Friday, February 26, 2010

Sports Illustrated Cover Model Brooklyn Decker to Appear in Movie with Jennifer Aniston, Nicole Kidman

Sports Illustrated bombshell Brooklyn Decker and the lovely Mrs. Andy Roddick has got herself a ticket to Hollywood after bagging a role in a movie alongside famous actors Jennifer Aniston, Adam Sandler, and Nicole Kidman.
Brooklyn Decker started of the year on a good note after landing on the cover of the much coveted Sports Illustrated 2010 edition and now she’s going to be in a movie!
The 22 year old model will act in the film “Just Go With It” and it will be released on Valentine’s Day next year.According to reports, Brooklyn will play Adam Sandler’s love interest.
Decker tweeted: “That’s why I’m in L.A. now and so excited to get started! The cast has been AMAZING and welcoming. I can’t stop gushing about everyone involved!”.
We can’t wait to see this hot lady sizzle on screen.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

PCC criticised over McCann coverage

A group of MPs have made a raft of recommendations to curb the "chilling" effect of libel actions on newspapers.
The Culture, Media and Sport Committee's wide-ranging report into press standards, privacy and libel also made recommendations to beef up the powers of the Press Complaints Commission (PCC).
It criticised the PCC for failing to do more to act over "false and damaging" newspaper coverage relating to Madeleine McCann's disappearance, an episode during which the report said self-regulation had not worked.
It said the Press watchdog should be re-named the Press Complaints and Standards Commission, with powers to fine members and suspend printing in the cases of the worst rule-breakers.
The report described the McCann case as "an important test of the industry's ability to regulate itself, and it failed in that test".
It said the newspaper industry's assertion that the McCann case was a one-off event showed that it is "in denial about the scale and gravity of what went wrong, and about the need to learn from those mistakes".
It continued: "In any other industry suffering such a collective breakdown - as for example in the banking sector now - any regulator worth its salt would have instigated an inquiry."
Committee chairman John Whittingdale said there was also a "serious concern" over the "increasing evidence that in recent years investigative journalism is being deterred by the threat and cost of having to defend libel actions...
"This report's recommendations are therefore designed to reduce the cost of libel actions and to correct the balance which has tipped too far in favour of the plaintiff. At the same time, we want to see the self-regulatory system under which the Press operates strengthened in order to increase its credibility and ensure that standards are maintained."
Stephen Abell, director of the PCC, said: "The PCC accepts that the report contains criticisms of some of its structures and practices, which will need to be given due consideration."

Monday, February 22, 2010

Cuttack caught in cheer girls row

Cuttack, The selection of Barabati Stadium as a home venue of IPL franchisee Deccan Chargers for two of their matches has triggered a new controversy far from the battle of the willow.
It’s all about cheerleaders who are now caught in a moral conflict in Orissa.
A fringe political outfit, Kalinga Sena, is taking a tough stand on the issue, saying the role of cheerleaders is “immoral”. It has sought a ban on cheerleaders during the IPL matches in Cuttack.
In response, the Sports and Games Lovers of Orissa has said there was “nothing immoral” with cheerleaders’ performance. It only adds glamour to the event, it said.
The Sports and Games Lovers of Orissa is an outfit comprising members of sports associations affiliated to the Orissa Olympic Association, the apex state sports body.
Kalinga Sena has announced its vow to disrupt the IPL matches if cheerleaders are allowed in Cuttack. “If cheer girls’ dance is not dropped, we will not allow the matches to be held,” Kalinga Sena president Hemanta Rath has warned.
However, Sports and Games Lovers of Orissa convener Pratap Satpathy said: “Cheerleaders have become an integral part of the IPL format for all venues. So there can be no exception in the case of Cuttack. More so, there is no rational behind Kalinga Sena’s opposition, as there is nothing immoral in it. It smacks of a cheap publicity stunt.”
Orissa Cricket Association secretary Asirbad Behera has also downplayed the threat, saying: “Our basic objective is to make Barabati Stadium a permanent venue for IPL matches.”

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Bingo Hideout girls excited to read possibility of Bridget Jones III

\The Bingo Hideout office has been buzzing since hearing that Bridget Jones III may be made. The girls in the office are all massive fans of Bridget Jones Diary, and so it was with much excitement that we read that producers are in negotiations for a third film based on the trials and tribulations of the popular thirty-something ‘singleton’. It is hoped that Renee Zellweger will reprise her Bridget role, though according to some reports in the press there are possible issues regarding Zellweger’s need to gain weight to play the lead character that are hindering a new film being made.
Weighty issues?
Although Renee Zellweger’s representatives are claiming there is not a problem, there are stories on the internet claiming that the actress is refusing to gain weight for the role. Recent pictures of the popular actress featured in the Mail show her looking stick thin at a Film Festival in Berlin, Germany and apparently this is where a possible issue could be, The claim is that Zellweger is demanding that the storyline be changed to incorporate her slimmer figure rather than gain massive amounts of weight as she has done in the past to play Bridget. Renee Zellweger’s camp however, portray her as the perennial professional who will be true to character come what may – weight gain included. Whichever the Bingo Hideout girls really don’t care a jot if Bridget is scrawny or more of a normal size, just as long as she is back!
Lashings of Darcy for the ladies!
For anyone who has been resident on another planet for the past 10 or so years, Bridget Jones has become almost an iconic best friend for many women who closely associate with the sometimes comic problems and chaotic situations that Bridget finds herself in. On the flip side Bridget Jones is an antipathy to some feminists, who see the character created by novelist Helen Fielding as too dependent on men and on her own appearance. Of course all of the girls in the Bingo Hideout office are not at all concerned about such things, we just want a huge chunk of our favourite chick flick heroine with a huge carton of popcorn at the cinema ...........and of course more glorious film footage of the gorgeous Colin Firth as Bridget’s love interest Mark Darcy ! Come on Bingo Hideout girlies are you with us? What are you views on the prospect of another Bridget Jones movie?

Saturday, February 20, 2010

2010 Olympics

Great Britain's Penny Coomes and Nicholas Buckland perform in the figure skating Ice Dance compulsory dance, "Tango Romantica", at the Pacific Coliseum in Vancouver during the 2010 Winter Olympics on February 19, 2010. AFP PHOTO YURI KADOBNOV (Photo credit should read YURI KADOBNOV/AFP/Getty Images)

Tiger Woods: his televised apology begs the question of sincerity

Tiger Woods had bought a new shirt. But, rather like a schoolboy on his first day of term, it appeared to be at least one collar size too large.
The starch-stiff collar appeared to swamp his shrunk neck.
Was this a detail overlooked by his handlers? Or did they mean it to be too large, calculated to lend him a look of vulnerability?
A vulnerability which might appeal to the kind of middle-aged women who were hand-picked to sit in the front row of his rather awkward-looking audience at the TPC Sawgrass Club House at Ponte Vedra Beach in Florida?
And that, perhaps, was the trouble with Tiger Woods' marathon 'mea culpa'. Certainly, he said sorry. In fact he kept on saying sorry. He wouldn't stop. As the numerous television and radio commentators said afterwards, he seemed sincere.
But a small voice kept asking if every word and every gesture had been arranged, down to the smallest detail.
Every word had a purpose and nothing had been left to chance. It was the same voice which kept asking whether this was a public apology to his family or to the sponsors who made his fortune.
There was only one point when things seemed to go awry. Half way through, the screen went blank.
The disembodied voice of the golfer was heard to continue pleading for forgiveness but the face of Nike, and once of Accenture, was gone.
A technical glitch? A mishap befalling the micromanaged comeback? Perhaps.
When pictures returned to the screen seconds later, the viewer was no longer looking straight in Tiger's poker face.
Instead the worldwide audience of millions, was peering over his blazered shoulder at the audience.
There in the front row was his mother Kutilda, willing her son to success. Behind her were various besuited men, the soul of golfing middle America.
And then it became apparent what was about to happen. Tiger wasn't just there to say sorry.
No, he was there to be forgiven as well.
And there they were, the forgivers, waiting to do their bit. Once he'd finished his confessional in front of the Presidential blue velvet curtain, he stepped down from the lectern to be embraced first by his mother and then rest of his visibly moved retinue.
He was forgiven. Or, to be more precise, he and his business associated arranged that he would be forgiven by the hand-picked audience.
The apologies had not so much flowed from him as been released by his staccato voice, as if by a series of sluice gates.
"I want to say to all of you, simply and directly, that I am deeply sorry for my irresponsible and selfish behaviour," said the 14-times Major champion, after his three-month silence.
To ensure there was no doubt he spelt it out: "I was unfaithful, I had affairs, I cheated. What I did was unacceptable."
As Woods spoke he looked down at his typed confession, straight ahead at the camera, occasionally flicking his eyes at his mother.
But was he looking to her for support? Or were those glances merely part of a continuing act, to give the impression that even he was no rock, no island?
"I had affairs and I cheated. What I did was not acceptable, and I am the only person to blame," he continued.
Nonetheless his words had the ring of truth. They addressed what many have said – that the superstar was arrogant and had lost touch with reality.
"I knew my actions were wrong but I convinced myself that the normal rules didn't apply," he said.
"I never thought about who I was hurting. Instead, I only thought about myself. I ran straight through the boundaries that a normal married couple should live by. I felt that I had worked hard my entire life and deserved to enjoy all the temptations around me. I felt that I was entitled. Thanks to money and fame, I didn't have to go far to find them."
"I was wrong. I was foolish. I don't get to play by different rules."
Perhaps 45 days in therapy have begun to change him, we were invited to think.
He admitted: "I brought this shame on myself. I hurt my wife, my kids, my mother, my wife’s family, my friends, my foundation and kids all around the world who admired me. I’ve had a lot of time to think about what I’ve done. My failures have made me look at myself in a way I never wanted to before. It’s now up to me to make amends."
Still, the supercool Woods rarely seemed near to cracking. Those who had hoped for a tear or a broken chord were left disappointed.
The closest he came was when defending himself and his family against inaccurate press reports and defending his right to privacy.
"Elin never hit me that night, or any other night," he growled. "There has never been an episode of domestic violence."
He appealed for the "paparazzi" to stop hounding his family. It sounded like an attack.
Of his marriage, Woods said that he and his wife "have a lot to discuss ... But what we say will stay between the two of us.
"I understand people have questions. I understand people want to know if Elin and I will stay together. Every one of these questions and answers are between Elin and me."
There was the deal: 'I give you this statement, you stay off our backs', he appeared to say.
Woods also took the opportunity to quash rumours that he would return to golf soon, saying: "I do plan to return to golf one day, I just don't know when that day will be. I don't rule out that it will be this year."
And he surprisingly apologised to his fellow golf professionals, saying that he should treat the game with the respect it deserved.
But while he apologised to all, everyone knew that it was the apology to the most wronged, his wife Elin, was the only one that really mattered.
It was strange, then, that she was the one person who was not there.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

BBC to launch free mobile apps

Corporation to roll out official applications, beginning with BBC News in April and BBC Sport in May
BBC News for mobile phones provides breaking news in text, video and audio for free
The BBC has announced a new range of free applications that will deliver its online services to mobile devices, starting with BBC News in April. The BBC is also considering an iPlayer application for release later in the year.
BBC Sport will follow News, lauching its application in May. Both apps will be launched in a UK and a global version.
Announcing the new mobile services today at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, the BBC's director of future media and technology, Erik Huggers, said: "It's been 12 years since the launch of BBC Online, but as media converges and technology accelerates, licence fee payers are increasingly using sophisticated handheld devices to access information. They tell us that they want to access the digital services that they have paid for at a time and place that suits them."
A range of unauthorised BBC applications are already available and fairly popular. According to the second largest app store GetJar, an unauthorised version of BBC Mobile was downloaded 110,032 times by January.
The new official applications now give licence payers an authorised alternative as mobile phones become more powerful and connectivity more accessible. In December, the official mobile BBC site attracted 1,851,000 visitors.
BBC News
BBC News for mobile will not only provide users with updated breaking news including video and audio, it will also allow them to send comments and pictures directly to the newsroom. However, the demo of the new app reveals that the user integration isn't as prominent as with the BBC's international rival CNN.
The simple and intuitive navigation of the BBC News app can already be tested online. "The main screen uses a carousel structure so you can quickly catch up on the news by sliding each row sideways to skim through the latest stories. You can also personalise the experience by reordering the rows to put your favourite news section at the top," says David Madden of the future media and technology mobile team in a blogpost.
BBC News will first be available on Apple's iPhone and iPod Touch, followed by the BlackBerry OS and Google's Android later in the year.
BBC Sport
Starting with the football World Cup in South Africa, the sport app will focus on the live match experience. Content that is broadcast on TV by the BBC will be available for football fans as well as on-demand clips of every goal scored in the tournament. Users will also be able to access content from BBC Radio 5 Live, and live text commentaries from BBC presenters and blogs.
The 2010/11 English football season, Formula One and coverage of other sports will be added later in the year. While the UK version of the spoart app will be free, the global version will be released separately by BBC Worldwide and, in line with other international BBC Worldwide services, will feature advertising.

How will news organisations react?
The BBC iPlayer is already optimised for mobile browsers, and available for Nokia's Ovi app store, but there are plans to make further versions available for other smartphones available to UK audiences only.
While news organisations have pinned their hopes on smartphone applications as a way to make revenue, the BBC will offer its applications for free. Recently, News Corporation's James Murdoch said that a "dominant" BBC threatens independent journalism in the UK.
Should the BBC charge for its mobile applications or does its licence fee already include them? What do you think? Let us know in the comments.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Puma Roars Away With New Solar Powered Smartphone

Puma, the large German sports apparel manufacturer, is getting itself into the mobile phone space in Europe in a green way. The company has partnered with Sagem Wireless, a maker of “connected lifestyle devices,” to unveil the Puma Phone. What makes it so eco-friendly you ask? The integrated solar panel on the backside of the mobile for charging it.
The Puma Phone mobile, according to Puma, is an “active smartphone.” What that means, we think, is that the phone is targeted towards those engaged in an active lifestyle. One imagines slobs sitting around on their laptops all day typing stories will enjoy this phone as well. Key features on this device, which will be available beginning in March, include a 2.8-inch touchscreen display, integrated 3.2-megapixel digital camera, pedometer, GPS tracker, stopwatch and a “spin and scratch music player and integrated radio.” No details were available on how long it will take for the built-in solar panel to charge the phone.
“Just as Puma is unlike any other sportlifestyle company out there, the Puma Phone is unlike any mobile phone on the market,” said Jochen Zeitz, CEO of Puma, in a statement. “We want to engage with our community in a way that is consistent with everything PUMA stands for. Blending together the influences of sport, lifestyle and fashion, the Puma Phone reflects the joy, spontaneity and individuality that the Puma brand is known for.”

Monday, February 15, 2010

'Twilight' star Robert Pattinson is 'allergic' to one part of the female anatomy but loves his dog

Details MagazineRobert Pattinson appears in a photo shoot surrounded by women for Details Magazine.
His vampire alter ego may be prince charming, but "Twilight" star Robert Pattinson does not worship women in quite the same way.
In fact, he is downright repulsed by some of their parts.
In a new interview with Details magazine, in which Pattinson was photographed with several scantily-clad female models, the British actor reveals why the shoot wasn't exactly his cup of tea. "I really hate vaginas. I'm allergic to vagina," he tells Details. "But I can't say I had no idea, because it was a 12-hour shoot, so you kind of get the picture that these women are going to stay naked after, like, five or six hours."
Pattinson says he was thankful he was hungover during the ordeal, presumably because he had an excuse for not conversing with the models.
He did, however, take solace in the fact that the shoot wasn't overly pornographic, comparing its style to that of vintage pornography.
"If you look at porn in, like, the eighties, there was something kind of quaint about it, quite sweet -- like this little naked community," Pattinson tells the magazine. "The people who made it liked it, they had respect for it. Not remotely like the porn that's available now...It's just everything, everywhere.""
His aversion to contemporary porn aside, Pattinson does devote much of his brain power to women. According to Details, he talked during the interview about, "Jimi Hendrix, French fries, girls, art, beer, his cousin the philosopher, girls, truth, God, his dog, girls..."
Though he seems to have the female species firmly on the brain, Pattinson's strongest relationship is with another species entirely.
"The only emotional connection of relevance is with my dog," he tells Details. "My relationship with my dog, it's ridiculous."
At least his tween fans have nothing to be jealous of.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Suri Cruise sports red lipstick

Red lipstick is often associated with grown up glamour, but Hollywood superstar Tom Cruise's three-year-old daughter Suri Cruise has developed a taste for the cosmetic.
Suri was allowed to wear shiny red lipstick on a trip to the theatre with her mother Katie Holmes this week.
The vampish shade was at odds with her demure yellow hairband and cardigan, reported Daily Mail online.
Suri might have picked it up earlier that day at a cosmeticsstore in New York, where she was seen picking out different products.
Her love of make-up and high heels has brought criticism that her mother and father Tom Cruise are encouraging her to grow up too quickly.
She has been seen tottering around in several different pairs of heels, dangly clip-on earrings, and carrying a collection of handbags that a grown-up girl would envy.
Her wardrobe of designer clothing is said to be worth more than 2 million pounds.

Cricket gets IOC approval, can bid for 2020 Olympics

Cricket’s push to be a part of the Olympic Games received a major boost with International Olympic Council granting recognition to ICC.
The IOC in its meeting here voted to recognise the International Cricket Council and the federations of sport climbing and power boating.
“They are recognised federations by us, which now means that they can take part in IOC events,” IOC director of communications Mark Adams said after the meeting held ahead of the Winter Olympics here.
“It could be seen as a first step towards becoming Olympic sports,” he added.
After today’s IOC decision, cricket — most likely its Twenty20 version, can now bid to join the 2020 Olympic Games though ICC has not made it clear, which format it will push for.
ICC chief executive Haroon Lorgat has welcomed the decision and termed it as the first step towards cricket’s inclusion in the Olympics.
“We are very proud and very pleased that we have been recognised by the IOC and that was the first step in the process (to be included in the Olympics) that we have engaged in. The IOC gets through a thorough process before they provide the recognition,” Lorgat said.
Cricket was granted the status of a recognised Olympic sport in 2007, for sports not in the Olympic programme but, which conform to certain criteria, pending a decision for a permanent slot in the Games.
Former players including Adam Gilchrist, Steve Waugh, Stephen Fleming, Kumar Sangakkara, Sourav Ganguly and VVS Laxman have called for Twenty20’s inclusion in the Olympics.
Cricket was part of the 1900 Olympics in Paris and has not appeared since then. The game was part of the 1998 Kuala Lumpur Commonwealth Games and its Twenty20 version is set to feature at this year’s Asian Games in Guangzhou, China.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Google Buzz isn't new and isn't needed, say rivals

The service, which allows Gmail users to update their status and easily share content from YouTube and Picasa, is seen as Google's attempt to compete more closely with Facebook and Twitter.
But it has attracted stinging criticism from rivals, including Microsoft and Yahoo!, which say Google Buzz is nothing new.
"Busy people don't want another social network," said Microsoft, which owns a stake in Facebook, in a statement. "What they want is the convenience of aggregation. We've done that. Hotmail customers have benefitted from Microsoft working with Flickr, Facebook, Twitter and 75 other partners since 2008."
Yahoo! also said it had a similar service already in place, Yahoo! Buzz. "Two years after #Yahoo launched #Buzz, Google follows suit. Check out the original:," wrote Yahoo! on its official Twitter account.
It also highlighted the features available in Yahoo! Updates, which enables people to share their status, content and online activities with friends and family across Yahoo! and the web.
"There are now more than 200 Yahoo! and third-party sites that feed in to Yahoo! Updates, like Flickr, Twitter, YouTube and Yelp," said Yahoo! in a statement. "It allows people to see and share updates such as when they've uploaded photos, changed their status, buzzed up a news story or posted a new restaurant review.
"Expanded integration with Facebook means that people can connect with Facebook friends on Yahoo!, and share Yahoo! content with Facebook friends as well. Ultimately, Yahoo! sees social as an enabler and as a dimension that is part of everything we do, and everything people do online."
Even Paul Buchheit, the former Google engineer who created Gmail and founded social network FriendFeed, weighed in on the debate. "This seems vaguely familiar," he said. "There's a FriendFeed in my Gmail!"
Google said the launch of Buzz would enable Gmail user to better understand the real-time nature of the web. "The stream of messages has become a torrent," said Bradley Horowitz, Google's vice-president of product development. "There is no way to parse that amount of information that ranges from the ridiculous to the sublime. We think this has become a Google-scale problem."

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Roddick’s wife on cover of SI swimsuit issue

NEW YORK - Model Brooklyn Decker landed the coveted Sports Illustrated Swimsuit cover this year.
The 22-year-old wife of tennis star Andy Roddick said being chosen for the front is “the news of a lifetime.”
The cover photo of Decker smiling in a yellow bikini is a departure from the more sultry look that SI had gone for the past few years, she said. She compared it to covers from the 1980s or ’90s, when Elle Macpherson won her covers with a friendly, sun-loving look.
SI keeps the cover photo a secret — even from the models — until less than 24 hours before it’s revealed. Decker said now the mad dash was on to find outfits for TV appearances that will come with the gig. (Her closet of swimsuits wasn’t right for winter, she joked.)
As for Roddick? He’s relieved the five-time SI Swimsuit model can check the cover-girl box and won’t be as nervous next February when the next edition comes out.
Decker says she is an avid sports fan, and, as a teenager in North Carolina, ran hurdles for the track team, played soccer and participated in competitive cheerleading. She has no great diet or exercise secret, she said, other than to be active and eat sensibly.
“I still don’t know the formula for the cover,” she added. “It’s luck, the perfect suit and perfect storm to get it.”
Decker said, though, that because Sports Illustrated encourages a natural look — less makeup, toned muscles, curvy shape — it’s easier to get a great photograph. “This celebrates the girls and their personalities. I think it’s why they get such beautiful pictures.”

Monday, February 8, 2010

Sachin Tendulkar scored his 46th Test century against South Africa in the first test match in 2nd iningas

Sachin Tendulkar scored his 46th Test century against South Africa in the first test match in 2nd iningas
Sachin Tendulkar scored his 91th international century, 45 centuries in ODIs and 46 in Test matches. The 34-year-old player is still extending his record onwards. He scored his century after playing 177 balls. This century proves that Sachin Tendulkar has got back his form and if he can remain his from till the end of this match then I am sure that India will get an easy victory by an innings margin and stay at the top of the ICC Test ranking.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Super Bowl XLIV betting props

Every year the Super Bowl features more betting options than regular season games. From the coin toss to which coach will throw the challenge flag first, sports betting sites usually have every type of bet imaginable.In addition to in-game bets, most sports booking sites feature cross-sport bets between the Super Bowl and events from many of Sunday's games in other sports. Our gallery highlights some of the action that Boston teams are involved in, along with some of the more obscure bets. The current spread is listed in the description and you can choose who will win each prop. No betting required here.

Half-Naked Hot Chicks and Beer: The Sexist Guyland of the Super Bowl Beer Commercial

In guyland, beer is the official drink, beer ads are the constitution and the Super Bowl is the annual holiday.
Yes, it’s beer day on Sunday. It’s the second biggest eating day of the year after Thanksgiving, and I’d put a Vegas wager on it being the biggest beer-drinking day. It’s also the biggest celebration of beer ads, which unlike beer’s buzz, live forever due to YouTube. It’s a day that brought us Wassup, the Budweiser Frogs, and of course, the Cat Fight.
After watching dozens of beer ads over the last few days, I can report that the land of beer is a fun and raucous place. It’s a land where drunkenness, laughing, burping, irresponsibility, pranks and rule-breaking reign supreme. There are no awkward silences, no need to speak in words, no need to remember to say or do anything in particular or face the consequences. Heck, there are no consequences. It’s a world where women have fun entertaining men. It’s an escape from the tyranny of work and manners, from the ill-fitting harnesses of the digital age on our inner human cave animal. Can’t you just hear the whole nation sighing in relief?
I understand the merits of the golden liquid, with its bubbles on a quest for freedom. But beer ads don’t really bother with that. They sell an escape to fantasy masculinity. And boy, while there might be more women drinking beer and watching the Super Bowl than ever, and more ads directed to them in some ways, most beer ads -- especially the sexy ones -- are like masculinity on steroids.
Beer ads have always been about sex. In the beer ads of my youth, long-haired women in skimpy outfits danced to rock music, while guys stood around holding beers. Women smiled at men, and the men grinned at each other. (When I went to my first parties, as a teenager, I actually wondered if I was going to have to behave like that.)
Those ads look pretty tame today. In last year’s Miller Lite Cat Fight, which got over six million views afterward, women leave a lunch table to rip off their clothes and fight in their undies, mud-wrestle, then make out. “The first beer commercial that starred actual soft-core porn actresses," is how the TV Munchies blog hailed it. “Bravo Miller Lite! We’ve never been thirstier!” The follow-up Cat Fight ad features a scantily clad Pamela Anderson joining in a pillow fight.
Sportswriter Robert Lipsyte points out that "Because of their insecure young male demographic, ads tend to be so aggressively and cartoonishly hetero that 1) there is no orientation issue, and 2) there is no threat of actually having to perform. You can watch sexy women the same way you watch football players -- from a superior remove.”
There is another change from the sexy ads of a few decades ago. Today's ads are so over the top it’s clear they’re somewhat ironic. At the end of the cat fight ads, for example, the women, who are also drinking beer, roll their eyes. The ads create a knowing wink fantasy bubble that’s enhanced by the fact that everyone knows they’re getting away with something naughty. Mmm, delicious.
It’s also surely about advertisers giving a nod to the "other” audience. They know women are in the game now, and are figuring out ways of keeping them drinking too. Women account for 25% of beer consumption, and almost half of the Super Bowl audience. Given that almost 96 million people watched last year’s Super Bowl, the second-most-watched broadcast ever, that’s a lot of women. According to Forbes, even back in 2005, 10 million more women watched the Super Bowl than the Academy Awards.
There’s a lot of money at stake too. The average 30-second spot sold for $2.5 to $2.8 million this year and Anheuser-Busch (which makes Miller Lite) has spent $311.8 million advertising at the event from 1990-'09.
Some marketing wonks suggest those precious dollars should cater more to this valuable co-ed audience. Marketing expert Gerry Myers points out that most Super Bowl ads are aimed at males, yet most money is spent by females. He writes, "Though many women love football, and a lot of men enjoy seeing the new commercials, women focus more on the commercials... and men more on the game." Myers believes the ads should focus more on women.
And some ads do. The Clydesdales ads played well with women, for example (though rumor has it there won’t be any this year since they didn’t test well). And one of this Sunday's Miller Lite commercials features a man who skips his softball game to attend his wife’s book club because she’s serving Bud Light.
But I doubt the book club ad will play as well as the cat fight. So it’s almost certain that beer advertising will spin ever more elaborate gender fantasies, rather than walking the middle line.
Take this new Andes beer ad (not for the Super Bowl) by Saatchi & Saatchi in Argentina. It features guys at a bar using a new high-tech contraption, a sound-proof “teletransporter” with sound effects of hospitals, traffic jams and crying babies. As one AdFreak blogger wrote, it "lets men convince annoying girlfriends when they call, that they’re not, in fact, at the bar." The contraption was actually installed at bars around the city of Mendoza, and the ad presumably features real footage of guys.
Or there’s this Ariana beer ad, in which a woman opens a beer with her boobs. Or this Bavaria beer ad, in which a girl in a bikini mimics the way a guy moves the beer bottle around in his hand. As one TV Munchies blogger wrote, “This explains why so many young Brazilian dudes get their peens caught in beer bottles."
Everyone knows these ads are ridiculous fantasies that are enjoyable to the target gender and deeply sexist to the other. Advertisers seem to be trying to get around that by making them so over the top that no one with any sense of humor could accuse them of sexism. Take this brilliant meta ad from Quilmes, for example. At the risk of being called a humorless feminist, let me say that while the tactics of music, movement, smiling and fun work on me because I am human, and while I might indeed laugh at them, I still know they do a lot of gender damage. What’s more influential then fantasy?
But anyone who thinks "Ads that depict raucous males drinking beer and giving a bartender babe a hard time are passé," is just plain wrong.
The fantasy is that men, in particular, can have it all. Because the ads wink at viewers, and because they're so over the top, men can get away with enjoying the pleasures of a sexist fantasy world, while an equal number of women sit in the audience. They can have their beer and drink it too.

Resource : McFarlane Football Figures

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Sonic's Olympic Effort Hits App Store

Is it some kind of bust up? Are Sega and Nintendo's new-found allies already in relationship counseling, as we speak? Or, is it merely the result of some entirely obvious but nonetheless frustrating licensing issues?
Whatever the case, those of you who have enjoyed Sonic and Mario's recently Olympic exploits on some unnamed Nintendo consoles will be pleased to know that Sonic's solo effort-- appropriately titled Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games-- has hit the App Store the world over, just in time for kick-off in Vancouver on February 12th.
As you might expect, this icy effort from Sega plonks the blue spiky one straight in the middle of Vancouver 2010, and his gang of charming (Tails, Knuckles, Amy, Dr. Robotnik) and not so charming (Shadow, Vector, Blaze, Metal Sonic and Silver) co-stars help him compete in the likes of snowboarding, curling, figure skating, and skeleton.
Indeed, if our preview back in December is anything to go by, Sonic's Olympic effort could well be worth a download, since Sega added a four-player mode via Bluetooth just hours after it first hit the App Store. Expect a review determining whether Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games lives up to its early hype, or turns frighteningly frosty, in the very near future.

Monday, February 1, 2010

MOE to set up Youth Sports Academies to promote sports excellence

SINGAPORE: The Ministry of Education (MOE) is setting up Youth Sports Academies (YSAs) to provide centralised training for talented athletes at the secondary and junior college/centralised institute levels and promote sports excellence.
The YSAs will enable graduates of the Junior Sports Academies (JSAs), and other students in MOE secondary schools, junior colleges or centralised institute to receive a high level of training in their chosen sport.
The YSAs will complement the Singapore Sports School by providing a developmental pathway for students who are talented in sports but enrolled in regular schools in the system.
For a start, MOE will set up three academies in April, each catering to one sport. The three sports are badminton, wushu and table tennis.
The YSAs will be housed in schools and institutions with facilities or expertise to support the training of these athletes.
The hosts for the first three YSAs are: Bedok South Secondary (badminton), Meridian Junior College (wushu) and MOE’s Co—curricular Activities Branch (table tennis).
There will be three admission points for the YSAs — at Secondary 1, 3 and junior college 1/centralised institute level 1. The MOE said this is to take into consideration students who are "late developers".
For the first year, the YSAs will cater to students in Secondary 1 only. The selection trials will be held in March. The YSA programmes will be conducted after school hours.
In 2008, MOE piloted four JSAs. Another eight new JSAs were set up in 2009. The first batch of 144 JSA athletes completed their two—year training programme at the end of 2009. They are now enrolled in 63 secondary schools, including the Singapore Sports School.

3D-1 to Manchester United as Arsenal game makes TV history

Football fans were treated yesterday to the first game to be broadcast live in 3D.
A few hundred supporters watched Manchester United beat Arsenal 3-1 in nine secret 3D locations around the country.
Fans in plastic specs said their vantage point must have been almost as good as the ones enjoyed by managers Alex Ferguson and Arsene Wenger in the dugouts at the Emirates Stadium, North London.
Lifelong Arsenal fan Alan Howe, 66, who watched the game at a pub in the capital, said: "I have HD at home and I thought nothing could get better than that. But this certainly is. It's mind-boggling."
United fan Josie Haigh, 28, a solicitor from Huddersfield,West Yorks, said: "It's amazing. The close-up shots are really good. It feels like you are being sucked into the screen."
Ben Smart, 27, a Man U supporter from Leeds, said: "What a game. It feels even better to win in 3D."
The identity of the nine pubs in London, Manchester, Cardiff, Edinburgh and Dublin where the game was shown in 3D had been kept top secret so that they weren't swamped by fans.
Sky, which is running the pilot scheme, says 3D home sets will be on the market in the next six months. Companies hope to sell sets costing between £700 and £1,000.
Sky HD customers have boxes that are already 3D enabled and those paying for the premium package will be able to watch 3D television at no extra cost.
An HD box is £49 and the glasses retail at £50.
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