Young World Showcase

Director Christopher Nolan is known for revitalising the Batman franchise with Batman Begins and The Dark Knight. He is also lesser-known for movies such as Memento (inspiration for Amir Khan’s Ghajini) and The Prestige. His latest film, however, will establish him much more than a director that uses material written or published by others (both Memento and Prestige were novels) as he writes and directs an original story called Inception. Starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Ellen Page and Michael Caine, the story is much like the Matrix visually. However, that is not the case. It is about how certain people are able to enter the minds of others and steal certain thoughts and plant others. The visual effects and story have been critically praised — expect this one to be a hit!

After much fanfare to the launch and release of the iPhone 4, users quickly complained of signal-loss and dropped-calls. A watchdog group also strongly suggested to Apple to either establish a refund or work on a repair for the error. In the meanwhile, Apple informed its users that the problem is design-based and that it could be rectified by a simple case cover for the phone. Very recently, in a much hyped press conference, Apple CEO Steve Jobs announced a free case for every user and also a refund for users who have purchased the phone. Also in the press conference Jobs said that the problem was hyped up by the media and that it occurs in a very small percentage of phones. The company has also released software updates to tackle the problem.

Photographs from the 1920s have shown that Mount Everest is losing ice. Comparative photography from the 1920s and 2010 reveals that there has been a significant ice loss over a period of almost 90 years. The photos were taken by a mountaineer on Everest in 1921 and have been recreated on the similar spot. The pictures reveal an ‘alarming’ loss of ice from the mountain since George Mallory took photos in 1921. The Asia Society arranged for the pictures to be taken in exactly the same place where British climber George Mallory took photos in 1921. In a statement, the Asia Society said, “The photographs reveal a startling truth: the ice of the Himalaya is disappearing. They reveal an alarming loss in ice mass over an 89-year period.” The statement also said that: “The melted waters of these high altitude glaciers supply crucial seasonal flows to the Ganges, Brahmaputra, Salween, Irrawaddy, Mekong, Yangtze and Yellow rivers, and hundreds of millions of people downstream depend on it for their livelihoods.”


The Digital De-Clutter

What happened to the days when people would look up phone books to find out phone numbers, when computers were only used to type out documents, and when beepers paged us? They're far gone. it seems.

In the age of multiple accounts, a plethora of accessories and the constant need to be online, we have cluttered our lives with devices, computers and phones. We are swimming in the vast ocean of information and thanks to technology, that ocean is only getting bigger and deeper.

Just take a look at the smart phone; in the space of a beep and buzz, they signal if people are calling, smsing or emailing us. If that's not all, the computer tells us when we've been tagged on Facebook, mentioned on Twitter and been sent an invite to view a Flickr album.

Once upon a time, a messy desktop meant that your workspace was cluttered with bulky files and folders, stray papers running amok around it all. Now, it means that your virtual desktop is pretty much the same—if not as real. The digital age promised us a life free of clutter. It seems to have done quite the opposite; in fact, some people say it has exacerbated the issue. However, there are ways around the problem too. Technology can still save us.

The key isn't to keep folders and folders meticulously tucked away in your computer. That won't help you find what you're looking for because quite simply, we can't be asked to remember each and everything. How can technology help you find them? The answer is simple: search.

Searching on the computer is far quicker than it is offline. Don't go for organising folders; just go with properly naming files and documents. If need be, put in dates as a part of the filename so that when you search you can use the dates as a key. There are many programmes that help you streamline your searching also, like Google Desktop for Windows OS and Quicksilver for the Mac OS.

Paper can also come in use here. When you have multiple backups on DVDs or portable HDs, it's a good idea to have a printout of the file trees to let you help find that file you're looking for. Just take a screenshot of the contents of the DVD or HD and keep it in a folder. It is much quicker and a lesser hassle than to check each and every DVD you may have.

Multiple social networking accounts bogging you down? Don't worry, use sites like hootsuite and ping.fm to keep in touch with all of your accounts within one single website. It saves the hassle of logging in and out over and over again.

Finally, there's the tricky task of managing passwords. There are numerous programmes that help you manage your passwords. But the fact of the matter is, in this digital day and age are we truly secure with sharing or storing our passwords someplace? The only manageable answer here is to do what suits you best.

Some people prefer to have their passwords written down—albeit in a safe location. Some people prefer to keep their passwords within the confines of their memory—with some rather drastic outcomes. Whatever your password quirk maybe, it is imperative to change your password every three months or so. This helps protect you against any forms of hackings or digital attacks.

Finally, the decision to de-clutter also involves one big aspect: you. The user must have the drive within them to be able to de-clutter their lives and to seek out efficiency. Just because it is digital doesn't mean it may help you. Seek out other offline methods if they are better suited to your needs.


It's good to be Aunty Disco Project

Last weekend Aunty Disco Project performed for two back to back nights as Omar Bilal Akhtar, Yasir Qureshi, Ali Alam, Rahayl Sidikey and Giles Goveas took to the stage at the PACC in Karachi. And if that wasn’t enough, the following night they were featured on Coke Studio 3 (CS3). It’s safe to say things are definitely looking up for them.
The concert made for a very intimate show. It’s something that ADP has always excelled at — the band members always talk, cajole and have fun with their audience. It hardly matters to them if people show up or not because ADP fans are always there near the stage to cheer them on.

Being sponsored by a popular audio equipment company has its perks — the band had at its disposal a state-of-the-art sound system and they were their own sound engineers. Instead of having to rely on somebody else, they could tweak their own sound on the go.

The sound itself was quite remarkable, though at times Yasir’s darbuka seemed to drown amongst the rest of the music. However, the bass, which often tends to drown out, was quite prominent. Overall, the sound was very good considering it was a small stage.

The 15-song playlist that the band performed that night included Dastaan-i-Dil, Raat Jaagi, Jaane Wale, Hum Na Rahe, Mujhe Sahara Do and Kisi Aur Kay Intezar that showcased its new sound. Even established tunes like Sultanat and Nazar were performed. Joining them on these performances was all-round musician Miqdaad Mohammad on the saxophone. His subtle influence was something that really infused life into the concert.

Ali Alam also performed a special song that he wrote some 10-odd years ago. Citing that Kitnay Vaday still reflects present times, he said it only made sense to play it today.

They performed a bunch of covers that were very interesting: Madonna’s Like A Prayer (a rocked-up version), a funky cover of Chromeo’s Night by Night, and a very special cover featuring DJ Talal Qureshi (Yasir’s brother) of Aerosmith’s and Run DMC’s Walk Like This. They closed the set with a medley of great hits which drew cheers from the crowd.

These past few years, ADP has taken a visible 180-degree turn on its vision by shirking away from record companies, relying heavily on radio plays, bringing out their own album, etc. The band had a much more rebellious attitude then than it has now. They’ve worked hard to come this far, getting gigs such as CS.

But all has not been well on this journey. After an amicable split with Imran Lodhi who then left for Canada for further studies, the remaining band members could not imagine that they would never see him ever again — the singer-songwriter passed away in Canada earlier this year. Drummer Omar Khalid also parted ways with the band to settle abroad. Rather than fall with the hits, the band mustered on, drawing in not two but three replacements —Ali Alam (singer-songwriter), Rahayl Sidikey (bass) and Giles Goveas (drums). This drastic change would ultimately have an effect on ADP. The beats are now stronger, the songs more melodic and the band actually sounds more rock than it has ever before. Especially more towards the ’90s rock.

Ali Alam brings in his own songwriting aspect to the band which only compliments Omar Bilal Akhtar’s skills.
Rahayl on the bass sets the pace of every song. Being an established bass player, he was the much-needed missing piece that the band now finally has. Also, we’re getting to hear more of Yasir on percussions and the darbuka. He’s a unique element to the band and it’s his input that sets the band apart from the rest. Not to tread over Omar Khalid’s drumming for the band, but Giles approach is much more intense. His beats are packed with layers that help bring about the rock in each of the songs they perform.

ADP’s CS3 performance was far better than some of the established bands we’ve seen. Rather than playing a cover — which others have crashed and burned on — it played its own anthem, Sultanat, which has matured along with the band over the years. The changes reflected in it ultimately reflects upon the band itself. Gone is the melancholy-esque rock track; instead the tempo is slightly upbeat and the rock turned up all the way to 11. They’ve extended the song, given it a middle, thrown in a great solo and given each band member the power to flex his music muscles.
After a rather bleak second episode of CS, all it took was a bunch of Aunties to bring the music back! After all, it’s a band like ADP that really brings out the essence of Coke Studio. Young band, wide audience, established producer; you just can’t go wrong with that mix.

So all in all, quite a good week for the band. And to top it all off, they are all hard at work on a new album. It’s not over for the Aunties just yet.


Young World Showcase

Recently, the fossilised remains of an ancient whale with huge, fearsome teeth, was discovered. Researchers have dubbed this 12-million-year-old, 17 metre long creature, as ‘Leviathan’. This massive creature shared many features with modern day whales except one — the Leviathan was an aggressive predator that hunted down whales and other large fish. Researchers also note that around this time there was another fierce prey in the waters, a 15 metre long shark. It is likely that the two fought each other.

Superman has had it and so has Batman, now it is Wonder Woman that gets a costume change. After 70 years of fighting crime in her traditional attire, DC Comics (the publisher of Wonder Woman) issued the heroine a new costume. The costume, designed by Jim Lee, reflects modern times and yet incorporates her bracelets, tiara, and magic lasso. Wonder Woman was created by noted psychologist and inventor Dr William Moulton Marston in December 1941. Along with Superman and Batman, she is one of three characters to have been continuously published by DC Comics since the company’s 1944 inception.

A sophisticated lost language, dating back to over 3,500 years ago, took years of hard work by humans to be translated. The same task has been accomplished by a computer program in hours. The program looked for correlations and correspondences at the various levels of the language. It then mapped the similarities between Ugaritic and other older similar languages. By cross-referencing and repeating the process hundreds of thousands of times, the program arrives at a fully deciphered Ugaritic. The language was spoken in ancient Syria and closely resembles the language used in ancient Sumeria.

Scientists have developed a smart sheet of paper. This ‘smart sheet’ can automatically fold into a boat or a plane — or whatever shape it is programmed to be. Although a very basic first step, this programmable matter will allow people in the future to carry along tools that can be programmed to be in any shape needed. The sheet is comprised of interconnected triangular sections that are programmed to fold in a certain manner. The shape-shifting sheets demonstrate an end-to-end process that is a first step towards making everyday objects whose mechanical properties can be programmed.

For 25 years he has interviewed world leaders, entertainers and leading personalities. Larry King is set to retire after more than 50,000 interviews and winning numerous accolades along the way. King hosts Larry King Live on CNN, transmitted around the world, but originally started off in radio on May 1, 1957. Though he started as a DJ, he quickly established himself by getting interviews of personalities and hosting shows of his own. He also briefly did some sports commentary but eventually it was his own show in 1978. He eventually moved to CNN in June 1985 where he garnered worldwide respect and attention.