Young World Showcase

In the hope of discovering life in our Solar System, scientists are hoping to do so through a clever technique. Europa is one of the many moons of the largest planet in our solar system, Jupiter. Covered in a layer of ice, scientists hypothesise that life may exist in an ocean under that icy surface as Jupiter’s gravity might help to create heat and water. If life exists on Europa, scientists could either deploy probes to drill past its ice shell to look for aliens in the ocean below or just go fossil-hunting on the icy surface. Since the drilling might take time — depending on the surface thickness of the moon — this approach is being considered by scientists.

Toy Story 3 has finally arrived at cinemas. Nearly 10 years after Toy Story 2 and 15 after the first Toy Story, the third movie features all of the toys in the last two movies and many new ones too. Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Joan Cusack and Michael Keaton star. The film’s human hero, Andy, also returns and it’s time for him to go to college. As he prepares to leave his toys behind, they are uncertain of their own future. Similarly, it was uncertain if Toy Story 3 itself would be made. Since the film was made by PIXAR which used characters owned by Disney, there was apprehension as to which studio would get to make the movie. After detailed negotiations, and nearly 10 years, the two studios decided to make the film together.

Eclipse, the third film in the Twilight series, promises to be more action driven than the previous two. Starring Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson and Taylor Lautner, reprising their roles as Bella Swan, Edward Cullen and Jacob Black, respectively, and was directed by David Slade. Slade, is no stranger to vampires, having directed the previous horror hit 30 Days of Night. The director brings in his experience of vampires with unique fighting sequences that will make Eclipse a much better hit than its previous movies.

Just as the World Cup begins and people are starting to get excited about Football, the NBA Finals were recently held in the city of Los Angeles. The finals are considered to be the world cup of basketball as teams from cities all across the US compete to be the best. This year, it was the fierce rivalry of the Los Angeles Lakers and the Boston Celtics that played out. The two teams faced off once again in this year’s finals which the Lakers won in the best of seven games. Between the two teams, the Boston Celtics lead in total championships with 17 against the Lakers’ 16. Together, the two teams account for more than half of the 64 championships in NBA history!


Steve Jobs does it again

Only a few short weeks have passed since the launch of the iPad and even lesser time since it became available on the international market, and already the device has sold millions of units. The gadget, which garnered much hype after its announcement, is in between a smartphone and a laptop, letting people communicate and surf the web on the go.

You can check your e-mails, update your blog, post tweets on twitter, check out your friends’ updates on Facebook and keep in touch with your Linkedin account, all with a simple gesture of your fingers.

It can do pretty much anything a computer can and its interface interactivity is through a touch-screen. Like the iPod and the iPhone before it, users can download software applications for the device from the Apple App Store online. The iPad is also capable of downloading and reading electronic books from the new iBookstore.

So far more than 12 million software applications have been downloaded by iPad users and more than 1.5 million electronic books have been downloaded from its iBookstore; clearly showing the popularity and the demand of the iPad.

Analysts are predicting that worldwide iPad sales are expected to come between five and seven million units in 2010 alone. That number will jump to around 14 million units in 2011 and up to 20 million units in 2012.

Keeping such demand and growth of the device in mind Apple had to delay the launch of the iPad due to a surge of demand in the US and abroad. However, as the demand for the iPad grows, so does the demand for an alternative to the sensational device.

Computer giant Hewlett-Packard has already announced the HP Slate, a Windows-based tablet computer, similar to the look and feel of the iPad. The HP Slate uses Windows 7 as its Operating System, which is the rival company to Apple.

Though HP is confident with its tablet computer, it hasn’t generated the same hype as the Apple iPad did. That’s purely because of the ‘wow’ factor generated by Apple upon the announcement of the iPad.

The announcement, usually done by Steve Jobs, is where all the buzz and hype begins—and Apple has been very good at this, constantly creating the thrill and excitement around its latest products.

It was this excitement that has helped sell millions of units of the iPad and the many millions of units of the iPhone and the iPod—a passion that can only be found at the hands of the wonder magician that is Steve Jobs.


Coke Studio Episode 1 Review

So here it is. Finally. The first episode of Coke Studio 3. Just looking at the list of people involved shoots expectations through the roof. And I guess that is a problem that you can't help but have once you find out that the first episode has Abida Parveen and Arif Lohar in it. Anyway, here are my thoughts on the episode.

Coke Studio S03E01 Reason. If anything this episode could have been called reasons, purely because of the reasons to watch it. As I've said before, Abida Parveen and Arif Lohar are huge reasons why Coke Studio 3 will be nothing short of epic.

Na Raindee Hai ~ Arieb Azhar. Last season showcased a hint of what this man is capable of. Very few artists have the audacity to even think about a spoken word track. Even fewer have the voice to carry it off. Arieb not only has the audacity but thankfully the voice too. It's listening to Leonard Cohen speak in Urdu, the words just simply give weight to the music. Definitely a reason to listen.

Yaadein ~ Karavan. Short and sweet. If I only had two words to describe the song these would be it. Karavan have been gone from our music scene for a while now and to have them on board season 3 is definitely a good idea. Our yaadien (memories) of Karavan surely got refreshed.

Ramooz e Ishq ~ Abida Parveen. The Empress of Sufi Kalaam in Pakistan, an industry icon and a venerable legend unto herself, Abida Parveen can't be critiqued. This track was flawless in my opinion. However, I will say this that Rohail Hyatt didn't capture her true essence in this episode. Her performance was something you'd expect out of her, predictable if you wish -- not exactly a strong reason to watch.

Bibi Sanam Janem ~ Zeb and Haniya. After last season, thanks to Paimona, I went on a bit of a persian song listening spree. I found quite a few (such as the awesomely brilliant Lambay by Sajid & Zeeshan) but it was Paimona that was still in my head most of the time. Now, these two ladies have done it again -- this track is clearly a good reason to tune in.

Alif Allah ~ Arif Lohar ft. Meesha Shafi. The Lion of Punjab, Arif Lohar makes his debut in Coke Studio. Along with Abida Parveen, these two overshadow everybody else in this entire episode. A fact witnessed in the behind the scenes video which shows how Meesha meets Arif for the first time and the look on her face says it all. But Meesha delivers the goods when she sings along side the master. It is probably the best track of the first episode (a close call with Abida Parveen) simply because Arif Lohar delivers on all levels, music, performance and for being plain ol' Arif Lohar. However I'm still disappointed that Arif Lohar did not get to perform with EP.

Episode 1 Reason is much stronger than the previous season's first episode. I think the decision to have two icons of folk and sufi music in the very first episode was a good decision. Having two heavy hitters this early in the show means that you can only imagine what's in store for in the upcoming shows.

Let the comments begin.

Do check out the behind the scenes videos here.

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Photography by Rizwan ul Haq & Kohi Marri