Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Garrett Gomez


Garrett Gomez was born on January 1, 1972, in Tucson, Arizona. He began his career in September 1988 at Santa Fe Downs and rode the fair circuit before moving to Nebraska's Fonner Park and Ak-Sar-Ben. He was the second leading apprentice jockey in 1989 with 182 winners.

Gomez again leads the nation in earnings and on November 10, 2007, he tied Jerry Bailey's record for stakes wins in a year aboard Hucking Hot in the Audrey Skirball-Kenis Stakes at Hollywood Park. Gomez said, "A lot of the credit goes to my agent. He has put us in all the right places this year. At first when they kept telling me about it and telling me about it, I was just going like 'yeah, yeah, yeah.' But now that I'm there, it's a nice feeling to be able to put my name up there with a guy like that.

Due to personal problems, including substance abuse, Gomez missed 21 months of racing and entered rehab on October 29, 2003. He overcame these problems and two years to the day after entering rehab, he won two Breeders' Cup races, the Mile aboard Artie Schiller and the Juvenile aboard Stevie Wonderboy.

In 2007, Gomez is ranked first in North America for earnings with over $20 million through the first of November. He won two races at the 2007 Breeders' Cup, the Juvenile Fillies aboard Indian Blessing and the Sprint aboard Midnight Lute, and was third in the Distaff aboard Octave. This won him his second Bill Shoemaker Award as best jockey at the Breeders' Cup, his first was for 2005 where he also had two wins.

Although Gomez was based in Southern California for most of his career, he moved his tack to the East coast to become the first-call rider for trainer Todd Pletcher in April 2005 when John Velazquez was out with an injury. He continues to ride for Pletcher, and although he went to California for the winter, he returned to New York in the spring.

Gomez led the nation in earnings in 2006 with over $21 million, but he still finished second in the Eclipse Award voting for Champion Jockey. If he can keep on track, it is just a matter of time before he adds that to his accomplishments.

Gomez is married to wife Pam and has four children: Amanda, Shelby, Jared, and Collin. They reside in Duarte, California.

horseracing

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Tony Hawk


Professional skateboarder. Born on May 12, 1968, in San Diego, California. As a kid, Hawk was intelligent, high-strung, and hyperactive-combination his mother once described as "challenging." When he was nine, he received a skateboard from his older brother. That gift

changed his life and gave him an outlet for all of his energy.

It didn't take long for Hawk to excel at skateboarding. By the age of 12, he got his first sponsor, Dogtown skateboards. Two years later, he became a professional skateboarder. Hawk was considered one of the top skateboarders in the world by the time he was 16 years old. In his 17-year professional career, he won more than 70 skateboarding contests, including gold medals at the 1995 and 1997 X Games.

However, all of his talent and success could not prevent Hawk from experiencing some rough times in the early 1990s. At this time, the popularity of skateboarding was waning as were his earnings. He had already spent much of his earlier winnings and almost went bankrupt. He started a skateboarding company, BirdHouse, with Per Welinder, another pro skateboarder. Their company struggled until the rise of extreme sports generated new interest in skateboarding. Hawk competed in the first Extreme Games—later simply called X Games—in 1995. He received a lot of media attention, becoming the best-known skateboarder in the world.

His ability to perform impressive stunts has helped fuel Hawk's popularity. He has created amazing tricks, including the "900." This trick calls for the skater rotate 900 degrees-about two and a half turns-in mid-air. Hawk was the first to successfully complete this move in competition at the 1999 X Games. After this personal victory, he retired from competition. He still rides, gives skateboarding demonstrations, and devises new tricks-often at the custom-built ramp at his company's warehouse. Besides his skateboarding business, he has a successful line of video games, skateboarding videos, and extreme sports tour called Tony Hawk's Boom Boom HuckJam, which he started in 2002.

In addition to running his various business ventures, Hawk has worked to help young people by creating more public skateboard parks. Through the Tony Hawk Foundation, he has provided grants and technical assistance for new parks, especially in low-income areas. The foundation holds special events as well.

Hawk also takes pride in his role as a father to three boys. His oldest son, Riley, is from his first marriage to Cindy Dunbar, which lasted from 1990 to 1994. Spencer and Keegan are his sons from his second marriage to Erin Lee. The two married in 2001 and later divorced in 2004. Hawk married Lhotse Merriam in January of 2006.

biography

Monday, December 29, 2008

Timbaland

Super-producer Timbaland has stamped his indelible imprint on the music scene since the mid-1990s. His production has helped create career-defining hits for artists such as Jodeci, Aaliyah, Ginuwine, Missy Elliott, Destiny’s Child, Ludacris, Snoop Dogg and Jay-Z, among many others. Respected beyond the genres of urban and hip hop music, Timbaland, whose musical influences cross cultural lines, has also been sought by diverse superstars whose music similarly knows no boundaries, from pop star Justin Timberlake to avant-singer Bjork. Released April 3, 2007 is his second solo album, Timbaland Presents Shock Value (Blackground/Interscope/Mosley Music Group). That disc follows his producing of the majority of the tracks, including the #1 “SexyBack,” on Timberlake’s #1 charting, multiplatinumFutureSex/LoveSounds, which followed their work together on Timberlake’s previous smash, Justified.

Born Timothy Z. Mosley in Norfolk, Virginia on March 10, 1972, Timbaland, so named by Jodeci member Devante Swing after the Timberland boot, has had many reincarnations--from disc jockey DJ Tiny Tim to half of the hip hop group Timbaland & Magoo; from membership in Devante Swing’s Swing Mob crew known as Da Bassment to S.B.I. (Surrounded By Idiots), a production ensemble including Pharrell Williams, to being CEO of his own label, Mosley Music Group.

Along the way he built an impressive 5,000 square foot studio in Virginia Beach where he does most of his production, and he regularly travels between that location, his Miami residence and the West Coast. In 2006 he founded a new label, again at Interscope, appropriately called Mosely Music Group (MMG). Open to all types of artists, MMG debuted with a bang: Nelly Furtado’s “Promiscuous” featuring Timbaland, which hit #1, as did her album, Loose.

Timbaland’s genre breaking has changed popular music today, and he takes pride in his success at staying ahead of the curve with his originality and experimentation. Confident and charismatic, his goal is still to blow the listener’s mind and make them move to the beat. On the personal side, this artist/producer is an avid bodybuilder committed to a strict diet and training regimen, and as serious about working out as he is about his time in the studio.

“You can accomplish anything you put your mind to if you stay persistent and disciplined,” explains the driven and dedicated Timbaland, an innovator of sound who continues to set popular tastes while adventurously expanding his musical palette.

timbalandmusic

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Guys! I'm going to post resorts & spas this week.:)
Cheers!

Jade Mountain at Anse Chastanet - Soufriere, St. Lucia




Jade Mountain is an exclusive luxury 'resort within a resort' at St. Lucia's famed Anse Chastanet Resort. In a truly romantic and magical setting poised high overlooking St. Lucia's Piton World Heritage site and the Caribbean Sea, Anse Chastanet's architect/owner, Nick Troubetzkoy, has expanded upon his philosophy of building in harmony with nature by introducing a new level of sophistication in the individually designed, extraordinary Jade Mountain infinity pool suites. Each bedroom, living area and extravagantly sized private infinity edge pool seems to merge to form an amazing platform floating in space. With only three sides, the effect is like a stage, from which you embrace glorious views of the island's twin World Heritage Pitons.

Imagine floating in your infinity pool at sunset surrounded by softly flickering candles...Imagine fine dining in the privacy of your suite with the amazing Pitons in the background. Imagine the sound of gentle waves lulling you into a soft slumber...Expect grand sweeping spaces beyond your imagination, with your bedroom, living area and extravagantly-sized private infinity pool gliding into one another to form an amazing platform floating in space, with the fourth wall missing entirely - the result is a stage-like setting from which to embrace the full glory - and infinite views - of St. Lucia's twin Pitons and the shimmering Caribbean Sea - a view you are not likely to ever forget.

The Jade Mountain Club includes dedicated concierge services, a space in which to enjoy drinks or light meal. The club centre also features a large communal infinity pool on the Celestial Terrace, hovering in space above the Jade Mountain Club Enjoy the exclusivity and private setting of Jade Mountain with all of Anse Chastanet's leisure and sports facilities available to you -- two sandy beaches and coral reefs for offshore snorkeling to a Jungle Biking Center and SSI Platinum/PADI Gold Palm Scuba Center. Explore the nearby drive-in volcano, take a boat shopping trip to the capital, hike Gros Piton mountain or embark on a romantic sunset sail on the resort's own yacht. See also Anse Chastanet

luxurytravelmagazine

Guys, these r real pictures, not paintings. ..talk about picture perfect..:)

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Capri Palace Hotel & Spa - Capri, Italy





5 STAR LUXURY RESORT77 ROOMS & 11 SUITES

The Capri Palace was built at the foot of Mount Solaro, with its magnificent views over the Gulf of Naples and Ischia Island. With its stone floors, columns and vaulted ceilings, every element is a reminder of a glorious past that seems to come to life in all its splendor. The travertine baths, the warm tones of the fabrics, and the sumptuous white and gold décor give each room an understated elegance that combines with the feeling of a deliciously warm welcome. Some of the rooms and suites overlook an internal garden with a private swimming pool. During the entire season guests can enjoy moments of real relaxation by the heated swimming pool or the generously equipped spa that is led by a medical doctor and specialist in food science, immunology and aesthetic medicine. The one star Michelin L'Olivo restaurant serves Mediterranean cuisine interpreted with great originality by chef Oliver Glowig. The hotel owns a splendid motorboat of 15 metres and a luxurious sailing boat of 20 metres, both used for private transfers and excursions.


Highlights include:
• Stunning location with breathtaking views over the Bay of Naples and the island of Ischia.
• 80 luxurious rooms and suites, some with their own private heated pool and garden.
• L'Olivo, the gourmet restaurant, serves Mediterranean specialties in an elegant atmosphere.
• New outdoor heated swimming pool and full service Spa on property.
• A stroll through Anacapri's narrow streets and white houses leads to the Blue Grotto.

luxurytravelmagazine

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Banyan Tree Phuket - Phuket, Thailand



Prepare to enter a different world at the Banyan Tree Phuket. Located on the beautiful Bang Tao Bay, Banyan Tree Phuket is a pampered paradise set amidst 600 acres of parkland and three kilometres of pristine beach. Bordered by the golden sands and gentle waves of the Andaman Sea, Banyan Tree Phuket offers peace and tranquility. Thailand's rich culture is reflected in the architecture and decor of the resort's 115 villas that simply exude seclusion, luxury and romance. Every villa, of at least 170 m2, features a king–size bed, spacious bathroom, mini–bar, in–villa safe, IDD telephone, colour TV, open–air sunken bathtub and private landscaped garden. For the ultimate in luxury, the resort features 71 villas with their own private swimming pools, a fully equipped kitchenette, dining patio, unique outdoor Thai sala and outdoor showers.
Your appetite will be satisfied by a remarkable array of dining options ranging from traditional Thai dishes, regional Asian specialities, avant–garde seafood to tempting spa cuisine, that can be enjoyed on a terrace, by the pool or in privacy of your villa.

luxurytravelmagazine

Monday, December 22, 2008

Jumeirah Bab Al Shams

Opened in 2005...Emerging from the heart of the desert, Bab Al Shams Desert Resort & Spa is an elegant desert resort in a traditional Arabic fort setting. For those seeking a unique desert experience within easy reach of Dubai, Bab Al Shams Desert Resort & Spa presents the ideal destination. Satori Spa with outdoor and indoor treatment rooms.

Jumeirah Bab Al Shams Desert Resort & Spa offers 115 exquisitely appointed rooms in a rustic Arabic style. Located in charming clusters of sixteen double storey buildings, choose from a selection of luxuriously spaced One-Bedroom Suites, Junior Suites and Deluxe Rooms, many with either a balcony or terrace. Interconnecting rooms are available for families with children.

Your choices for dining at this desert oasis reflect world-class standards in both cuisine and service. From the traditional offerings of Al Hadheerah Desert Restaurant, to the more relaxed international cuisine at Al Forsan Restaurant, Jumeirah Bab Al Shams Desert Resort & Spa is sure to delight all palates. Whilst relaxing at the desert retreat, take advantage of the extensive recreational activities on offer. There is something for all the family; from excellent facilities to activities that will take you back through the sands of time to experience authentic Arabia. Horse riding: an enchanting way to view the desert from an exhilarating vantage point. Camel rides: step back in time and cross the sands in a traditional camel caravan. Falconry: enjoy the splendor of this traditional Bedouin activity with these simply magnificent birds.

luxurytravelmagazine

Jumeirah Bab Al Shams Desert Resort & Spa

Friday, December 19, 2008

Chic & Swag Friday

An electric-blue sky with a bold twist of lightning. Lightning and thunder occur simultaneously, but because light travels faster than sound, we see lightning first. Count the seconds between a flash of lightning and a clap of thunder and divide by five to estimate how far away in miles the storm is. Divide by three for kilometers.

Guys, have a fun, safe & happy winter break!..:)

Cee List

New York Times 10 Best Books of 2008

FICTION

DANGEROUS LAUGHTER
Thirteen Stories
By Steven Millhauser.
Alfred A. Knopf, $24.

In his first collection in five years, a master fabulist in the tradition of Poe and Nabo­kov invents spookily plausible parallel universes in which the deepest human emotions and yearnings are transformed into their monstrous opposites. Millhauser is especially attuned to the purgatory of adolescence. In the title story, teenagers attend sinister “laugh parties”; in another, a mysteriously afflicted girl hides in the darkness of her attic bedroom. Time and again these parables revive the possibility that “under this world there is another, waiting to be born.” (Excerpt)

A MERCY
By Toni Morrison.
Alfred A. Knopf, $23.95.

The fate of a slave child abandoned by her mother animates this allusive novel — part Faulknerian puzzle, part dream-song — about orphaned women who form an eccentric household in late-17th-century America. Morrison’s farmers and rum traders, masters and slaves, indentured whites and captive Native Americans live side by side, often in violent conflict, in a lawless, ripe American Eden that is both a haven and a prison — an emerging nation whose identity is rooted equally in Old World superstitions and New World appetites and fears. (First Chapter)

NETHERLAND
By Joseph O’Neill.
Pantheon Books, $23.95.

O’Neill’s seductive ode to New York — a city that even in bad times stubbornly clings to its belief “in its salvific worth” — is narrated by a Dutch financier whose privileged Manhattan existence is upended by the events of Sept. 11, 2001. When his wife departs for London with their small son, he stays behind, finding camaraderie in the unexpectedly buoyant world of immigrant cricket players, most of them West Indians and South Asians, including an entrepreneur with Gatsby-size aspirations. (First Chapter)

2666
By Roberto Bolaño. Translated by Natasha Wimmer.
Farrar, Straus & Giroux, cloth and paper, $30.

Bolaño, the prodigious Chilean writer who died at age 50 in 2003, has posthumously risen, like a figure in one of his own splendid creations, to the summit of modern fiction. This latest work, first published in Spanish in 2004, is a mega- and meta-detective novel with strong hints of apocalyptic foreboding. It contains five separate narratives, each pursuing a different story with a cast of beguiling characters — European literary scholars, an African-American journalist and more — whose lives converge in a Mexican border town where hundreds of young women have been brutally murdered. (Excerpt)

UNACCUSTOMED EARTH
By Jhumpa Lahiri.
Alfred A. Knopf, $25.

There is much cultural news in these precisely observed studies of modern-day Bengali-Americans — many of them Ivy-league strivers ensconced in prosperous suburbs who can’t quite overcome the tug of traditions nurtured in Calcutta. With quiet artistry and tender sympathy, Lahiri creates an impressive range of vivid characters — young and old, male and female, self-knowing and self-deluding — in engrossing stories that replenish the classic themes of domestic realism: loneliness, estrangement and family discord. (Excerpt)


NONFICTION

THE DARK SIDE
The Inside Story of How the War on Terror Turned Into a War on American Ideals
By Jane Mayer.
Doubleday, $27.50.

Mayer’s meticulously reported descent into the depths of President Bush’s anti­terrorist policies peels away the layers of legal and bureaucratic maneuvering that gave us Guantánamo Bay, “extraordinary rendition,” “enhanced” interrogation methods, “black sites,” warrantless domestic surveillance and all the rest. But Mayer also describes the efforts ofunsung heroes, tucked deep inside the administration, who risked their careers in the struggle to balance the rule of law against the need to meet a threat unlike any other in the nation’s history.

THE FOREVER WAR
By Dexter Filkins.
Alfred A. Knopf, $25.

The New York Times correspondent, whose tours of duty have taken him from Afghanistan in 1998 to Iraq during the American intervention, captures a decade of armed struggle in harrowingly detailed vignettes. Whether interviewing jihadists in Kabul, accompanying marines on risky patrols in Falluja or visiting grieving families in Baghdad, Filkins makes us see, with almost hallucinogenic immediacy, the true human meaning and consequences of the “war on terror.” (First Chapter)

NOTHING TO BE FRIGHTENED OF
By Julian Barnes.
Alfred A. Knopf, $24.95.

This absorbing memoir traces Barnes’s progress from atheism (at age 20) to agnosticism (at 60) and examines the problem of religion not by rehashing the familiar quarrel between science and mystery, but rather by weighing the timeless questions of mortality and aging. Barnes distills his own experiences — and those of his parents and brother — in polished and wise sentences that recall the writing of Montaigne, Flaubert and the other French masters he includes in his discussion. (First Chapter)

THIS REPUBLIC OF SUFFERING
Death and the American Civil War
By Drew Gilpin Faust.
Alfred A. Knopf, $27.95.

In this powerful book, Faust, the president of Harvard, explores the legacy, or legacies, of the “harvest of death” sown and reaped by the Civil War. In the space of four years, 620,000 Americans died in uniform, roughly the same number as those lost in all the nation’s combined wars from the Revolution through Korea. This doesn’t include the thousands of civilians killed in epidemics, guerrilla raids and draft riots. The collective trauma created “a newly centralized nation-state,” Faust writes, but it also established “sacrifice and its memorialization as the ground on which North and South would ultimately reunite.” (First Chapter)

THE WORLD IS WHAT IT IS
The Authorized Biography of V. S. Naipaul
By Patrick French.
Alfred A. Knopf, $30.

The most surprising word in this biography is “authorized.” Naipaul, the greatest of all postcolonial authors, cooperated fully with French, opening up a huge cache of private letters and diaries and supplementing the revelations they disclosed with remarkably candid interviews. It was a brave, and wise, decision. French, a first-rate biographer, has a novelist’s command of story and character, and he patiently connects his subject’s brilliant oeuvre with the disturbing facts of an unruly life. (First Chapter)

Limestone Cliffs

Erosion's force becomes clear in these limestone cliffs in Port Campbell National Park, Australia. About five million years ago the area was a limestone plateau, but as sea levels rose the effects of surf and rain began to carve out these magnificent cliffs, along with stacks and arches.

Photograph by Sam Abell

Art


The clean, chiseled forms of the Museum of Islamic Art have a tranquillity that distinguishes it in an age that often seems trapped somewhere between gimmickry and a cloying nostalgia. Part of the allure may have to do with I. M. Pei, the museum's architect.

Photo: Museum of Islamic Art

Students look at a ceramic cenotaph from Central Asia that is part of an exhibition at the Museum of Islamic Art. The Museum of Islamic Art's design is rooted in an optimistic worldview that the past and the present can co-exist harmoniously. Its ideals are a throwback to a time when America's overseas ambitions were still cloaked in a progressive agenda.



An interior view of the museum’s atrium dome and oculus. "Contemporary architects tend to impose modernity on something," he said in an interview. "There is a certain concern for history but it's not very deep. I understand that time has changed, we have evolved.But I don't want to forget the beginning. A lasting architecture has to have roots."



Since that popular triumph Mr. Pei has often seemed to take the kind of leisurely, slow-paced approach to design that other architects, no matter how well established, can only dream of.

New York Times

Cumberland Island, Georgia

A purplish twilight sky over Georgia's Cumberland Island National Seashore glows as fingers of lightning spread among the clouds.

Photograph by Raymond K. Gehman

Thunder - Nuttin but stringz

Thunder - Nuttin but stringz

Killers




Las Vegas indie pop-rock unit The Killers [ tickets ] return with "Day & Age," the group's third studio album and most experimental work to date.

The stakes have been set high for The Killers since the group raised the bar with its wildly successful 2004 debut, "Hot Fuss." The band met considerable criticism following their 2006 sophomore effort "Sam's Town" and last year's covers and b-sides release "Sawdust." This time around, The Killers again challenge listeners by stepping outside of their more recognizable sounds to take some worthwhile creative risks.

Architecture/ Foster & Partners

A computer rendering of the roughly 30-story tower designed by Norman Foster for 980 Madison Avenue, between 76th and 77th Streets.

A computer rendering, looking uptown, of Norman Foster’s elliptical tower rising on the west side of Madison Avenue.

Spyder

$300

$120

spyder.com

Channel Islands Marine Sanctuary

"The [Channel Islands Marine Sanctuary] extends from the high tidemark of five islands—San Miguel, Santa Cruz, Santa Rosa, Anacapa, and Santa Barbara—to six miles (9.7 kilometers) off their shores, taking in 1,658 square miles (2,668 kilometers) of Pacific Ocean."

Photograph by Sisse Brimberg

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Shaquille O'Neal


Shaquille Rashaun, Arabic for Little Warrior, was the name given to Lucille O'Neal's son by his biological father. Better known by his nickname "Shaq," Shaquille O'Neal was born in Newark, New Jersey, on March 6, 1972. His stepfather, a military man, was stationed in Germany, where O'Neal first learned to play basketball. After settling in San Antonio, Texas, his mother used to have to carry his birth certificate to prove how young he was due to his unnatural height for his age. When he was 13 years old he was already 6'6", and basketball scouts took an early notice of his abilities. He honed his skills in high school, reaching national recognition before attending Louisiana State University, where he was named collegiate player of the year in 1991.

No longer a Little Warrior, Shaq, the now 7'1", 325 pound center was chosen by the Orlando Magic in the first round of the 1992 NBA draft where, along with teammate and fellow star Anfernee "Penny" Hardaway, he would lead his team to the NBA playoffs. Shaq's star status landed him a role in the 1994 basketball film "Blue Chips," starring Nick Nolte; and he also released a rap CD that was critically trashed. In 1995 the Magic would reach the NBA finals, only to be swept by the Hakeem Olajuwon-led Houston Rockets; and O'Neal would once again delve into acting. This time, he played a genie in the kids' film "Kazaam." Continuing his kid-friendly acting career, he would also star in the superhero film "Steel." Both films are currently ranked in the IMDb's "Bottom 100," a list of some of Hollywood's worst films.

After unsuccessful attempts at rapping and acting, Shaq focused on what he does best--playing basketball. After the 1995-96 season, the free agent center signed with the Los Angeles Lakers, and along with teammate Kobe Bryant the two led the team to three consecutive NBA titles under coach Phil Jackson. Things weren't always pretty though, as O'Neal was constantly feuding with Bryant through comments to the press and bouts of one-upsmanship. After the 2003-04 season, he demanded a trade from the team following a loss to the Detroit Pistons in the NBA finals. Subsequently, he was traded to the Miami Heat, who he led to the playoffs in 2005 along with Eddie Jones, Dwayne Wade, and Alonzo Mourning.

O'Neal's career highlights include a trip to the All-Star game every season he has played except for 1999, which was shortened due to a lockout. He was named Rookie of the Year in 1993, was the league's MVP for the 1999-2000 season, and was named Most Valuable Player of the NBA finals three times. He is noted for his size and defensive playing ability, as well as his futility at the free throw line, with a career average of 53.2% free throws made. Shaq also played on the 1996 "Dream Team," winning gold at the Olympic summer games in Atlanta.

Shaq is known as the "gentle giant" because of his calm demeanor and notoriety for being laid back. However, his lightheartedness has landed him in trouble at times because of some of the comments he has made to the press. In 2003 he was involved in a racial controversy for poking fun at rival NBA star Yao Ming. Advocacy groups demanded apologies, and he one-upped them by appearing with Yao in a telethon benefiting victims of the recent SARS epidemic.

Currently, Shaq lives in Florida with wife Shaunie and their three children; and he has another child from a previous marriage. Ironically, after receiving his trade to Miami and moving away from Los Angeles, he announced his interest to keep acting and making rap albums.

starpulse

Guys, be sure 2 read this 2..;) He's cool!
http://www.azcentral.com/arizonarepublic/sports/articles/2008/12/17/20081217spt-bickley.html

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Giada De Laurentiis

Giada De Laurentiis has become a household name. With an impressive background of culinary training and a unique personable charm, she is a globally revered celebrity chef who continues to prove her skill and accessibility not only with her expanding presence beyond Food Network but also with the great success of her cookbooks, brand alliances, newly launched food products and recurring role on the "Today Show."

Born in Rome, Giada grew up in a large Italian family where the culture of food was a staple in and of itself. As the granddaughter of film producer Dino De Laurentiis, Giada consistently found herself in the family's kitchen and spent a great deal of time at her grandfather's restaurant, DDL Foodshow. After graduating from the University of California in Los Angeles with a degree in anthropology, Giada's passion for cooking remained. She eventually made the decision to commence a culinary career and began her professional training at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris, specializing in both cuisine and pastry. Following, she returned to Los Angeles, where her training included positions at the prestigious Ritz Carlton Fine Dining Room and Wolfgang Puck's Spago in Beverly Hills. She later founded GDL Foods, a catering company in Los Angeles.

Giada's career start on Food Network began in 2002 when she was discovered by a network executive upon reading an article about her and the De Laurentiis family in FOOD & WINE magazine. Since then, Giada has become one of Food Network's most recognizable faces. Her half-hour, daytime cooking show, "Everyday Italian," features quick, healthy and satisfying Italian dishes and airs twelve times a week at both 11am and 4:30pm on FN. Her primetime show, "Giada's Weekend Getaways," debuted in January 2007 and follows Giada to popular destinations in and around the United States as she explores the cities' most notable restaurants and activities. Giada can also be seen in Food Network specials, such as "Giada in Paradise: Capri and Santorini," and as a judge on the highly popular series, "Next Food Network Star." Finally, and with much anticipation, in October 2008, Food Network will premiere Giada's new series called, "Giada At Home." The show remains true to her Italian roots while also offering viewers a more realistic taste of Giada's California lifestyle.

The foray into cookbooks was an obvious decision, allowing Giada's loyal viewership to reference, prepare and share their favorite recipes. De Laurentiis' first book, "Everyday Italian," showcases many of the delicious recipes from her cooking show of the same name. Her second book entitled, "Giada's Family Dinners," quickly became a #1 New York Times best-seller as did her third cookbook, "Everyday Pasta," which was released in April 2007. An eagerly-awaited fourth book, "Giada's Kitchen," will hit bookshelves on September 30, 2008. All four books are published by Random House/Clarkson Potter.

Giada's overall success and notoriety yielded her a role as spokesperson for Barilla, the world's largest producer and manufacturer of pasta. Giada took her relationship with Barilla one step further, entrusting the Italian arm of the brand, known as Academia Barilla, to license and produce four products under Giada's name. The products: Extra-virgin Olive Oil, Balsamic Vinegar, Tuscan Herb Mix, and Sea Salt with Fresh Lemon Zest, debuted in January 2008 and is sold at various gourmet and specialty stores across the United States.

Giada had been a recurring guest on the "Today Show" up until her stint as a correspondent during the 2006 Olympic Games in Torino secured her a role as a contributing correspondent on the nation's #1 morning show where she highlights current trends in travel, cuisine and lifestyle.

De Laurentiis currently resides in Los Angeles with her husband, Todd and daughter, Jade.

giadadelaurentiis

Guys, her show is cool so check it out..:)

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Eminem

Eminem was born 'Marshall Bruce Mathers III' on the 17th October 1973 in Kansas City, Missouri, USA. Later he would be moved across various states before ending up in Detroit at the age of 12. Eminem took up rapping whilst in high school and was heavily influenced by his uncle Ronnie who later commited suicide.

Eminem decided to take raping serious and dropped out of high school in the ninth grade. Now focusing on rapping Eminem started showing up at rap freestyling events at Detroit's St. Andrew's Hall and went on to release his first LP "Infinite" in 1996. "Infinite" got a poor crticism by many saying he was trying to be a rapper which he wasn't but as Eminem quoted about his LP, "Infinite was me trying to figure out how I wanted my rap style to be, how I wanted to sound on the mic and present myself. It was a growing stage. I felt like Infinite was like a demo that just got pressed up." In 1997 Eminem competed in the LA Rap Olympics and took second place in free style rap which soon gave him more recognition. Later that year he featured in the single "5 Star Generals" by Shabaam Sahdeeq which helped him gain a much larger underground audience.

Things started to pick up for Eminem in 1998 when he was heard by Dr. Dre on a LS radio station and was soon signed up to the Aftermath Label. Eminem said "It was an honor to hear the words out of Dre's mouth that he liked my shit. Growing up, I was one of the biggest fans of N.W.A, from putting on the sunglasses and looking in the mirror and lip sinking, to wanting to be Dr. Dre, to be Ice Cube. This is the biggest hip-hop producer ever."

He now knew that the game had stepped up a level and shortly after signing with Dre he released "The Slim Shady EP" which would be the real starting point of his world wide recognition today. After "The Slim Shady EP" went down well, in February 1999 he released "The Slim Shady LP" which debuts at No.2 on the Billboard charts, selling 283,000 copies. Within 2 month's "The Slim Shady LP" went 2x Platinum and topped the Billboard R&B Album chart for a week. At the end of the year the LP went 3x Platinum and Eminem won his first awards - MTV Music Award for Best New Artist and the MTV European Music Award for Best Hip-Hop Artist. Now with his new found fame the crow's came out when Eminem's mother sued him for $10 Million based on negative accusations made about her and his childhood throughout his LP, this wouldn't be the last time Eminem ends up in court againsts his mother!

The start of 2000 showed just how well Eminem was doing when he was nominated for 2 Brit Awards, won 2 Grammy Awards for Best Rap Solo Performance and Best Rap Album and won another 4 awards - The Online Hip-Hop Award for Best Artist Web Site, Best New Artist, Hottest Music Video and a Detroit Music Award for Outstanding National Album. He would now release his next LP "The Marshall Mathers LP" which flew off the shelves selling over 1.7 Million copies in the first week making a new record for a solo artist. The album didn't come without it's conflicts and controversies, the album created a feud with pop princess Christina Aguilera (the single "The Real Slim Shady" alleged that she had performed oral sex on both Limp Bizkit's Fred Durst and MTV's Carson Daly).

His mother filed a defamation lawsuit against him for $1 Million which would end up being dismissed and accusations of homophobia and sexism mostly centering around the songs "Kill You" and "Kim" would be an ongoing battle over Eminem's lyrics even today!. Within a month "The Marshall Mathers LP" went 5x Platinum and topped the Pop LP charts for 8 weeks, the R&B LP charts for 4 weeks and the Internet Album charts for 2 weeks. At the end of the year "The Marshall Mathers LP" went 7x Platinum and was recognised as the 2nd biggest selling LP in the U.S. with sales of over 7.9 million copies. In 2001 "The Marshall Mathers LP" went 8x Platinum and Eminem released his next LP, "The Eminem Show" which sold over 1.3 Million copies in the first week and went 4x Platinum within 2 month's By the end of the year "The Eminem Show" was the top selling LP of the year with over 7.6 million sales. He would now go into the movies and started filming "8 Mile" which pulled in $54 Million in the first weekend after it's relase in October. Eminem would then go on to release a further 2 LP's, "Encore" and "Curtain Call" and would be presented with tons of awards for his music.

His life has been an interesting battle of struggles and successes, from the hood to the top Eminem has always followed himself and done what he wanted. Today he has won more awards than can fit into a mansion and has had huge success in both his music and film releases. He has taken a step back from his own music today and is concentrating more on developing other artists with his own record label "Shady Records".

After his 2004 album, Encore, Eminem went on a self-imposed hiatus, popping up in gossip columns reporting his imminent demise, his slide into obeisty, and his supposed retirement from hip-hop. In October 2008, however, Eminem put the retirement reports to bed: he announced on his Sirius Satellite Radio channel, Shade 45, that he was working on a new album, titled Relapse, and promised it would be out in 2009. Eminem celebrated the announcement by releasing a freestyle, "I'm Having A Relapse.

prefixmag

Monday, December 15, 2008

Sacagawea

Sacagawea (also referred to as Sacajawea, Sakakawea, Sacajawea, and Bird Woman) was a Shoshone Native American girl who is most known for helping Meriwether Lewis and William Clark, along with the Corps of Discovery, with the Lewis and Clark Expedition across the United States. Although a lot has been written about her, there is a lot of conflicting and legendary information that has been recorded, including Sacagawea's birthdate, her death date and even the spelling and pronounciation of her name. Sacagawea was believed to have been born in 1787, however, some sources said that she was born in 1786, 1788, or 1790. She was part of the Shoshone tribe and was born in the area of what is now known as Three Forks, Montana.

Sacagawea was kidnapped in 1800, which would have made her about 13 years old, by the Hidatsa tribe, and some sourses believe, was kept as a slave. Other sources say that she became part of the tribe. Sacagawea was either purchased by, or won through gambling (depending on the source), a French-Canadian fur trader named Toussaint Charbonneau, and became his wife. Sources differ on when this took place; some say that Sacagawea was 16 at the time, other sources say that she was 15 or 14. It should be noted that Toussaint Charbonneau was already married to another Shoshone woman at the time he married Sacagawea.

During the winter of 1804 and 1805, Meriwether Lewis and William Clark, and the Corps of Discovery arrived. They were looking for a translator to translate the Hidatsa language for help with trading and when they talked to Charbonneau, they discovered that his wife Sacagawea also spoke Shoshone, they hired Charbonneau as interpreter, with Sacagawea as an accompanying unpaid interpreter, with their expedition from the Northern Great Plains to the Pacific Ocean. Sacagawea was pregnant at the time. On February 11, 1805, Sacagawea gave birth to her son, Jean Baptiste Charbonneau while they were staying with the Corps of Discovery at Fort Mandan. When other Native American Tribes would see the group, they assumed that the Corps of Discovery was friendly, since there usually wasn't a war party with a mother and her baby. According to many sources, William Clark nicknamed him Pomp, or Pompy, or Pompey. However, some sources, including a few Native American sources say that he was named Pomp by Sacagawea, which meant first born.

Sacagawea helped the Corps of Discovery with local navigation, horse trading, translating, keeping peace with other tribes, finding edible food, and was the one who rescued Clark's journals, along with other valuable items, from the Missouri river when Charbonneau capsized their boat. Sacagawea made the entire trip with her child. She later had a daughter named Lisette. In December of 1812, she died of diphtheria. which at the time was known as putrid fever. However, many Native American resources state that she died on a reservation in Wyoming on April 9, 1884. According to the U.S. Mint, more statues, streams, lakes, landmarks, parks, songs, ballads, and poems honor Sacagawea than any other woman in American history.

sacagawea

Friday, December 12, 2008

Chic & Swag Friday


Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem

Eid-ul-Adha- Hajj


Eid el-Adha is an officially observed religious holiday that precedes the Hajj, the annual pilgrimage of Muslims to Islam's holiest sites.


Eid el-Adha celebrated on February 23, is one of Islam's most important celebrations, announcing the beginning of the Hajj, the celebrated yearly pilgrimage to the holy city of Mecca. Muslims from around the world congregate in Mecca for a ritual that is required at least once in a lifetime of all Muslims. It is appropriate to offer flextime for this holiday, which is an official and high holy occasion for observant Muslims.

Muslims may wish to travel to Mecca at this time, though most stay in the country and observe Eid el-Adha within their local Muslim community. It is a good idea to discuss scheduling arrangements with the others. As this and other holidays are dependent on the lunar calendar, Muslim must approximate as close as possible the days they will need off. They may be unable to solidify arrangements until the holiday nears and the lunar cycles can be more specifically determined. Muslims around the world try to keep each other informed on the moon's cycles so they may plan such observances more precisely. Some Muslim may not insist on time off if their family members are constricted by their work situations from doing the same.

Salat al Jummah, a prayer service at the mosque that practicing Muslims are required to attend, is held every Friday at midday. Peole greet eachother by saying "Eid Mubarak".

Eid el-Adha is an official observance in every Muslim country, and government offices, banks, schools and businesses are closed on this holiday. Business meetings are discouraged during this time. In countries such as Saudi Arabia, only Eid el-Adha and Eid el-Fitr have the status of public holidays. In Africa and the Middle East, businesspeople are generally encouraged to schedule important meetings and transactions between October and April; the summer months from May to September are very hot and humid, and business representatives of stature may be out of the country.

Toledo, Spain

Sol LeWitt at Mass MoCA

Sol LeWitt often said that beauty was not the point of his art, but the MASS MoCA installation of the wall pieces the artist designed between 1969 and 2007 is pretty gorgeous.

Photo: Erik Jacobs for The New York Times


Mr. LeWitt’s work is, famously, about ideas before all else. He was one of the first artists to formally define Conceptual Art as a phenomenon. And he was among first to make work that downplayed the traditional art object, with its associations of individual genius, exchange value, and physical permanence -- in favor of utopian proposals and collective visions.

Photo: Erik Jacobs for The New York Times

Winter on the Slopes

A helicopter drops off a skier on a peak in Riksgransen, Sweden, the world's northernmost ski resort. Heli-skiing is offered in packages of one to three runs -- the latter the most economical; 1,395 kronor (about $167) to 2,195 kronor (about $260). The season runs from mid-February until the end of June, when you can ski under a midnight sun.

From a new hotel in Vail to gliding down Austria's luxurious slopes, see some of the highlights of the upcoming ski season. Left, the iconic Matterhorn in Zermatt, Switzerland. Gliding down the town's surrounding pale blue glaciers and nearly 200 miles of marked trails is the essence of skiing.

New YorkTimes

Etro SPRING 2009

Bottega Veneta Spring 2009

Q-Tip Renaissance

The Renaissance is the 2nd studio album by American hip hop musician Q-Tip, released November 4, 2008 on Universal Motown Records.

John Galliano Spring 2009

Thom Browne Spring 2009

Gaudí's Barcelona

Gaudí’s Casa Batlló seems sunk underwater when viewed through the house’s distorted glass.
Building the Colònia Güell Crypt outside Barcelona, architect Antoni Gaudí tested out building techniques he was later to use at his famed La Sagrada Família cathedral.
The rooftop of Gaudí’s Casa Milà (known as “La Pedrera”) is marked with undulating forms and Stormtrooper-like helmeted spires.
The Colònia Güell Crypt is classic Gaudí, located on a textile estate in Santa Coloma de Cervelló, just outside Barcelona.