cricket and the cup is prestigious. Since 1975, the world cup has been entertaining audiences and encouraging players. The players and teams have official sponsors and promotions.

ICC regulates the rules for the games. They monitor and approve the players, playing conditions, the grounds, umpires, the decision Review Systems, Code of conduct, and other key aspects of the cricket games. All the 105 member countries abide to the rules and participate in the greatest game. The ICC also governs women’s cricket, test matches, twenty-twenty matches, apart from the one day internationals.

World Cup 2011

In 2011, India, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka are hosting the games. The opening ceremony was in Dhaka, Bangladesh with amazing presentations and performances from regional and international artists. The official maskot, Stumpie, the elephant and the official song, ‘De Ghumake’ by Shankar, Ehsaan, and Loy are the favorites this  year.

This year fourteen countries are competing in the world cup.  The teams include:

Group A Captain Coach
New Zealand Daniel Vettori John Wright
Sri Lanka Kumar Sangakkara Trevor Bayliss
Canada Ashish Bagai Pubudu Dassanayake
Kenya Jimmy Kamande Eldine Baptiste
Australia Ricky Ponting Tim Nielsen
Pakistan Shahid Afridi Waqar Younis
Zimbabwe Elton Chigumbura Alan Butcher
Group B Captain Coach
India MS Dhoni Gary Kirsten
Bangladesh Shakib Al Hasan Jamie Siddons
England Andrew Strauss Andy Flower
Ireland William Porterfield Phil Simmons
Netherlands Peter Borren Peter Drinnen
South Africa Graeme Smith Corrie van Zyl
West Indies Darren Sammy Ottis Gibson

The teams are rated based on certain points and the top four from each group compete for the quarter finals. After four quarter finals and two semi-finals, the top two compete for the finals in Mumbai, India on April 2nd this year.

Many viewers visit the stadiums and billions of viewers view the games through the television channels or internet broadcasts. ESPN Star Sports is the major broadcaster apart from other providers. All the cricketers are in their good shapes and spirits to fight and win the world cup despite their differences and injuries. 🙂

The world cup winners so far are:

  1. 1975 – West Indies
  2. 1979 – West Indies
  3. 1983 – India
  4. 1987 – Australia
  5. 1992 – Pakistan
  6. 1996 – Sri Lanka
  7. 1999 – Australia
  8. 2003 – Australia
  9. 2007 – Australia

Who do you think will win this year? 🙂

Adding Spouse to Auto Insurance

It is often a confusing question whether to add a newly driving spouse to an auto insurance. If you have a valid driving licence and auto insurance, it is mandatory to add your spouse to your insurance if you are sharing and driving the same car. In most cases, it may not increase your premium but will increase the safety of your family.

Auto Insurance

We consider a health insurance mandatory for all the family members. But, considering auto insurance, we often hesitate whether to add a spouse or not. We may fear that it may increase the premium or other apprehensions. But the law mandates that every driver must have an auto insurance not only for the safety of the driver but also for the safety of other drivers.

Every driver must have auto insurance. If you and your spouse drive the same car, you may have to add your spouse to your auto insurance. Some insurance companies such as the AAA, do not increase the premium in such cases. If your spouse drives another car, you may have to take a new insurance to secure the driver.

Steps to Add

Adding your spouse to your auto insurance is as simple as a simple phone call to your insurance company. You will need your spouse’s:

  1. Social Security number or  ITIN number
  2. Date of Birth
  3. Driving licence or TVDL number
  4. Date of getting the licence
  5. Address

Once you call the insurance company, you may have to give your insurance number and request for adding your spouse to your auto insurance. Just mention the required details and any other queries. Make sure to ask how your premium is going to change for the addition. Check how you can reduce the premium in case any increase.

One phone call can secure your family and others. 🙂

Grammy Awards 2011

Music industry through out the world celebrate Grammy Awards every year to reward the best performances of the year. This year Eminem and Lady Antebellum won most of the awards. The award night had many surprises with Lady Gaga arriving in an egg on the red carpet and Justin Beiber performances with Usher.

The 53rd Grammy Awards held last night was a musical festival and feast to the music lovers. The top performances by legends and new artists left the audience mesmerized and overwhelmed. The ceremony handed over 109 awards to the artists including the record of the year, album of the year, best new artist of the year, best rap of the year, and so on.

The performances and the red carpet arrivals are the most buzzed on the web. All the nominees received applause from the audiences and some of them performed to entertain the audience. The live telecast by CBS was good though the artists were some times blocked by the waving hands of the fans near the stage. Overall, the music reception was clear and not disappointing.

The duet by Usher and Justin Beiber, the performances by Eminem, Rihanna, Dr. Dre, Cee Lo, Gwenyth Paltrow, Dierks Bentley among other notable artists. Esperenza Spalding, the new Jazz artist, surprised everybody when she beat Justin Beiber as the new artist of the year category. Nicki Minaj’s hair and Lady Gaga’s egg were the highlights of the appearances. Barbara Streisand won the lifetime achievement award whose performance on the night was spell bounding.

You can buy the playlist of the year on Apple’s store or the record is available at Target and Amazon. You can listen the songs online at the Grammy Radio. Visit the Grammy Store in Los Angeles for a unique experience of the artists and memories we celebrate.

Valentine’s Day

Every year February fourteenth is celebrated as the Valentine’s day to celebrate love and affection between loved ones. Some consider it an opportunity to demonstrate their love. It may add a unusual pressure on some teens and children. For some, it is an unnecessary custom and a waste of effort. 🙂

Rationale

Historical and literary facts may differ in the exact reason behind the celebration. But, Valentine’s day is popular in the modern day. Children and adults celebrate Valentine’s day to add some joy during the cold winter days. School children exchange valentines in their classrooms. It provides an excellent chance for lovers to express their interests and confess their feelings about their partner.

Gifts – To dos

Valentines, greeting cards, chocolates, candies, flowers, jewelery, perfume, personalized photo frames, and so on are popular gifts for the Valentine’s day. Some may create special arts and crafts to express their love. Some think that special breakfast, outside activity, dinner, or a spa are also alternate gift ideas. Writing poems about your loved ones is also a good idea. The perfect gift may differ based on a women’s choice. Wedding proposals are common on the Valentine’s day.

Taboos – Do nots

Letting the female partner plan for the day, sending neutral and formal messages, expecting a gift from the women are some of the taboos of Valentine’s day. Some argue that Valentine’s day is for celebrating the women in your life and pampering them. While others think that both men and women should equally participate and  exchange gifts.

Whatever may be your style, make it special for your partner and enjoy the day. It is all about expressing love and building the relationship. Let me know your ideas for a Valentine’s day. 🙂

Movie Review: Gnomeo and Juliet

Based on William Shakespeare’s ‘Romeo and Juliet’, Gnomeo and Juliet is a love story but with a happy ending. The music is composed and directed by the great Elton John. A funny animation movie and has a 3D version too. 🙂

Gnomes

Gnomeo and Juliet is an animation movie in which real characters action is converted in to three dimensional characters. The voice over and music is added and they sound like real people. 🙂 Gnomeo and Juliet is about Gnomes and a funny love story. Gnomes are fictious creatures. They are mischievous and live underground. Several literatures in the past such as the Harry Potter and other stories have referred to the Gnomes.

Story

In this movie, the Gnomes live in the back yards of two adjacent houses. One is a red house which accommodates the red gnomes. The other is a blue house, which accommodates  the blue gnomes. Due to the apparent rivalry between the neighbors, the gnomes too end up fighting with each other. The hero, ‘Gnomeo’ is a young blue gnome, whereas the heroine, ‘Juliet’ is a red gnome.

Gnomeo is the leader of the blue gnomes and takes care of his garden apart from frequent lawn mover races with the red gnomes. Juliet is the only daughter of the red gnome’s leader and apparently pampered a lot. They both meet in an unexpected encounter and voila, they fall in love at the very first sight. Later, they realize that they being the professional rivals, are not supposed to meet each other. The rest of the story is all about how the hero and heroine face the further difficulties and succeed in their love story.

Review

The producers took eleven years to make this movie. The characters are apt and the music is highlight of the movie. Original scores by Elton John are catchy and melodious. Comedy by the crane, frog, mushroom, and the gnomes is hilarious. The story and the narration is engaging and the adults get totally engrossed in the movie along with the children. 🙂

Watch it in 3D for a better experience and let me know how you felt about the love story during the Valentines Day weekend.  🙂

World Cup 2011 Cricket Schedule pdf,Time Table Download With Time,Venues

  World Cup 2011 Cricket Schedule pdf,Time Table Download With Time,Venues  
             
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Date Match Details Time   Venue
GMT IST CST Ground City
Feb 19 — Sat Bangladesh v India, 1st Match, Group B 8:30 14:00 2:30 Sher-e-Bangla Cricket Stadium Dhaka
Feb 20 — Sun New Zealand v Kenya, 2nd Match,Group A 4:00 9:30 22:00 MA. Chidambaram Stadium Chennai
Feb 20 — Sun Sri Lanka v Canada, 3rd Match,Group A 9:00 14:30 3:00 Hambantota International Cricket Hambantota
Feb 21 — Mon Australia v Zimbabwe, 4th Match,Group A 9:00 14:30 3:00 Sardar Patel Stadium Ahmedabad
Feb 22 — Tue England v Netherlands, 5th Match, Group B 9:00 14:30 3:00 Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium Nagpur
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Feb 23 — Wed Pakistan v Kenya, 6th Match,Group A 9:00 14:30 3:00 Hambantota International Cricket Hambantota
Feb 24 — Thu South Africa v West Indies, 7th Match, Group B 9:00 14:30 3:00 Feroz Shah Kotla Delhi
Feb 25 — Fri Bangladesh v Ireland, 8th Match, Group B 3:30 9:00 21:30 Sher-e-Bangla Cricket Stadium Dhaka
Feb 25 — Fri Australia v New Zealand, 9th Match, Group A 9:00 14:30 3:00 Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium Nagpur
Feb 26 — Sat Sri Lanka v Pakistan, 10th Match,Group A 9:00 14:30 3:00 R. Premadasa Stadium Colombo
Feb 27 — Sun India v England, 11th Match, Group B 9:00 14:30 3:00 M. Chinnaswamy Stadium Bengaluru
Feb 28 — Mon Zimbabwe v Canada, 12th Match,Group A 4:00 9:30 22:00 Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium Nagpur
Feb 28 — Mon West Indies v Netherlands, 13th Match, Group B 9:00 14:30 3:00 Feroz Shah Kotla Delhi
Mar 01 — Tue Sri Lanka v Kenya, 14th Match,Group A 9:00 14:30 3:00 R. Premadasa Stadium Colombo
Mar 02 — Wed England v Ireland, 15th Match, Group B 9:00 14:30 3:00 M. Chinnaswamy Stadium Bengaluru
Mar 03 — Thu South Africa v Netherlands, 16th Match, Group B 4:00 9:30 22:00 Punjab Cricket Association Stadium Chandigarh
Mar 03 — Thu Pakistan v Canada, 17th Match,Group A 9:00 14:30 3:00 R. Premadasa Stadium Colombo
Mar 04 — Fri New Zealand v Zimbabwe, 18th Match, Group A 4:00 9:30 22:00 Sardar Patel Stadium Ahmedabad
Mar 04 — Fri Bangladesh v West Indies, 19th Match, Group B 8:30 14:00 3:00 Sher-e-Bangla Cricket Stadium Dhaka
Mar 05 — Sat Sri Lanka v Australia, 20th Match,Group A 9:00 14:30 3:00 R. Premadasa Stadium Colombo
Mar 06 — Sun England v South Africa, 21st Match, Group B 4:00 9:30 22:00 MA. Chidambaram Stadium Chennai
Mar 06 — Sun India v Ireland, 22nd Match, Group B 9:00 14:30 3:00 M. Chinnaswamy Stadium Bengaluru
Mar 07 — Mon Kenya v Canada, 23rd Match,Group A 9:00 14:30 3:00 Feroz Shah Kotla Delhi
Mar 08 — Tue Pakistan v New Zealand, 24th Match, Group A 9:00 14:30 3:00 Pallekele International Cricket Stadium Pallekele
Mar 09 — Wed India v Netherlands, 25th Match, Group B 9:00 14:30 3:00 Feroz Shah Kotla Delhi
Mar 10 — Thu Sri Lanka v Zimbabwe, 26th Match, Group A 9:00 14:30 3:00 Pallekele International Cricket Stadium Pallekele
Mar 11 — Fri West Indies v Ireland, 27th Match, Group B 4:00 9:30 22:00 Punjab Cricket Association Stadium Chandigarh
Mar 11 — Fri Bangladesh v England, 28th Match, Group B 8:30 14:00 2:30 Chitagong Divisional Stadium ChitagongDivision
Mar 12 — Sat India v South Africa, 29th Match, Group B 9:00 14:30 3:00 Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium Nagpur
Mar 13 — Sun New Zealand v Canada, 30th Match, Group A 4:00 9:30 22:00 Wankhede Stadium Mumbai
Mar 13 — Sun Australia v Kenya, 31st Match,Group A 9:00 14:30 3:00 M. Chinnaswamy Stadium Bengaluru
Mar 14 — Mon Bangladesh v Netherlands, 32nd Match, Group B 3:30 9:00 21:30 Chitagong Divisional Stadium ChitagongDivision
Mar 14 — Mon Pakistan v Zimbabwe, 33rd Match, Group A 9:00 14:30 3:00 Pallekele International Cricket Stadium Pallekele
Mar 15 — Tue South Africa v Ireland, 34th Match, Group B 9:00 14:30 3:00 Eden Gardens Kolkata
Mar 16 — Wed Australia v Canada, 35th Match,Group A 9:00 14:30 3:00 M. Chinnaswamy Stadium Bengaluru
Mar 17 — Thu England v West Indies, 36th Match, Group B 9:00 14:30 3:00 MA. Chidambaram Stadium Chennai
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Mar 18 — Fri Ireland v Netherlands, 37th Match, Group B 4:00 9:30 22:00 Eden Gardens Kolkata
Mar 18 — Fri Sri Lanka v New Zealand, 38th Match, Group A 9:00 14:30 3:00 Wankhede Stadium Mumbai
Mar 19 — Sat Bangladesh v South Africa, 39th Match, Group B 3:30 9:00 21:30 Sher-e-Bangla Cricket Stadium Dhaka
Mar 19 — Sat Australia v Pakistan, 40th Match,Group A 9:00 14:30 3:00 R. Premadasa Stadium Colombo
Mar 20 — Sun Zimbabwe v Kenya, 41st Match,Group A 4:00 9:30 22:00 Eden Gardens Kolkata
Mar 20 — Sun India v West Indies, 42nd Match, Group B 9:00 14:30 3:00 MA. Chidambaram Stadium Chennai
Mar 23 — Wed TBC v TBC, First quarter-final 8:30 14:00 2:30 Sher-e-Bangla Cricket Stadium Dhaka
Mar 24 — Thu TBC v TBC, Second quarter-final 9:00 14:30 3:00 Sardar Patel Stadium Ahmedabad
Mar 25 — Fri TBC v TBC, Third quarter-final 8:30 14:00 2:30 Sher-e-Bangla Cricket Stadium Dhaka
Mar 26 — Sat TBC v TBC, Fourth quarter-final 9:00 14:30 3:00 R. Premadasa Stadium Colombo
Mar 29 — Tue TBC v TBC, First semi-final 9:00 14:30 3:00 R. Premadasa Stadium Colombo
Mar 30 — Wed TBC v TBC, Second semi-final 9:00 14:30 3:00 Punjab Cricket Association Stadium Chandigarh
Apr 02 — Sat TBC v TBC, Final 9:00 14:30 3:00 Wankhede Stadium Mumbai

ISAT

The Illinois Standards Achievement Test (ISAT) is held annually for determining the student and school’s performance. Students in third through eight take tests in reading, mathematics, writing, and science. Based on the results, the future decisions for the students and schools can be made.

ISAT

ISAT is conducted for students in third grade to eighth grade in reading and mathematics. Students in fourth and seventh grade take tests in science in addition to reading and math. Three test sessions of forty minutes duration will be conducted. Student may be given additional ten minutes if they are still working on the paper.

ISAT is based on the 1997 Illinois Learning Standards and other assessment frameworks. The tests will be assessed by teachers from other schools and graded. Students in grades four through eight can use certain calculators during the test.

Preparation

Teachers give short mimic tests to the students for them to practice. Parents can let the students practice at home daily. Workbooks and worksheets can be used for the practice sessions. Further, sample questions can be practiced. Prepdog and mathslice are some other resources for practicing the test.

Apart from daily practice, here are some tips for your child to prepare for the test:

  1. Taking good rest and having sound sleep the day before the test
  2. Having favorite breakfast
  3. Wearing comfortable or favorite clothes
  4. Learn about the different kinds of questions
  5. Follow test directions
  6. Watch out for the words not, none, never, always, all, and so on
  7. Look carefully at each  page before starting
  8. Look at the labels on graphs and charts
  9. Use time wisely and figure out when to stop
  10. Do not spend too much time on any question
  11. Fill in the whole circle and mark the answers correctly
  12. Use context clues to find the answers
  13. You can take a good guess if you do not know the exact answer
  14. Check your work before you handover the paper
  15. Stay calm and happy through out the test

For reading passages, read the directions, read the questions, and then read the passage so that you will know what to look out for. In case, you have a doubt you can go back to the passage again to confirm the answer.

Results

The student will be rated as academic level warning, below standards, meets standards, or exceeds standards based on the results. ISAT results assist in comparing the school against all the schools in the State. Schools and students can win special scholarships and aids if they score well in the ISAT.

Similar tests are being held on all the States but the name may differ. Wish you all the best for your ISAT. 🙂

Figge Art Museum

Located in the downtown of Davenport in Iowa, the museum has some of the unique paintings. The free family event let the visitors get a glimpse of the museum’s possessions apart from fun activities for children.

Figge Art Museum

The Figge Art Museum in Davenport is a prime venue for collecting and exhibiting art. Started in 1925, the museum has over 3000 collections of art, sculpture, and paintings. The museum moved to the current building in 2005 with glass walls to reflect the nature.

The collection includes Asian, America, Haitian, Mexican, African, and European some of which are dated back to the Colonial period. Figge Art museum has different exhibitions going on including the railroads, water views, vehicles, automobiles, and school paintings.

The museum has partnerships with local schools and colleges and displays the art exhibits from the students. The museum has classes and workshops for school children, young adults, college students, and researchers.

The art museum is open all days except for few holidays. The admission costs $7 for adults and $4 for children. Plan your visit on special events and exhibitions so that you can see more. You can obtain the membership and avail special benefits in all their events.

Free Family Event

The museum lets visitors enter the facility for free in partnership with the John Deere. Numerous activities for children and adults are arranged for families. Special videos are showcased depending upon the theme of the day. Some of the galleries and exhibits are open all day. You can visit the museum store to buy special collections from around the world.

The free family event is a best time to attain a glimpse of the museum and revisit if you are further interested. It is astonishing to see some of the arts by young children and students. 🙂

Super Bowl XLV 2011

The forty fifth Super Bowl football game airs on this Sunday at 6.30 pm Eastern time on FOX channel. The Green Bay Packers and the Pittsburgh Steelers play the  final game in Arlington, Texas. Thousands of sports fans fly to the Cowboys stadium and millions of viewers get together for game parties and family fun. 🙂

American Football

American football is the most popular game in the United States and Canada. Eleven players in each team score points by advancing the ball in to opponent team’s end zone. The game starts with the toss and the winner determines the kickoff and goal.

The offense team tries to advance the ball toward the defense team’s end zone by rushing or passing. The offense team has to advance at least ten yards through four attempts or downs. When they reach the opponent’s end zone, it is called a touchdown. If the offense team reaches the first ten yards, with the first quarter, they get to make four more downs. Else, the defense team gets the opportunity to advance the ball to the offense team’s end zone. Each team tries to tackle their opponents and hinder the advancement.

A team scores six points for a touch down, three points for a field goal, and tho points for safety. The team with more points wins the game. The teams try to secure their field and gain points.

The game lasts for four fifteen minutes and may take breaks in between. Due to the commercials and other gaps a televised game may last up to three hours or more.

Super Bowl

Started in 1967, the Super Bowl is an annual and prestigious game for football players. Teams practice through out the year for achieving perfection and develop strategies to win the game. Thirty two teams through out the country play games and the team with the most points and wins reaches the finals.

The National Football League (NFL) and the American Football League (AFL) merged in the 1970s and every year get together for the grand game. The team gear are popular and all the sports fan cheer up for their favorite teams.

The final game has a pre-game, the national anthem, coin toss, half time and other famous commercials apart from the actual game. The fans follow their favorite team members irrespective of the teams and encourage them to succeed. Most of the players go through rigorous training, practice and dedication.

All sports fans and families look forward to this Sunday’s finals, while most hope that the Green Bay Packers from Wisconsin win the game. 🙂