Posts tagged ‘USA’

September 15, 2014

Million Dollar Arm

Million Dollar Arm

A few weeks ago I had realised that there were no Hollywood in Bollywood films on the horizon. Could it be? Could the Slumdog Millionaire franchise actually fail to produce another saccharine feel-good Hollywood blockbuster? Are there no more Americans that need to travel to India and “find him/herself” and return a changed human being for the greater good?

And then just like buses, three films come at once. One I’ve forgotten about already. I couldn’t face the Helen Mirren cooking one. But the baseball one seemed palatable, not least because the hunk (haven’t said that for a while) from Mad Men was in it. Enter… Million Dollar Arm.

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June 13, 2014

Strange Fruit in Uttar Pradesh

Sexual assault against women in India, particularly Uttar Pradesh, seems to be taking turn for the worst as rapists become emboldened by the lack of police investigation and political sympathy in favour of the criminal.   In the last fortnight four women have been raped and hung from trees by their own dupatta (scarf) or sari.

These crimes are outrageous enough but even more so are the continuous foot-in-mouth statements from the chief minister of the state, his father and a growing chorus of male chief ministers from other states.   I watched a TV discussion on NDTV (channel 511 on Sky) where a representative of the UP government repeatedly stated ‘what about men who are wrongly accused?’

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May 31, 2014

ilili

ilili

While mooching around the fine island-thing that is Manhattan, one must sample the seafood or one really is a loser.

Enter ilili, 236 Fifth Ave.

Love! A fabulously exclusive Lebanese restaurant (what, you didn’t book weeks ago? You mustn’t have any friends this side of the pond darling). A little darker than I like for a restaurant but phew, the tables are lit well

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May 29, 2014

Sunday Mayhem in the West Village

beaumarchais

Of course in New York you have to go for brunch. I have plenty places to recommend but my favourite is one that you don’t go purely to eat. You simply must try the Beaumarchais in the West Village, New York.

Don’t waste your time going there in the week, you have to go on a Sunday afternoon to get that truly bonkers feeling of turning repeatedly to people around you screaming oh my god can you believe this crazy place on a SUNDAY??

It starts off ok. A little bit pretentious and we were made to wait over 30

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May 17, 2014

A New Saffron Dawn in Indian Politics

narendra-modi

‘The world’s largest democracy’ cast more than 500 million votes over five weeks to decide who would win and take India roaring into the future and Narendra Modi came out on top with a huge majority.  India has spoken. Decisively.

For the first time in 30 years Indian voters helped create a majority government blasting the incumbents to an insignificant minority.  Right wing and Hindu nationalist Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) had long been tipped to win the election but most Delhiites I spoke to last month were sure that they wouldn’t have an outright majority and would inevitably have to form a coalition of sorts.  My goodness was everyone shocked, it was time for a new generation.  Even former MPs that had held on to their safe seats for 15 years or more were ousted for the first time. 

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July 1, 2013

Snowden’s Snowballs

edward snowden

If you were going to make the USA your biggest enemy, shhhurely you’d plan your travel arrangements a little better?  One way ticket to Mars anyone?

Edward Snowden’s grand whistleblowing revelations have not saved lives and were not super urgent so why did he not fly to a safe country before  making his announcements?  He could then skip along to the respective embassy that he would apply for asylum  and hey presto, relief and a new start while the USA initiated life-long legal proceedings for extradition.

Whilst Edward Snowden’s revelations have

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March 1, 2013

Rosa Parks Honoured

rosa parks

Earlier this week Rosa Parks became the first black woman to be honoured with a life-size statue in Washington.  The first statue commissioned in 140 years in the USA, President Obama said it was because of civil rights activists like Rosa Park that he is President.

In 1955 Rosa Parks was arrested

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January 26, 2013

NKOTB Back on Tour

NKOTB

But only in the USA!  For those of you that don’t know, NKOTB stands for New Kids On The Block.  They former boy, now man, band have teamed up with Boyz II Men and 98 Degrees (whoever they are) and will tour the whole USA in the coming year.

Whilst researching their website for their non-existent London tour dates

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January 20, 2013

From Bullets to Bracelets

newark calibre collection

I’ve never seen a bullet and I’ve never held a gun.  I am of course British where guns are not the norm.  After the awful shooting incident at the school in the USA the gun debate is back in the front pages over there.

The Mayor of Newark, USA, appeared on a talk show recently showing his Calibre Collection: a collection of bracelets made from melted down guns and bullets seized

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November 6, 2012

US Presidential Countdown

Four years ago, Barrack Obama won the greatest ever Presidential victory known in modern history. I never believed that I would see an African American sit in the White House as President of the USA.

Memories of euphoria, of utterly disbelief and of hope filled the world. I do wonder what emotions will fill the world after this election?

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October 15, 2012

Losing The Plot Over Peace

The Nobel peace prize already began losing credibility, just like the Oscars, when it was awarded to the newly elected President of the United States of America, Barak Obama.  This time the Nobel committee have gone one step worse and awarded the prize to the European Union.

The long drawn out explanation included praise for being democratic, for not being at war and for sticking together at times of crisis and conflict.

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September 18, 2012

Gaffe Prone Mitt

With not long to go before the US presidential election, some have declared today the day that Republican candidate, Mitt Romney lost.

Mitt Romney was filmed at a fundraiser sneering that he didn’t need to care about the 47% of Americans that don’t pay federal income tax.  Subsequently, whilst it appeared that he was embarrassed by the remarks he only apologised for the tone and not the content.

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September 10, 2012

London’s New Secret

Sexy lingerie brand, Victoria’s Secret recently opened its glamorous new Bond Street store injecting American cool into the High Street.

Victoria’s Secret took far too long to open in the UK, this was one of the few American brands that I still requested

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August 21, 2012

Assange: A Battle for Free Speech?

Is Julian Assange a hero of democracy and freedom of speech or someone who fell foul of technology like a celebrity who didn’t think before hitting ‘send’?

Technological improvements and new product launches promising instant and global communication pour out across the world almost monthly.  We are still naïve about the reach of the mass communication tools in our possession often to our detriment as recipients of fines for racist tweets are finding out.

Did Julian Assange honestly believe that there would be no consequences

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August 6, 2012

Insincere Sympathy

Six Sikh worshippers were killed in the USA today by a ‘domestic terrorist’ and this is only days after the gunman broke loose on Batman fans in Aurora, Colorado.

After awful atrocities like these there often appears to be much hand-wringing and squirming amongst politicians who at once want to show sympathy whilst distancing themselves from the gun law debate.

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July 21, 2012

Girls Rock!

Across the USA, there are a number of camps set up by an Atlanta-based non-profit organisation that exists to empower girls aged 10-16 to express themselves through rock music.

The girls -only music camps were set up to encourage girls to let go and, through encouragement and professional volunteers, form a band, perform, write lyrics, learn basic rock instrument chords and go crazy-wild

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May 8, 2012

The Gold, The Bad and The Ugly

It’s Met Ball time yay!  I’m sure it’s great fun actually being there but since most of us weren’t why don’t we all pour over the fashion instead?  I’ve picked some of my favourites – when they’re good they’re really really good but when they’re bad… they’re shocking!  First up, the lovely hostess:

Anna Wintour here wearing Prada with a lobster embroidery.  Must have been great on paper.

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April 13, 2012

Gay? Get Over It

The London Mayor, Boris Johnson, has intervened to ban a right-wing Christian group’s adverts going up on London buses.  The adverts were apparently a response to another group’s advert: Some people are gay: Get over it!

Inevitably there is the debate

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March 30, 2012

Sink Your Ambition

British people love success but not too much of it.  Is being overly successful vulgar?  Don’t worry though, the British critics will get their knives out to cut you down to an acceptable level.  This is what I believe is happening to Julian Fellowes and his new TV drama about the Titanic.

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March 26, 2012

Collateral Damage and Compensation

You may have read about the alleged killing spree that Staff-Sergeant Robert Bales went on in Afghanistan killing seventeen people including women and children as they slept in their houses.

It is news today that the US government paid compensation to the remaining relatives of the deceased but it was news over the weekend

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March 12, 2012

New York State of Mind

New York was the fifth best friend in Sex And The City and who didn’t fall in love with it?  Well, for $9.65 million Carrie’s apartment can be yours.  It’s only £6,171,654.21 with today’s exchange rate

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March 5, 2012

Super Commuters

An increasing number of Americans are willing to fly even 100 miles to get to work every day, most at their own expense as professional struggle to get employment.

Perception of distances and our tolerance of travel are open to change. 

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January 24, 2012

Desperately Seeking

Oprah Winfrey caused a stir in India this week as she visited Mumbai, Agra and finally Jaipur for the literature festival.  As I checked to see what one of the USA’s most influential women has been up to since The Last Show I was intrigued by this enquiry on her website:

Are you a middle class woman in Mumbai?
 Are you a typical middle class  woman living in Mumbai who can you talk to us about what it is like to be a woman in India today?  Do you have an opinion about how women

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January 18, 2012

Extradition

Extradition is a hot topic at the moment as Sarah Ferguson avoids being sent packing to Turkey for exposing a brutal orphanage and Richard O’Dwyer is appealing against his extradition to America for listing a numerous sites on which you can watch new American series for free.

  

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January 9, 2012

Keep Your Tweet Shut

A story that may have been buried in all the season’s festivities about the US Senate trying to force Twitter to close/block accounts believed to be registered to terrorist groups such as the Taliban and Al Shabab from Sudan.  Reports have also claimed that Israel has threatened Twitter with legal action if they do not close Hezbollah accounts.

So…free speech is only okay with the expressed permission of the USA. 

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December 6, 2011

Planet Kepler

Nasa have identitified a potential new planet Earth, currently named Kepler, for future Earthlings to colonise and ruin.  It will take them 600 light years to reach there so I hope we manage to create warp speed in time.

Can you imagine the type of people who would colonise it? 

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November 28, 2011

Science Is A Hoax

In the USA only three out of eight of the Republican candidates for the next presidential elections believe in the scientific basis for evolution and some have even portrayed scientist as perpetrators of a massive hoax.

We had a wonderful debate

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November 2, 2011

Who’s The Daddy?

As Unesco members voted overwhelmingly in support of independent Palestinian membership the USA decided to show everyone who the daddy is by withholding its funding

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November 1, 2011

Back of the Bus

I can’t believe this is happening, but a New York bus service that is run by Orthodox Jews is being investigated for making women sit in the back of the bus.

The story was uncovered

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October 17, 2011

Men in Heels

An interesting new trend from NYC sees men squeezing their size 11s into the latest designer heels and it seems that the sky is the limit as to how high they will go and how much men will spend.  Of course many designers don’t produce styles in larger sizes so some of these guys have spent $3,000 on custom designs.

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August 18, 2011

Do I Know You?

New drugs to selectively wipe bad memories are being debated in the US.  Controversial to say the least, these drugs have been developed to help trauma victims wipe out their experiences and are being touted as potentially more effective than therapy. However…I think their potential for misuse is wide.

Our personalities are made up of memories, good and bad and whether a memory is bad enough to be wiped is subjective. 

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August 10, 2011

First Wives Club

The Guardian reported a new craze of divorce parties taking place in the States to help women get rid of their possessions, make some cash and give to charity – turning a negative into a positive and so on.  It’s sort of the theme that runs through a movie I watched over the weekend, First Wives Club.

This movie is on constant repeat on Sky and Freeview but it’s such a gem of a movie I love it every time (such as last Sunday).  It’s a hilarious movie starring Diane Keaton, Goldie Hawn and Bette Midler

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July 29, 2011

Cup Of Delight

I’ve had an unhealthy interest in china tea cups since I was a tot and was pleased to read the latest Wedgewood news in The Independent’s business section.  That, however, is not so interesting but this is: it is hardly known that the original founder of the pottery company, Josiah Wedgewood, was one of the first active supporters in favour of abolishing slavery in Britain.

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July 4, 2011

Fireworks For Finance

Many States in the USA have reduced the regulations regarding fireworks sales in order to increase demand and hence income from licences and taxes.  Perhaps their most special friend, Britain, should follow the example so we can all light fireworks to help raise funds for the pension gap and the NHS?

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July 4, 2011

The Girl Who Cried Wolf

Dominique Strauss-Kahn was released on bail and freed from house arrest as the case against him collapses thanks to his victim’s past and our prejudices.

The victim has a shady past and so now, according to an article in the New York Times, although the police privately believe DSK probably is guilty it will be a difficult case to win.  The police compared it to cases such as when prostitutes are raped where the perpetrator can often get away.

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June 28, 2011

Crosstown Traffic

I read an interesting debate recently about country attitudes to cars and their cities.  The main comparison was between European cities and the USA but I will throw my experience of being a seasoned Delhi rally driver into the mix.

It seems that while Europe is becoming increasingly hostile to cars, theUSA is researching better ways to help drivers have a less stressful experience

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May 19, 2011

Racism Pays

The Obama campaign embarked on a cheeky way of raising cash by laughing at the people who demanded to see his birth certificate to prove he qualified to run for president. 

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May 9, 2011

As You Were

Now that Enemy No 1 has been killed can we all go back to normal now with international civil liberties?  Will governments now claim that Al Qaeda is even more of a threat as they seek revenge for the USA’s revenge killing in this Abrahamic tit-for-tat? 

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April 26, 2011

Ladies Don’t Love Cool J

Ashley Judd has been getting some stick Stateside for making comments about rap music containing sexist, misogynistic lyrics.

Ashley has had to apologise and rephrase her comments as she got more attention than she anticipated but I find the debate surrounding the story interesting.

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April 25, 2011

Plastic Fantastic

A seven-year-old has had plastic surgery in the USA (where else!).  When I first heard the news I was horrified .. then it transpired that all she had done was have her ears pinned back – check out the result below.

Her parents’ motive was to prevent their child from being bullied.

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