March 31, 2011

San Diego Padres (0-0) at St. Louis Cardinals

Albert Pujols begins what could be his final season in St. Louis when the Cardinals kick off their 2011 campaign against the San Diego Padres this afternoon at Busch Stadium.

Pujols, who is eligible to become a free agent at season's end, cut off negotiations with the Cardinals shortly after the start of spring training, with the two sides reportedly still far apart on a long term contract.

The three time NL MVP led the league with 42 home runs and 118 RBI last season, but his .312 average was a personal low in 10 MLB seasons and his .414 on-base percentage was his lowest since 2002. St. Louis may need Pujols even more so if they intend on getting back to the postseason, as the Cardinals will be without staff ace Adam Wainwright for the entire season. Wainwright suffered an elbow injury shortly after the start of spring training and underwent Tommy John surgery that will cost him the year.

The Pujols contract situation and the Wainwright injury come on the heels of a largely disappointing 2010 campaign for St. Louis, which finished the year five games back of the National League Central champion Cincinnati Reds.

With Wainwright sidelined, more will be asked of 35-year-old right-hander Chris Carpenter, who will take the ball this afternoon in his sixth Opening Day assignment. The 2005 NL Cy Young winner, Carpenter put together another solid year in 2010, going 16-9 with a 3.22 ERA in 35 starts and leading the team with 235 innings.

"Every time you get to pitch Opening Day, it is exciting," Carpenter said. "I don't care if you're 22 or 40. To do what we do and start the season, the excitement of starting the season and the excitement that comes to this ballclub and that stadium and the city when baseball season starts, it's an exciting thing. I'm looking forward to it, and it's going to be a lot of fun."

San Diego, meanwhile, heads into 2011 following a surprising year last season that saw them in the mix for a playoff spot right up until the final day. However, not much is expected this year following a winter that saw the Padres deal slugging first baseman Adrian Gonzalez to the Boston Red Sox.

"This deal is for the long term health of our franchise," Padres GM Jed Hoyer said in a statement at the time of the trade. "We only had Adrian for one more season, and once we knew it was for one more season we acted to get the best group of players back." Gonzalez isn't the only player missing from last year's 90-win club, as half the roster is gone. So the Padres are in a rebuild mode once again, though they still boast one of the better pitching staffs in the league.

Twenty-three-year-old Mat Latos was a legitimate Cy Young Award candidate last season after going 14-10 with a 2.92 ERA. He was on pace to make today's Opening Day start, but a shoulder injury forced him to go on the disabled list.

Instead it will be right hander Tim Stauffer, the second longest-tenured player in the Padres' organization. Stauffer appeared in 32 games for the Padres last season and was 6-5 with a 1.85 ERA.

St. Louis was 4-3 against the Padres last season.

This is the first time the Cardinals and Padres will meet on Opening Day.

Cesar Chavez To Be Honuored

Students from a dozen schools will gather at Cesar E. Chavez Community School today to celebrate the life of labor leader and civil rights activist Cesar Chavez.

Born on March 31, 1927 near Yuma, Chavez became perhaps the best known Latino civil rights activist, co-founding the National Farm Workers Association – later the United Farm Workers – and bringing the struggle of farm workers to the national forefront. He favored aggressive but peaceful tactics, utilizing strikes, marches, boycotts, and what he called “spiritual fasting” to gain public attention.

“Si se puede,” which means “yes, we can” or “it can be done,” was Chavez’s motto in life and became the motto of the UFW. The phrase has since been adopted by other labor unions and organizations. It has also become the signature rallying chant of those protesting immigration reform and illegal immigration laws.

While not yet a national holiday – there is a push to establish on under way -- Chavez’s birthday is a state holiday in California and an optional holiday here in Arizona and several other states.

Supporters say it’s important to honor Chavez and his accomplishments and essential that children learn who he was and what he stood for.

“Cesar Chavez was a leader in our community, particularly with our demographic here,” said Ivette Rodriguez, the principal of Cesar E. Chavez Community School . “He’s somebody that our students can really look up to. His core values really embody the way that we want our students to fight for social justice, for something they believe in.”

Chavez, who died in 1993, was posthumously awarded the Medal of Freedom by then President Bill Clinton in 1994. The Medal of Freedom is the highest civilian honor in the U.S.

“Through his courage, Cesar Chavez taught us that a single voice could change our country, and that together, we could make America a stronger, more just, and more prosperous nation," said President Barack Obama in 2009.

Because of today’s holiday, city offices and libraries are closed. In addition, there is no trash collection and marking meters are free. Transportation services like city buses and the Light Rail are running on their regular weekday schedules.

As part of Thursday's festivities at Cesar E. Chavez Community School, Chavez's grandson, Alejandro Chavez, will speak. The younger Chavez is working to carry on his grandfather's legacy, and even wears his familiar chant, "si se puede," tattooed over his heart.

Atlanta Braves

Though they are coming off their first playoff appearance in five years, the Atlanta Braves are still set to begin a new chapter of their storied franchise.

The Washington Nationals will just be happy if they can take some baby steps forward in bringing a winning season to the nation's capital.

Led by new manager Fredi Gonzalez, Atlanta kicks off its 2011 season against Washington in the opener of a three-game series at Nationals Park.

The Braves will begin a season without Bobby Cox as their manager for the first time since 1989, one year before Cox began his second tenure with the club. In total, he managed the Atlanta franchise for 25 seasons, winning over 2,000 games, five National League pennants and the 1995 World Series before retiring at the end of the 2010 season.

Atlanta tried to send Cox out on top, winning the NL Wild Card to return to the postseason for the first time since 1995, but was defeated in four games by the San Francisco Giants in the National League Division Series.

Gonzalez was hired on Oct. 13 to replace Cox after being fired by the Marlins in June. He spent four season's on Cox's staff from 2003-06 and went 276-279 during his three-and-a-half year tenure with Florida.

Dan Uggla will start at second for the Braves after being acquired from Florida this offseason and he will add some power to Atlanta's lineup. Uggla set career bests last season with a .287 average, 33 homers and 105 runs batted in, and is the only second baseman in MLB history to notch four straight seasons of at least 30 homers.

The acquisition of Uggla cost the Braves All-Star utilityman Omar Infante and reliever Mike Dunn and also moved All-Star Martin Prado to left field, while rookie Freddie Freeman is set to start at first.

Not everything is new for Atlanta as Chipper Jones is back for his 18th season with the club. Set to turn 39 in April, Jones is looking to bounce back from left knee surgery that ended his season early last year and the former MVP and 2008 NL batting champion hit .387 in 21 games this spring.

Taking the ball for the Braves on Opening Day for a third straight season is 37-year Derek Lowe, who was second on the club last year with 16 wins but also had a club-high 12 losses in 33 starts with a 4.00 earned run average. The righty, though, did win his final five starts of 2010 with a 1.17 ERA before yielding just three runs in a pair of playoff losses.

Lowe faced the Nationals five times last year, going 2-3 with a 3.52 ERA.

Washington will counter with its own veteran in Livan Hernandez, who went just 10-12 in 2010 despite a solid 3.66 ERA over a club-high 33 starts. The 36- year-old also topped 200 innings pitched for the 10th time in his 15 seasons.

The right-handed Hernandez, who is set to make his fourth Opening Day start with the franchise, went 2-1 with a 2.35 ERA in five starts against the Braves a season ago, yielding two runs or less in four of those outings.

Hernandez will try to get Washington's season off on the right foot after the club posted its fifth straight losing season last year. Though they avoided a third straight 100-loss campaign, the Nationals haven't finished above .500 since the Montreal-based club went 83-79 in 2003.

Help is on the way as Stephen Strasburg, the top pick of the 2009 draft, had an outstanding debut last season that was cut short due to an elbow injury that required Tommy John surgery. He should be able to contribute again full- time by 2012, which is also when 2010 top overall pick Bryce Harper may be ready for the big leagues.

Those two will join third baseman Ryan Zimmerman and right fielder Jayson Werth to form a solid core in Washington. Werth will make his Nats debut this afternoon after signing a seven-year, $126 million dealt this offseason. He spent his previous four years with the Phillies, hitting .296 last season with a career-high 106 runs scored while averaging 29 homers and 84 RBI over the previous three campaigns.

Washington, though, did lose first baseman Adam Dunn to free agency and replaced him with former Diamondback Adam LaRoche after failing to land both Derrek Lee and Carlos Pena. LaRoche, who began his career with the Braves, had a career-best 100 RBI a season ago with 25 homers and a .261 average.

Second base will also feature a new look in Danny Espinosa, who should improve a defense that committed 127 errors last season. Center fielder Rick Ankiel, another new addition, should also help.

Nationals catcher Ivan Rodriguez enters his second season with the club and the 14-time All-Star will play in the 2,500th game of his career today.

Washington won the season series with Atlanta last year, besting its NL East rival in 10 of the 18 meetings. That included a victory in six of nine at Nationals Park.

Cincinnati Reds

The Cincinnati Reds begin defense of their National League Central title this afternoon, when they kick off the 2011 campaign against the Milwaukee Brewers at Great American Ball Park.

Led by NL MVP Joey Votto, the Reds surprised the baseball world last season, as they won 91 games and claimed their first division title since 1995. Their playoff stint was short-lived, though, as they were swept in the NLDS by the Philadelphia Phillies, highlighted of course by Roy Halladay's no-hitter in Game 1.

Votto, who will be honored for his award in pregame festivities, flirted with a Triple Crown last season before ending with 37 home runs (third in the league), 113 runs batted in (third) and a .324 batting average (second).

The 27-year-old has improved in both homers and average in each of his three big-league seasons and bumped up his RBI total from the 84 he'd recorded in 2008 and 2009. For his efforts, the Reds rewarded him with a three-year, $38 million contract extension this winter.

Heading to the hill for the Reds this afternoon will be right-hander Edinson Volquez, who missed most of last year recovering from Tommy John surgery. The former 17-game winner also had to serve a 50-game suspension for testing positive for performance-enhancing drugs.

Volquez has started just 21 games since going 17-6 in 2008 and last year was 4-3 with a 4.31 ERA in 12 starts. He's healthy now and ready to assume the role of staff ace.

"He's capable of facing the tough opposition," Reds manager Dusty Baker said. "If you're going to match up with No. 1's, you're going to have to throw shutouts and low-run games."

Milwaukee, meanwhile, could be the biggest threat to the Reds' crown, as they enter the year as one of the trendy picks in the National League, similar to way people felt about Cincinnati a year ago.

Three years removed from its last playoff appearance, Milwaukee opens the 2011 campaign under a new skipper in Ron Roenicke, but optimism is bursting through the roof at Miller Park for this year's Brewers team.

A lot of those hopes hinge on the offseason deals that saw the Brewers obtain former American League Cy Young Award winner Zack Greinke as well as talented right-hander Shaun Marcum.

Those two pitchers, along with Yovani Gallardo and Randy Wolf, give the Brewers as deep a rotation as there is in the NL. Couple that with a lineup that includes Rickie Weeks, Prince Fielder, Ryan Braun and Corey Hart, and people in the Badger State are thinking about their first division title since Milwaukee won the American League East back in 1982.

"For us, [the goal is] obviously to make the postseason," Gallardo said. "Coming into camp, since Day 1, I think all the guys would agree with me. Yet again, we all know there are other teams in our division thinking the same thing. It's not going to be easy."

With Greinke starting the year on the disabled list, it will be Gallardo going for the Brewers this afternoon. Gallardo was tremendous for the team last season, going 14-7 with a 3.84 ERA while striking out at least 200 batters for the second straight season.

The Reds were 11-3 against the Brewers last season, going 7-1 against them in Cincy.

These teams last faced each other on Opening Day in 2000, when they played the first season-opening tie in 35 years. That game was called because of rain following a three-hour delay, with the score 3-3 in the sixth inning.

Important Issues About 2nd Semi Final 2011

In 2nd semi final of ICC Worldcup 2011 played between Indai and Pakistan yesterday," splashed the tabloid Mail Today, referring to the first all Asian World Cup final against Sri Lanka in Mumbai that will be played on April 2nd 2011.

"The epic showdown between the arch rivals lives up to its billing as the match of the World Cup," the newspaper said after delirious celebrations at the Punjab Cricket stadium after India's 29 run win.

The Calcutta Telegraph managed just two words "Won India" giving its readers all they needed to know. "Although India were 20 runs short of a good score in the semi final, finally they managed to win. It was a great team effort and everybody made contributions one way or the other. The strength of this team is not on one particular player and that is the best thing.

Here Are Some Images You Don't See Before:

Triton College Board of Trustees

West Cook County voters will be asked to choose two of four candidates to serve on the Triton College board of trustees. We support newcomer Roberto Sepulveda and officeholder Jay Reyes.

Triton provides a variety of programs to serve a large cross section of its residents, he thinks the college should help them with job placement. He says he will use his business background to explore partnerships with corporations for job training. He also wants to explore why students are becoming disengaged with Triton. More significantly, he will bring a variety of thoughts and ideas to the board without any of the baggage or influences that affect longtime board members.

When Reyes was appointed last year to replace veteran Merrill Becker who resigned, he told us Triton was like home for him. He majored in political science at Triton before moving on to University of Illinois and John Marshall Law School. While at Triton, he was president of the Student Association, among other associations. Continuing with his message of home, Reyes said he wants to follow the college's continuing work with Achieving the Dream grants to help address remedial education concerns among students. He's interested in seeing the college pursue health-care-related fields such as nursing and pharmaceutical.

Longtime board member Donna Peluso, who was appointed in 1992, could not clearly state her vision for the college's future and said she was "thrown" by the question. Her background, her income and her elected positions are dependent on her political connections.

She is the executive director of Veterans Park District, serving Melrose Park, Franklin Park and Northlake. She also owns DAL Consulting, which seeks open space grants for her client, the village of Melrose Park. In 2009, DAL was paid $30,000 from Melrose Park. Over the past 11 years she has contributed $44,500 to campaigns, including Melrose Park Mayor Ron Serpico and Triton College Chairman Mark Stephens.

Another relief concern is that Peluso's Triton board oversees the college's staff including Executive Director of Marketing Tom Olson, while Olson is commissioner and treasurer of Veterans Park District, essentially directing funds for Peluso's job. We find that symbiotic relationship very troubling. Elizabeth Ann Potter, did not reply to several requests for information or interviews.

Victoria's Secret Model Candice Swanepoel's

Victoria's Secret models are hailed for their sleek physiques, but underwear model Candice Swanepoel's scary-skinny new look is fueling rumors that the South African beauty may be anorexic.

On March 30, 2011, Candice, 22, and fellow Victoria's Secret beauties Adriana Lima, 29, and Alessandra Ambrosio, 29, modeled the VS's new line of swimswear at the Mondrian Hotel.

Eating Disorders Rampant In Modeling

While the 5'10" Swanepoel has always been thin, her stick-like legs and emaciated frame were a dramatic change from a few months ago, when she sported a healthier body at the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show.

Candace, whose fitness routine includes working out with a trainer 3 times a week and taking ballet classes, looked noticeably thinner around her jawline, torso and legs.

Swanepoel, whose career is skyrocketing, recently landed the cover of the Victoria's Secret 2011 swimsuit catalogue.

The fashion industry has come under fire in recent years for encouraging what some call an unrealistically skinny standard of beauty. In November 2010, Isabelle Caro, an ex-model who suffered from anorexia, died at the age of 28 weighing just 68 pounds.

Sadly, anorexia and its sister eating disorder, bulimia, are rampant in the modeling and acting professions, but also prevalent among young girls. Experts say between 5% and 20% of people who develop anorexia eventually die from it.

GOOGLE DOODLE: 200th Birthday of Chemist Robert Bunsen

The baker can dispense with the candles: Today’s birthday boy comes with his own form of eternal flame.

On Google’s home page today, its animated fire-and-beakers “doodle” marks the 200th birthday of German chemist Robert Wilhelm Eberhard Bunsen a man of science, a man of success and, so notably to the wider world, a man with a “burner” named and flickering in his honor.

Bunsen, who was born March 31, 1811, in Gottingen, Germany, co-developed with University of Heidelberg mechanice Peter Desaga the burner that so brightly illuminates usually only one of their names.

Beyond the single, open gas flame that marks the grade school science memories of so many, the chemist also discovered or helped discover caesium and rubidium.

So in honor of your birthday, Mr. Bunsen, let the brilliant flame burn.

Bill Gates Bashing Memoir

Friends since childhood, Microsoft co-founders Bill Gates and Paul Allen have long been considered an "iconic" partnership in American industry. Allen left the company in the early 1980s, but the founders' relationship was typically thought of as quite amicable... until now. In his upcoming memoir Idea Man: A Memoir by the Co-founder of Microsoft, Allen offers what's being alternatively called a "revisionist history," "sour grapes," and "the unvarnished truth" on Microsoft's early days. Allen's account, excerpted Wednesday in Vanity Fair, has stunned the tech world. Here, six takeaways:

1. Gates was always ambitious

Allen recalls meeting Gates in the late 1960s. He was a "gangly, freckle faced eighth grader" at an old Teletype computer. He was clearly "really smart," "really competitive," and "really, really persistent." Young Gates read Fortune magazine religiously and once asked Allen, "What do you think it's like to run a Fortune 500 company?" Already a budding entrepreneur at 13, Gates said maybe they'd have their own company together someday.

2. Allen was cheated out of his fair share

When it came time to figure out the terms of their partnership, Allen assumed it would be 50-50. Gates pushed for 60-40, noting that he'd put in more hours. Allen agreed, but later Gates said he thought 64-36 was more fair. Maybe that's the difference between being the son of a lawyer, like Bill, and the son of a librarian, like Allen. "I'd been taught that a deal was a deal," Allen writes, "and your word was your bond." Wah wah, says Frederick E. Allen in Forbes. Today, both Allen and Gates are "among the richest men who ever lived."

3. Gates was a tough boss

"Some said Bill's management style was a key ingredient in Microsoft's early success," Allen writes. "But that made no sense to me." Gates was unable to settle arguments rationally and could be an extremely demanding boss. Once, Gates seemed extremely puzzled by a programmer's request to take a day off after working 81 hours in four days. He insulted employees with put-downs like "that's the stupidest fucking thing I've ever heard" and "I could code that in a weekend." It may have just been that Gates was more focused and devoted to the company than Allen, say Nick Wingfield and Robert A. Guth in The Wall Street Journal. "As Microsoft grew, it attracted more people like Mr. Gates who were single-mindedly focused on building Microsoft" and "willing to work around the clock, sleep in the office, and battle each other over strategy and technical decisions."

4. Allen left because of Gates

In 1983, Allen decided to leave Microsoft because, he says, after his illness he realized "life was too short to spend it unhappily." He paints his decision as largely related to his unhappiness with Gates, contradicting previous ideas that it was more related to health. Gates told him it was unfair for him to keep his share in the company and made a "lowball offer" to buy his stock. Allen declined, kept his stock, and consequently became one of the richest men in the world. There's "no need to feel sorry for either Gates or Allen," says Frederick E. Allen in Forbes.

5. Gates plotted against Allen when Allen had cancer

In September of 1982, Allen was diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma. He went through several weeks of radiation treatment and was left feeling quite ill. Back in the office that December, he overhead Gates and Steve Ballmer, a friend of Gates' from Harvard who'd been brought on as a business manager (and is now Microsoft's CEO), complaining about Allen's lack of contributions, and plotting to cheat him of his fair share of the company. Current and former Microsoft bigwigs are questioning Allen's interpretation of key events, say Wingfield and Guth. "Mr. Allen, for instance, puts himself in meetings that people familiar with the meetings say he never attended."

6. Allen comes off as bitter

It's not surprising that Gates tried to screw Allen, says Frederick E. Allen. "Anyone who builds great empires is shrewd, canny, acquisitive, and at times stubbornly unyielding." The surprising news is that Allen has gone public. It has long seemed that the two were at least cordial, and there's a real streak of "bitterness" throughout the book, say Wingfield and Guth. Yes, but this is the story of "countless successful technology start ups," says Jennifer Valentino DeVries in The Wall Street Journal. "A close knit group of founders develops an idea, but eventually one person emerges as the leader and drives the company forward. Even in the best-case scenario, there can be bitterness."

Maulana Fazal ur Rehman Escapes Another Attack

A bomb exploded near the convoy of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman near DCO office Charsadda damaging his vehicle and killing eight others.

Hospital sources confirmed that 29 injured have been admitted.

While talking to Geo News Maulana Fazl said: "I am fine, blast damaged my jeep and some soldiers in my convoy are injured". Ex-CM Akram Durrani and sacked minister Azam Swati were also with him.

The JUI-F chief was scheduled to hold a public meeting in Charsadda. The sources said the suicide bomber blew himself up near the convoy of JUI-F chief.

Eyewitnesses said soon after the explosion, bodies were scattered all around while the injured were seen crying for help.

Yesterday, ten people, including eight JUI-F workers and two cops, were killed when a suicide bomber exploded himself near the Swabi Interchange on the Peshawar-Islamabad Motorway minutes before the arrival of the JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman at the spot.

The JUI-F chief was scheduled to hold a public meeting in the playground of the Government High School, Swabi, and the party workers were told by former provincial education minister Maulana Fazal Ali to receive the party chief at the Swabi Interchange.

April Fool Day

April 1 is the one day each year where even the most sensible person becomes vulnerable to the types of pranks usually only drunk kids find hilarious — consider the classic “loosen the salt shaker lid” trick. These types of juvenile pranks practiced on April Fool’s Day seem far removed from a holiday that began in the 1500s. While its exact origins are dubious, associate professor Amy Bix, associate professor of history who teaches history of American pop culture, said some historians believe April Fool’s began in France during the switch from the Julian calendar to the modern Gregorian calendar.

Before these calendar changes were instated, Bix said, people would celebrate the new year April 1, instead of Jan. 1. However, some people didn’t get the memo regarding the calendar changes and proceeded to celebrate April 1, which made them the brunt of ridicule and thus fools – April fools, if you will.

However, this theory may be too simplistic, and there is no evidence that the actual origins of the holiday lie in this account, Bix said.

“It’s not impossible, but there’s no reason to take it as historical gospel,” Bix said.

Bix said there is also history dating back centuries of people playing jokes and teasing one another in the Roman era.

Considering all the possible origins, there is no simple answer to where and when this holiday actually began, but Bix said spring is historically a time to celebrate the rebirth of nature, and April Fool’s Day may have broader connections to spring festivals. April 1 is the one day a year where it’s historically acceptable to “suspend your normal routine,” Bix said. “People accept that to blow off steam.”

So go ahead and Saran-Wrap a friend’s car, because April 1 is the only day when that’s considered a light-hearted prank.

Historic April Fools’ pranks:

Memorable pranks throughout history — information from “Museum of Hoaxes” compiled by curator Alex Boese:

In 1996, Taco Bell released a statement announcing the corporation had bought the historic Liberty Bell and had plans to rename it “The Taco Liberty Bell.”

In 2008 BBC released a video of Antarctic flying penguins. BBC explained that the penguins took flight to escape the harsh Antarctic temperatures and traveled to South America.

In 1995, the Disney Corporation supposedly made negotiations with the Russian government to purchase the body of Communist leader Vladmir Lenin to display in a mausoleum at Euro Disney.

In 1940, a press agent from the Franklin Institute released a statement announcing astronomers discovered the world would end tomorrow. A radio station broadcast the news, which the public found fairly upsetting.

In 1957, a BBC news report featured a report about the harvest of a spaghetti crop in Switzerland. The report cited the elimination of the “spaghetti weevil” and a mild winter for the Spaghetti harvest. People actually believed this.

In 1998, Burger King released an advertisement announcing their “left-handed Whopper,” as a brand new menu item. The ingredients remained the same, but were shifted 180 degrees to accommodate left-handed people.

In 2002, a British grocery store announced it had created a genetically-modified carrot with holes along its side that would allow the vegetable to whistle when fully cooked.

April Fools’ Day memories:

Andy Mumgons, senior in computer engineering: “I don’t really have any memory of pranks happening on April Fool’s, but it is my dad’s birthday on April Fool’s Day and no one seems to believe me.”

Brooke Palmer, junior in history: “One year I pranked my grandma and told her I was pregnant. She was pretty speechless to be honest. She’s a pretty colorful woman, though.”

Ashley Skjerping, sophomore in business marketing: “I think I was in middle school and I didn’t want to go to school that day so I poured a can of soup into the toilet bowl and told my mom that it was puke. I didn’t go to school that day.”

Matt Bogaard, junior in animal ecology: “Last year my roommate tried to get my other roommate with the rubber band over the nozzle on the faucet prank. He got me the next morning before class. I had to go class with a wet T-shirt and it was cold.”

Pak vs India Report

Yesterday’s crucial cricket match between Pakistan and India appears to have had a resounding effect on diplomacy between the two nations. Pakistan are upbeat about the match despite the fact that Pakistan lost horribly to India. In an unexpected turn of events, the meeting of Prime Ministers Raza Gilani and Manmohan Singh may end up being the real victory for both countries.

The “carnival atmosphere” of yesterday’s ICC World Cup Cricket match between these two rivals is said to have been the catalyst for a dialogue, even the beginning of a detentes between these two leaders, and perhaps between the two age old rivals. Some are calling the series of events leading up to today’s upbeat news “diplomacy through cricket.” The match is now dominating the front pages of newspapers across Pakistan and India, but more importantly the story is about more than Sachin Tendulkar or his counterpart Shahid Afridi – it’s about hope for peace.

According to the various reports, the two Prime Ministers have apparently set a course for peace between these two embattled countries. The dialogue shattered by the Mumbai incident is, according to many of these reports, being patched up by Singh and Gilani despite the hawks in either country’s governments. Already it appears Singh has accepted Gilani’s invitation to visit Pakistan later this year.

Despite the fact that no official reports have been forthcoming, just the dialogue going on in Pakistani news reflects the apparent desire of people there. And concerning the game yesterday, Pakistan and India have not come together over an event such as this in decades – maybe even never. Symbolic of the open doors between the two countries was not only the game itself, but where it was held, Punjab and Kashmir having been notoriously contested regions between the two for for ever. Today’s news is particularly poignant and hopeful.

I should note here too, that positive headlines about diplomacy here, after all Pakistan’s hopes had been pinned on their team, this is more epic than the match itself. Talk about good winners and losers! A call has been voiced here – a call for peace. It is so resounding and clear – let’s follow this story today and in the days to come. Who would ever suspect such tangible human victories from a game of wickets -WOW.

The video below of fans coming across the border from Pakistan into India to see this match, this reveals the truth of cricket and of diplomacy. On either end of any dispute there are people – and people can live together with smiles.

March 30, 2011

Watch Kirstie Alley Kiss: DWTS 2011

Kirstie Alley always knows how to get a reaction from an audience! The actress has already established herself as a frontrunner on Season 12 of Dancing With the Stars and certainly brings high energy to her dance floor! And last night she ended her Quickstep performance sharing a passionate smooch with partner Maksim Chmerkovskiy!

Kirstie went into the second week of competition in second place, so the pressure was on.

Dancing With The Stars: 2nd week

Tonight is the night someone has got to go home. I love this season of Dancing with the (ahem) Stars. Sadly someone has to leave us tonight, how does that make you feel? Makes me feel like I wish it was that boring-ass hostess taking a hike tonight.

J eeze Louise... she is for lack of a better word something, isn't she? Just once. ONCE, I'd love for a celeb/dancer to answer her "how does it feel" question like this. "It sucks, Brooke, if effin sucks"

I doubt if Brooke will go home tonight, perhaps the nail in her coffin might come in the form of a suspension for getting quoted wishing Chris Brown and his bad self stay away from tonight's live show. My fingers are crossed. Ooops, no such luck, the other Burke questions his performance. Brooke apparently has no preference either way.

As far as tonight goes, my prediction, if it can't be Brooke, probably that Psycho Mike fella, you know, Dr. Drew's friend. With about a half hour before the first celebrity/dancer gets cut, here is how I see things in week two. Be warned, it is how I see it snarky comments and all.

Helen Mirren

Academy Award winning actress Helen Mirren 65 year old, continues to take sex appeal to a new level. Ever wondered whether you should wear a bikini in your 50s and 60s? If you're Mirren, it's a definite fashion do. "Calendar Girls" anyone?

With no signs of slowing down anytime soon, Mirren is slated to receive a career achievement award on March 31 at CinemaCon, the annual convention and trade show for movie theater owners (formerly called ShoWest) in Las Vegas. She's also starring in the much anticipated remake of "Arthur," with Russell Brand and Jennifer Garner, due out in April.

Mirren proves that talented actresses of any age can compete with Hollywood starlets on the big screen. But she can show them up on the red carpet as well. It's a fact that Mirren still looks good in a bikini, but her real talent is masterfully exuding elegance fully clothed.

Never one to shy away from an opportunity to look devilishly sublime on the red carpet, Mirren took the Sunday going to church suit and gave it a much needed makeover when she attended a special screening of her film "The Tempest" when it opened recently in London. She added some peek a boo cleavage and a flirty bubble skirt. To transform her skirt suit from business attire to red carpet ready, she chose an uber chunky statement necklace, sleek silver envelope clutch and nude heels.

A skirt suit is always great for the office, but you'll need to find one with character if you're going to wear it for after work drinks. Mirren chose a striped version, but any pretty print, unique hemline or belt accent can turn your skirt suit into evening wear. Among our finds: a Tahari by ASL suit, with a fun belted jacket and skirt for $139.99 at Macy's. skirt suit from JC Penney in a chic tweed for $59.99; and a skirt suit from with a flirty pleated hemline for $47.99.

Statement jewelry pieces are an inexpensive way to add a fancy factor to any outfit, whether it's a skirt suit or a plain colored T-shirt and jeans. They make you feel like you're playing a modern version of dress-up, without the boring pearls. Get Mirren's chunky jewelry look with the Fanned branches bibbed necklace from Banana Republic for $41.50 or the Tinley Road three-layer necklace from for $18.99.

For any style-conscious woman on a budget, to say that a go-to reversible clutch is a golden find would be a gross understatement. We're talking best-use-of-money-ever status. This reversible clutch by Nine West for $39.99 gives you a silver sheen for day and a little black clutch for your evening cocktail party.

A good pair of nude-colored heels should leave you just as giddy. They go with anything and everything and can be your closet's best asset. Kohl's carries a pair of Elle Yalena platform high heels for $39.99.

Lollapalooza Celebrates Twenty Years

The music and arts festival conceived by Jane’s Addiction frontman Perry Farrell, will be celebrating its twentieth anniversary this year. The festival itself is still months away it runs from August 6-8 in Chicago’s Grant Park but Babble is reporting that a virtual time capsule has been created on the official website to commemorate two decades of musical celebration.

The time capsule is pretty cool, actually, especially if you’re feel a bit nostalgic; an interactive timeline allows visitors to play clips of popular songs, films, even classic “American Idol” auditions from the past twenty years.

(What is William Hung up to these days, anyway?)

However, looking towards the future, we’re hoping that the festival offers an impressive lineup to guests, though its increasing focus on money making stars goes against Farrell’s stated intention to bring true alternative music to the masses.

No official announcements have been made, but rumor has it that Eminem, Foo Fighters and Muse could be making an appearance. With Jane’s Addiction headlining the Gathering of the Vibes festival and recording a new album, it makes sense that they’d be there, as well.

While it certainly ain’t Coachella, some people feel that they can’t go wrong with Lollapalooza, and for those types, early bird tickets will be made available on April 5. Maybe we’ll have a better idea of who will be playing the show by that point, but don’t count on it.

Free Annual Credit Report

This free annual credit report includes instant online analysis help from the bureaus of Experian, Equifax and Transunion. It is important to remember that this free credit report does not include a credit score. To acquire credit score it usually takes between $20 and $40 but sometimes it is worth it to spend as little bit of extra cash to put a number value on a financial history.

With the 10 year treasury rate yield below its 50 day moving average interest rates are very attractive levels at the present time. Before deciding on a home loan, car loan, personal loan or credit card and may be wise to take advantage of the government free annual credit report that is available online at the website

By checking the free annual credit report online Americans will much better understand how creditors see their specific financial situation. Unfortunately, many Americans go through life without having any clue as to why interest rates are at a specific level on their loans. By having mistakes or errors on a credit report some Americans could be paying on interest rates that are much higher than they deserve.

It is always advisable to address mistakes and errors as soon as possible. By allowing these errors to accumulate on a credit history many Americans will find that their credit score dropped by as much as 100 points. Rather than allowing this to happen it is advisable to check the free annual credit report as soon as possible and address these issues before they get worse.

With interest rates very low at the present time there is no reason to pass up an opportunity to refinance a home loan or take out a line of credit at a very low interest rate. Before doing so it is always advisable to have an exit plan as Americans do not want to put themselves in high interest rate revolving debt problems.

Rain in Mohali

International Cricket Council (ICC) has announced that the second semi final between India and Pakistan would be held on Thursday if it could not be played on Wednesday due to rain.

Torrential rains and thunderstorm lashed Mohali Tuesday night, a day before the World Cup semi-final showdown between arch rivals India and Pakistan at the Punjab Cricket Association stadium.

The ICC further explained that if rain continues on Thursday then the 50/fifty match would be reduced to 20/twinty overs and even if this too could not be possible then Pakistan would go into the final on the basis of better position in the group stage.

Predict Pakistan Victory Against India: Palmists Killed

Mumbai University Dheram Puri Almaruf Bangali Mumbai Famous Palmists Killed In Mumbai After Predict Pakistan Victory Against India.

On March 07, 2011 Parrot known as Maani forecasted Pakistan thrice consecutively as Cricket World Winner this year. Parrot’s master, in order to secure him by Indian bash Shiv Sena, wiped out his Parrot intended for predicting Pakistan as Successful. in cricket world cup 2011.

What is the sin of poor palmist?
What is the sin of poor parrot?

Watch the video below And Think....

Pakistan and India will face each other in the 2nd semi-final of ICC World Cup 2011, on Wednesday, 30 March, in Mohali. According to above unexpected events occur in India, remember one thing, this is a game not a war. Don't play with lives of innocent and poor peoples.

March 29, 2011

Rabbit Out Of a Hat

It may be a bit early to call it the Miracle of the Racing Rain, but credit Auto Club Speedway president Gillian Zucker and her staff for pulling a rabbit from a hat over the weekend.

Years from now, it could very well be said that Sunday's crowd at the Auto Club 400 estimates of which range from 75,000 (ours) to 88,000 (NASCAR's) saved racing in Southern California.

Zucker and ACS put together an aggressive marketing program to stem the dwindling numbers at Fontana. What made the number even more significant was the improvement over that of the last race at the track about five months ago.

There was no doubt Zucker and the track were on the hot seat. NASCAR and track owner International Speedway Corp. had already agreed to pull one date from the facility, and there was a question as to whether major-league racing could thrive in the market.

Well, the answer is yes. While Sunday's crowd won't compare with those at NASCAR strongholds such as Daytona, Talladega, Bristol or Michigan, it will rank higher on the list than many others. That should silence the critics who've relished in bashing the West Coast for its lack of attendance at Sprint Cup races.

Of course we excluded Las Vegas from the list. Much like the open wheel Long Beach Grand Prix, is it about the racing or the opportunity to have a great time?

As much as we, or even you, hate to admit it, perhaps Kevin Harvick has been right all along. The winner of Sunday's close finish, Harvick has long maintained that tracks should be held accountable for their attendance, that there should be a demand for a second race rather than follow traditional habits.

Harvick, who just might be angling for a shorter or more diverse schedule, believes that a track should sell out one race before adding a second. In this economy, that's solid thinking. And, to his credit, Harvick put his back into the ACS efforts with various promotional activities centering around his native Bakersfield.

But before we all get swept away by the euphoria of Sunday's attendance, let's remember that it was just one race. Along Harvick's line of thinking, the speedway is now faced with the challenge of attracting more for the 2012 race.

Will it result in the return of a second date any time soon? That's to be determined by NASCAR sometime in the future, but Sunday's effort was a great start.

It was with a certain amount of sadness to understand that Mike Sweeney has decided to end his Major League Baseball career. We have been fortunate to see Big Mike Sweeney's son play the game since 1987, give or take a year, and the deposition rarely changed over the years.

Sweeney enjoyed playing the game, regardless of the level. He carried himself with a tremendous amount of grace that rubbed off on others, and he never forgot his roots just ask the fans who won a Sweeney autographed baseball at a Fan Appreciation Day game at Ontario High School.

And that swing he learned from his father: it was a beauty to watch.

Whether Sweeney makes the Hall of Fame, he'll always be recognized as a man of honor, conviction and character. We'll wish him well in his retirement.

It went unnoticed by many, but certainly not in the running world, that Cal Poly Pomona's Daniel Rojas was among the leading U.S. performers at the recent L.A Marathon. Rojas, who ran at Mt. San Antonio College before transferring over the hill to Cal Poly, posted an impressive time of 2:20.12 to finish 10th in his marathon debut.

We have, on previous occasions, been rather harsh on Cal Poly Pomona athletic director Brian Swanson about the merry go round of head coaches in the women's basketball program.

He wants it to stop as well. Therefore, he removed the interim tag from Danelle Bishop's title Monday. Not exactly a bad move, since she took the Broncos to the Elite Eight this season.

Now, all the pressure is squarely on Bishop's shoulders, as it should be. It's her program to run, her team to build, her games to win. Perhaps the move will bring tranquility to a program with rich history.
It won't be official until the Angels say so, but Upland High School graduate Michael Wing is apparently headed for San Bernardino. At least that's what dad Damon Wing is hoping for. The younger Wing is beginning his fifth season of pro ball, being drafted out of Upland in 2007.

Auto Club Speedway, part 2: The crowd was certainly a story, but so was the effort by the operations crew from the speedway and NASCAR.

Those arriving early never figured the race would get off on time when they were greeted by a steady drizzle. The wet stuff stopped at 10 a.m., though, and within two hours the track was dry enough to race.

That was crucial, considering "weepers," water seeping through the racing surface, were an issue Friday. It was good work by those involved.

James Campbell, a Korean War veteran, is the example of good things coming to those who wait. At 79 years and 6 months, Campbell rolled his first perfect game recently at Victor Bowl in Victorville, part of a 139-300-181 series.

Campbell makes the commute to Victorville from Barstow, where he resides at the veterans home. Reportedly, he's told friends he'll continue to make the 80-mile round trip as long as gas is under $5 a gallon.

A 10 year Navy veteran, Campbell was a gunner on an aircraft that flew off the USS Princeton in Korea. He's averaging 174 in the Hesperians League and 185 in his Saturday League, down from the 202 he averaged when he was 69.
So Jim Tressel's paper trail at Ohio State indicates he might have been loosely playing with the truth, again. Wonder when the full story will eventually leak out?

If I were running the NCAA, and I'm glad I'm not, I would tack on another five Big 10 games to the five that Ohio State already suspended Tressel. The governing body chased Jerry Tarkanian for years, but it was never proved that he lied to them at all.

Rolling Papers: Wiz Khalifa

Wiz Khalifa’s “Rolling Papers” album drops today, March 29. The “Black and Yellow” rapper has seen a lot of success lately, including being seen on the cover of Complex Magazine, Dub, and Rolling Stone. USA Today calls him “Wise beyond years, ambitious beyond limits.”

The album includes the certified #1 “Black and Yellow” plus “Roll Up,” “The Race,” “No Sleep” and “On My Level” ft. Too short.” The album is available on iTunes and at Best Buy.

Wiz Khalifa is notorious for his use of marijuana, and the presence of this controlled substance is all over his album, in his songs, and in plain view for all to see. Khalifa has seen much success in the music world, but it seems that the law has its eye on him too.

Back in November 2010 Khalifa was arrested in North Carolina after alleged wafts of marijuana smoke were suspected to be coming from his tour bus. The arrest came after a performance to a standing-room-only crowd.

Khalifa is very open about his marijuana use, and so cooperated with the officers in their search of his tour bus. Nine members of his entourage were also arrested along with the alleged seizure of more than 60 grams of marijuana.

The 22 year old rapper, born Cameron Jibril Thomaz, has a wide list of felony counts include marijuana trafficking, maintaining a place for sale/storage of marijuana, and a misdemeanor for possession of drug paraphernalia.

Khalifa even has his own brand of rolling papers, and reportedly spends about $10,000 a month on weed.

No matter what comes from his run-ins with the law, fans don’t seem to mind. Then and now fans buzz with anticipation of the album and are excited about the release.

Not only has the #1 hit “Black and Yellow” given the rapper main stream success, but they say imitation is the finest form of flattery. Before the Super Bowl Lil Wayne recorded a spoof on “Black and Yellow,” a song about the Pittsburgh Steelers, called “Green and Yellow” about the Green Bay Packers.

When it comes to the new album, critics are raving. Jon Dolan of the Rolling stones says, “On Rolling Papers, Khalifa manages to give life to those kinds of cash gorged perma baked cliches by warmly luxuriating in the space between pop’s fresh faced exuberance and hip hop’s easy arrogance between skater and playa, Bieber and Biggie.”

Train Tickets On Sale

Tickets for the second annual "Bartlesville Oil Flyer" excursion train are now on sale at the chamber of commerce office inside the Santa Fe depot at 210 SW Keeler. This year, the one-hour train ride is part of a Whistle and Ride celebration scheduled for Saturday, May 7.

Train lovers of all ages will have the opportunity to blow the recently restored whistle of steam locomotive No. 940 as well as take a ride on the diesel-powered excursion train. The event also will feature tours of the 940's cab, free refreshments and musical entertainment at the depot. The rides, lasting about one hour, will leave at 10 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. The excursion train, operated by railroad preservation group Heart of the Heartlands, will consist of three air-conditioned passenger cars.

Ticket prices will be $10 per person, with a portion of the fare donated toward the continued restoration of locomotive No. 940. Children four years old and under will ride for free on an adults lap. Last year, the event was sold out nearly a week in advance. Tickets, which are non-refundable, must be purchased in person and paid for with check or cash. Credit cards cannot be accepted. For more information, go to or contact the Bartlesville Convention and Visitors Bureau at 918-336-8708.

Mass Effect 2 Arrival

The last DLC for Mass Effect 2, dubbed Arrival has finally arrived on Xbox Live Marketplace. The DLC will set you back by 560 Microsoft Points and the download clocks in at 760MB. Arrival DLC has been released with much fanfare and a relatively prolific marketing campaign that build up to its release today.

Arrival chronicles Shepard's quest to rescue an operative who may have dope on an impending reaper invasion of Earth. Looks like the DLC is setting up the plot for Mass Effect 3, which may see the action headed for Earth. The launch is marked by a brand new trailer for the DLC, which we have got it right here for your viewing pleasure.


Woman Must Know About Ovarian Cancer

Biggest And Common Reason Of Ovarian Cancer

1. This is the fifth most common cancer in women

Although ovarian cancer is technically classed as a rare cancer (the common ones are breast, bowel, lung and prostate) it still affects around 6,700 women each year in the UK.

Risk varies from woman to woman and depends on how old you are, your genes and your lifestyle.

A woman has a one in 50 chance of developing the disease over her lifetime, according to charity Target Ovarian Cancer. But the risk rises as you get older, with four in five cases occurring after the age of 50.

2. It’s a bigger threat than cervical cancer

We’ve all heard of cervical cancer, thanks to NHS screening using the smear test.

No wonder a survey by Target Ovarian Cancer found that nearly half of women think cervical cancer is more of a threat than ovarian cancer.

Sadly, this isn’t true. Ovarian cancer kills around 4,500 women a year compared to just under 1,000 cervical cancer deaths.

The reason cervical cancer deaths are so low is because most women go for regular smears Cancer Research UK estimates the test saves 4,500 lives a year.

3. There ARE some early symptoms

It was thought that symptoms didn’t show themselves until the cancer had become advanced. But it’s now known this isn’t the case.

Research shows that women do get symptoms in the early stages of the disease but a lack of awareness along with the fact that symptoms are quite general means they’re often missed until it’s too late.

In 2008, according to the NHS National Awareness and Early Diagnosis Initiative identified the top three symptoms of ovarian cancer as:

  • Persistent pelvic or stomach pain.
  • Increased tummy size and persistent bloating as opposed to bloating that comes and goes.
  • Difficulty eating and feeling full quickly on most days.

Less common symptoms are:

  • The need to wee suddenly or more often.
  • Changes in bowel habit, for instance constipation or diarrhoea.
  • Feeling tired all the time.
  • Back pain.

But a survey by Ovarian Cancer Action revealed that 80% of women would not recognise any of these signs.

Consultant gynaecology oncologist Dr Khalil Razvi of Southend University Hospital advises: “See your GP if you have persistent symptoms for four weeks or longer. Chances are it’s not ovarian cancer but any symptoms, especially pain, that last this long needs to be investigated. And if it does turn out to be ovarian cancer, the sooner you’re diagnosed and treated, the better your survival chances.”

4. More than 70% survive if it’s caught early

If it’s diagnosed in the early stages, the good news is that more than 70% of women will survive this disease. But at the moment we have the worst survival rate in Europe two-thirds of women diagnosed with ovarian cancer won’t survive beyond five years.

Knowing the symptoms is crucial, if you’re worried, keep track of yours with Ovarian Cancer Action’s new online symptoms diary. Fill it in and take it along to your GP.


5. It may be mistaken for IBS

GPs have often been accused of not being sufficiently aware of ovarian cancer symptoms. Indeed, in 2009 the Pathfinder Study for Target Ovarian Cancer found that three-quarters of them were not familiar with Department of Health guidelines on symptoms and diagnosis.

“I think GPs are becoming more aware of early symptoms, but there’s a constant stream of new research coming out on so many conditions,” says Dr Razvi. “The average GP will only see one case of ovarian cancer every five years. Another problem is that the symptoms are also symptoms for a wide range of illnesses, so ovarian cancer may not be the first thing that comes to mind.”

It’s often confused with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), which affects one in five women, as well as side effects of hormone replacement therapy.

Dr Razvi says: “Don’t be afraid to ask your GP if he or she has considered the possibility of cancer if your symptoms are similar to those established by the National Awareness and Early Diagnosis Initiative.” See-3

6. It doesn’t just affect older women

Although most women who develop ovarian cancer are over 50, certain types can affect women as young as 20.

“In this case, symptoms are more likely to be mistaken for other gynaecological problems, like fibroids or endometriosis,” says Dr Razvi. You’re more likely to develop it young if you have two or more close relatives who’ve had ovarian or breast cancer, which may be linked to specific genetic faults.

This is more common in women of Jewish, Polish, Icelandic and Pakistani descent and more significant the younger they were when they developed the cancers.

“If you’re concerned about your family history, tell your GP who can refer you to a genetics clinic for an assessment,” says Dr Razvi.

However, it’s important to note that nine out of 10 ovarian cancers have nothing to do with genes.

7. A clear smear does not rule it out

The smear test is designed solely to pick up cell changes that may lead to cervical cancer and has nothing to do with ovarian cancer. However, a 2007 survey by Target Ovarian Cancer suggested that up to half of all women wrongly believe that a clear smear test means they’re free from ovarian cancer, too.

8. The Pill lowers your risk

This is good news for women who’ve taken the combined oral contraceptive pill for five or more years.

“Research shows that after five years, it reduces risk by nearly 30%, with benefits lasting up to 30 years afterwards,” says Dr Razvi.

After 15 years of taking the Pill, risk is reduced by half, according to Cancer Research UK.

“This is thought to be because being on the Pill stops ovulation. We also know that the risk of ovarian cancer is lower in women who’ve had children than those who haven’t. The more children a woman has, and the longer she breastfeeds for, the lower her risk.

“One theory is that ovulation may damage the lining of the ovaries so the less often a woman ovulates, the less damage to her ovary lining. However it hasn’t been proven,” says Dr Razvi.

9. Fighting the flab will reduce your risk

Obese women who’ve passed the menopause are up to 80% more likely to get ovarian cancer, according to a study in the US.

Aim for a waist size below 32 inches and preferably below 30. This will also substantially reduce your risk of other conditions, such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

Some research suggests that regular exercise reduces risk of ovarian, breast and bowel cancers, though this could be partly because it helps keep your weight under control.

One large Scandinavian study showed women who exercised for at least four hours a week reduced their risk by more than two-thirds.

10. Scientists are working on a screening test

At the moment there’s no screening programme for ovarian cancer. But a clinical trial into the potential benefits is now being carried out on 200,000 women.

SAS evaluated in leading industry analyst

The Gartner report explained that "a holistic approach to enterprise risk management (ERM) requires software products that can maximise a firm's ability to capture measure and manage risk exposures consistently across the organisation".This research provides "a guide to credit, market and operational risk management (CRM, MRM and ORM, respectively) vendor software that includes risk-specific functionality, as well as capabilities that support enterprise-level, cross-discipline management of risk and performance".

The Gartner report recommended for organisations seeking ERM to "deploy solutions consistently across the entire institution (for all businesses and geographies), and avoid siloed approaches. Most institutions will develop a technology road map for incremental implementation of risk solutions based on enterprise-level performance priorities." Gartner continued by stating institutions should "use configuration, not customisation, to meet current and longer-term functional requirements".

To help organisations with ERM strategy, the SAS Business Analytics Framework can be used to build superior solutions, with SAS Risk Management for Banking covering market and credit risk and SAS Enterprise Governance, Risk and Compliance (GRC) supporting operational risk and compliance needs. The framework provides measurement reporting and integration of information, and linking the enterprise risk function with other business areas such as financial management and customer management.

SAS combines strong risk analytics with superior data management and business intelligence capabilities to create a framework on which to deliver adaptable risk solutions to meet Gartner's recommendations.

SAS offers a variety of methods to support customer pricing modelling requirements via in-house developed models as well as from third-party vendors, such as FINCAD and FEA. SAS has sophisticated functionality providing scenario analysis, stress testing, and concentration analysis as well as the ability to manage complex products with the option to change, add or modify process, data or functionality.

In the report, Gartner found that organisations need to "create an enterprise-level data structure and IT architecture blueprint to support business risk management requirements that is co-ordinated with the institution's broader data structures and architecture". Gartner believes they should "evaluate a vendor's ability to enable a single, co-ordinated mechanism that supports the evaluation and response to risk threats and opportunities", as well as "use technology to minimise and take control of risk, not just to monitor and report it".

With the SAS solution's single integrated risk technology framework, one metadata layer connects the entire solution from data integration, data quality and data management. This also provides a holistic view of risk across credit, market and operational risk solutions, capital and performance management enabling management of complex interrelationships and converging risks. The single risk engine in SAS solutions for both market and credit risk and the fully integrated business intelligence capabilities leads to lower total cost of ownership.

SAS eliminates manual processes for data quality and data transformation, so organisations can avoid the need for upload, download and re-load of data across multiple platforms with reduced errors and operational losses.

Gartner also advises organisations to "plan strategically beyond tactical functionality, assess how vendors can improve the management of risk interdependencies, and integrate risk and performance management”.

"SAS offers a portfolio of risk and compliance products that can build on existing implementations, or provide a fast track for new customers," said Andre Zitzke, Practice Lead Risk at SAS South Africa. "Banks need to have analytical capabilities that can quickly evolve to meet changing business and regulatory requirements."

Jim Toth And Reese Wedding

Before few days ago, you heard news about the engagement of Jim Toth. Oscar winner Reese Witherspoon and Jim Toth have married. The couple got married on Saturday evening at her ranch, with only about 100 guests there to watch them swap vows. Celebrities on the guest list included, Alyssa Milano, Rene Zellwegger, Salma Hayek, Tobey Maguire, and Robert Downey Jr. with Susan, his wife.

Reese and Jim started dating shortly after she called it quits with Jake Gyllenhaal in December 2009. By the end of last year, the couple was engaged. The couple along with her kids, 7 years old son, Deacon, and 11 yearzold daughter, Ava, parents, brother and sister in law got together for her 35th birthday at a restaurant in Brentwood.

Reese wore a Monique Lhuillier wedding gown, which she was fitted for during Paris Fashion Week in January, while she walked down the aisle to ‘Here Comes the Bride’. Jim arrived to the ‘Tennessee Waltz’. The couple’s wedding bands were designed by jeweler William Goldberg.

A huge tent was set up to keep the guests safe from the weather of the outdoor event behind the main house on the ranch. There were flowers and rustic themed decor inside, brought together by celebrity wedding planner Yifat Oren. There was very tight security around the premises for the whole week.

India Holds Slight Edge in World Cup 2011

Allan Border considers Dhoni XI as favourites in the high voltage semi final clash at Mohali on 30th March between arch-rivals, Pakistan and India. Border feels bowling to be a huge concern for the Indian team, but withal.

" Not Hesitate To Bet On The Host Side "

"India are going into the game as slight favourites. Playing at home is obviously a big advantage. But Pakistan also know the conditions very well in Mohali," said Border.

Border, who led the Kangaroos to their first ever World Cup victory in 1987, thinks the Indian team lacks sheer pace in their bowling arsenal. However, their batting has a definite edge over Pakistan. The Australian southpaw is looking forward to a crunch match between neighbouring countries and hailed the semi final as the tournament’s best entertainment.

"We have our rivalry with the Englishmen and the Ashes series is famous for that. I think India-Pakistan rivalry is a step up for the fervour it generates. Certainly, can`t wait for Wednesday," added the former Aussie batsman.

Border is in India these days enjoying the cricket fever from both sides of the border. The cricket craze is growing with each passing moment as two old rivals gear up to take on each other in the critical World Cup fixture scheduled for Wednesday.

The Mohali Stadium has never witnessed Pakistan’s defeat to India in a 50-over format. The two cricket’s children, Pakistan and India, have faced each other in 119 one-dayers. Out of 119, the Cornered Tigers have won 69 games, and the Indian side has 46 victories to its credit.

Ricky Ponting, former Australian captain who also led the team in the World Cup 2011, has already predicted Pakistan being thrashed at the hands of India in the semi-final.

The winning side of Pakistan-India clash will storm into the final to play the ultimate contest for the coveted World Cup trophy.

World's Tallest Tower: Burj Khalifa

Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest tower here in a record scaled the 2,716 feet tall.

The climb was held yesterday as part of the 'Education Without Borders 2011' international student conference organised by the UAE's Higher Colleges of Technology.

Unlike on many previous climbs, the 48 year old daredevil is using a rope and harness to comply with organisers' requirements.

"All safety precautions were taken with the cooperation of various governmental authorities," a statement from the developer said.

Thousands of spectators watched him in action from Burj Park and Downtown Dubai.

"Alain Robert's scaling of Burj Khalifa is indeed momentous, and we are honoured to host the climb as part of the prestigious 'Education Without Borders' conference that brought the world's leading educationalists and thought leaders to witness the unprecedented feat," Ahmad Al Matrooshi, Managing Director, Emaar Properties, the developer of Burj Khalifa said.

Robert saw the attempt to climb Burj Khalifa as a true challenge. Robert has climbed more than 70 skyscrapers, including the Empire State Building, Chicago's Willis Tower and the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur.

Towering high at a height of 828 metres (2,716.5 ft), Burj Khalifa is now a full-fledged community featuring homes, offices, hotel suites and restaurants.

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