Archive for the ‘Random Things’ Category

By SJ Jeberson

The Following Personalities have excelled in United States Of America and other countries in various Fields. But a many of them dont know that Their ancestor E.Benedict DeLannoy Lived and lies buried in Nagercoil, India. He(E.Benedict DeLannoy), hailed from a small town in northern France called Lannoy near Lille, the same ancestral town of Roosevelt. 
E.Benedict DeLannoy first arrived in India at Cochin in 1737 as part of the Dutch army. He had been a part of the Dutch force that invaded Colachel harbour in a move to capture it but later withdrew in May 3, 1741. On learning of the Dutch armies defeat, he deserted the force and joined the forces of Bala Marthanda Varma. There, he trained the forces in European warfare and rose to the position of commander-in-force and was known as the architect of the Travancore dynasty. His maternal forefather Philippe De Lannoy was a direct ancestor of Sara Delano, mother of the American President. Famous persons who share the common ancestral lineage with Roosevelt and Eustache B Lannoy through Philippe De Lannoy include President Ulysses S Grant, President Calvin Coolidge and actress Diane Delanoto to name a few. Over the years the name DeLannoy had got anglicized into Delano. Though these personalities are spread over many countries and are hailed in many places, their ancestory E.Benedict DeLannoy lies buried in his tomb in the yard of a church in Nagercoil, India. The following are from E.Benedict DeLannoy’s lineage.

(From Left-Right: Franklin.D.Roosevelt, Diane Delanto, Ulysses.S.Grant, John Calvin Coolidge, Columbus Delano)



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I have always been suprised at the way websites work. I mean the way they go picking the brains of other websites. I had worked on a story for Medindia on Dr Ian Simpson: http://www.medindia.net/news/interviews/The-RIGHT-Way-to-Deal-With-Snakebites-Ask-Dr-Simpson-32986-1.htm

and imagine my suprise when I see it on http://forums.kingsnake.com/view.php?id=1475688,1475688

The same thing has happened earlier. I had done an interview with wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales for News Today http://www.newstodaynet.com/26feb/ss2.htm

and suprises of suprises I see it on http://randex.org/index.php/weblog/2007/02/

I wonder If I give an article for DC, will Asian Age do the needful and just upload it on to their site? Would look better on my resume…

And meanwhile, my animation story has also got recycled and I saw its new avatar on India forum. com, without the slightest clue what is Indiaforum or how my article landed up there.


And the funnier part is all these sites give a link to the original. While I don’t have a high opinion of me or my articles, I wonder what posessed them to do this… I heard of websites operating on a policy of Ctrl+C and Ctrl+V….

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TV Channels: Twisting The ScripturesBy ————–D.R. Chitra(http://groups.yahoo.com/group/journalismonline/post?postID=EWqc0kDZEnKSK_UfhDwObSfP7D4JwEqsAIeWgsgYdl0MIdLKZS3vppEIADQ5LZ3XLq4KgP6NTV_k9VuLERzH)

Anti-Christian broadcasting networks are exactly what GOD TV and CBN are though they claim to be otherwise. Both these channels have extensive networks in all the five continents. GOD TV has its base inBritain, and CBN is an American channel.

Though they may disagree onvarious issues (divorce, PMS, Human GM), they all managed to reach a consensus on the Iraq war. CBN’s mascot during the war was undoubtedly George. W. Bush Jr.
Evenafter the ‘45 minute claim‘ and the ‘uranium import‘ were proved to be false, the 700 Club still did a show on how well Bush can get along with Christians of all denominations. You had commanders-in-chief testifying to his bravery (by staying in the Home Guard), pastors commending him for making Texas crime-free (by the simple means of sending the maximum number of people to the electric chair)… You even had snapshots of the President, the Security Adviser and many of his close aides kneeling down for prayer at the White House.
God TV, not to be left behind, came up with a Tony Blair special, in which we see Blair holding the Bible at a public meet, after the invasion, proudly declaring, “I am ready to meet my Maker today.”The very same week, there was another programme on the Axis of Evil. Even now if you visit the 700 Club official website, you can read so much on the Saddam Hussein-Charles Taylor-Osama bin Laden link, North Korea‘s nuclear programme, the Talibans in Afghanistan, that one wonders if they shape the American Foreign Policy and issue the White House Press handouts.
CBN’s coverage of the war began with Bush proclaiming “I AM A WAR PRESIDENT” and studio people shouting ‘halleluiah‘ and ‘praise theLord’. CBN also used footage of CNN’s ‘Freedom Iraq’ for its news special. Though only 20-25% of the programmes are politically oriented, they serve very well as ‘Weapons of Mass Distraction’.
Andrew Wommack (GOD TV — Gospel Truth) has the constant refrain “We are waging a Holy War.” This one line pretty much sums up theideology of most preachers such as Kenneth Copeland, Kenneth Hagin, Oral Roberts, Graham Junior (Billy Graham‘s son). Benny Hinn who was recently in Mumbai for a Miracle Crusade said in prayer, “I thank youGod for this wonderful opportunity (the Iraq War) you have given us, to preach the Gospel to these newly liberated people.” Wommack and Copeland are so hawkish that Rumsfield pales in comparison. Even if it was a matter of “an eye for an eye,” must thousands die and millions be left homeless in Afghanistan, because 2000 died at the WTC? After this you had 24-hour gospel channels filming Mrs. Blair’s interactions with the ‘liberated’ Afghan women.
Not satisfied with my tirade against the money-minting religious channels? You can read the original at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/journalismonline/message/56

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(Above: The best part about this story that got chucked by DC, because they deemed manikandan had got enough publicity, is the promo stills I got)
With Om Shanti Om, running to packed houses within a week of its release; cameraman V.Manikandan’s star seems to be definitely on the rise in both Bollywood and Kollywood. A cinematographer, who’s delivered a string of hits like Anniyan, Kuch Naa Kaho and Main Hoon Na, he has won greater prominence after his recent tryst with Farah and Shah Rukh.On what made Om Shanti Om click, his one word answer is Shah Rukh. He goes on to describe Farah and Shah Rukh as the dream team to work with. Surprisingly, Shah Rukh’s star presence in no way intimidated him, he says, adding that king Khan was the most unassuming and accommodating person he had to work with.

The much talked about 31-star studded title track Deewangi was one of the most difficult scenes to shoot. What started out as a six-heroine starrer ended up as a mega dance sequence. ” Once word got around that Farah was shooting an item number with so and so, everyone got interested and wanted to jump onto the bandwagon. We had celebrities coming at all odd hours for the shoot. Preity Zinta turned up at around midnight once. We sometimes had to shoot with only two stars on the set,” he says.

Having had the distinction of turning even slightly angular beauties like Shilpa Shetty and Sushmita Sen into drop-dead, gorgeous sirens on screen, he says that there is no such thing as having a naturally photogenic face. “Of course, I have heard that people like Shobana don’t need make-up to look beautiful. But all the girls I have worked with have had to have make-up, special lighting and tuck-ins for me to do justice to their beautiful selves,” says Manikandan.
Though a veteran in the field, he says even he felt thrilled when Dharmendra, Jitendra came to the sets. He says it was a little tricky making the stars of by-gone years look as glamorous as their younger counterparts. “We had to make Subhash Ghai wear a high-neck shirt and loads of make-up to cover his double chin.”

“The film was colossal and grandiose in terms of everything – glamour, style, money, etc. And Farah wanted it that way,” he reminisces.In terms of editing, recapturing the 1970s retro look in the film was far from easy.

“While we could easily copy the styles and costumes of those days, when it came to lighting we had a problem. We had long discussions on whether it would be better to stick to the absurdities of the era or make compromises. In the end, I used soft lighting and all the best that technology had to offer as the harsh lighting of the 70s would not have matched the aesthetic sensibilities of today’s audience,” says Manikandan. We also had to remove huge 50-storyed skyscrapers from Mumbai’s landscape during editing to be more authentic, he adds.

A film institute student, who had to come up the hard way, it took four backbreaking years in the Tamil film industry before he got his break as a cameraman in Atharmam. “It was a low-budget film, in which every take counted. The luxury of doing a Shankar’s film, with great-looking sets and as many as takes as needed for that one perfect shot, came much later. But working for films like Atharmam was good training,” says Manikandan.
One of the few artists, who has made a successful transition from the Tamil film industry to the Hindi one, he feels that we have a lot to learn from North Indians in terms of professionalism and discipline on the sets. “Here, sometimes we have just one toilet for a 250-crew set, while in Mumbai, everyone had their own suite, complete with attached bathrooms on the sets.”

“Also Tamil films never get completed as per schedule. For instance in Anniyan, the shooting was erratic; things got delayed and I did not have any dates to complete the film in the end. So cinematographer Ravi Verma had to take over from where I left,” he says.

Describing himself as an ad filmmaker (he has about 500 ad films to his credit as on date) who makes brief forays into filmdom to make his presence felt, he feels that filmmaking is a taxing art unlike ad production. “Even now I had to turn down a Hollywood film, produced by Warner Bros, because I desperately needed a break after Om Shanti Om,” says Manikandan.

Manning cameras might be exciting, but sometimes it could get a little too exciting for safety, according to this ace cameraman. While shooting the fire sequence for Shah Rukh’s blockbuster, a cylinder had burst barely a few yards from where Manikandan was standing. While he escaped, two other technicians on the set were injured.

And while daredevil stunts like shooting from a copter, while being suspended on ropes, might sound exciting; it is the reverse in reality, he says. While shooting for the famous ” Oh Sukumari” song for Anniyan in Amsterdam, Manikandan had to spend nearly six hours being frozen to death while being suspended in mid-air from a copter. “Shanker wanted purple-coloured tulips for the song, so we had to shift from one location to another. And the whole time, there I was hanging dangerously in mid-air, cursing my fate and watching my assistant puke,” quips Manikandan.

He also has the honour of being the first cameraman to shoot time-slice frames in India after the technique gained fame with the release of Matrix. He managed to successfully bring about this extremely complicated shot, using as many as 120 cameras, surrounding the actors from 360 degrees, in the films Main Hoon Na and Boyz. “It all comes down to the timing. Movie making is just a series of still shots. And time-slicing makes maximum use of it by freezing one object of the scene and capturing the others in motion,” explains Manikandan.

For someone who has always come up with new innovations in technique and treatment with every new movie, he says that he does not have any distinctive cinematographic style. “I adopt styles, based on the script in hand. I try to make the camera movements in sync with the general theme of the movie,” he says.
Justifying the huge sums of money spent on just one song sequence in Indian cinema, he says that people no longer want to see lovers dancing around trees in botanical gardens. “They want to see new things every time. And with directors like Shankar or Mani Ratnam they have to prove themselves all over again with every new film.”

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