Some Celebs with the Same Face

Heath Ledger & Joseph-Gordon Levitt

Heath Ledger & Joseph-Gordon Levitt

If Gordon Levitt and Heath Ledger had the same hair, I would say they were twins. Similarity is just amazing.

Justin Bieber & Miley Cyrus

Miley Cyrus and Justin Bieber

The first on our list of celebrities with same face definitely goes to Miley Cyrus and Justin Bieber! Just take a look at these pretty girls and you’ll see an amazing similarity.

Scarlett Johansson and Christopher Walken

3. Scarlett Johansson and Christopher Walken

Helen Mirren and Jennifer Lawrence

5. Helen Mirren and Jennifer Lawrence

Javier Bardem and Jeffrey Dean Morgan

7. Javier Bardem and Jeffrey Dean Morgan

Tracy Morgan and Doug E. Fresh

8. Tracy Morgan and Doug E. Fresh

 

Regular People Behind Some Of The Most Memes – Part: 1

1. Good Guy Greg

Good Guy Greg, as he’s known, got his start on 4chan and quickly became quite famous. He’s supposedly a commercial fisherman, but even that’s under dispute.

2. First World Problems Girl

meme

There are many variations of the meme “First World Problems” with different pictures being used as the main premise. But probably the most famous one of all is the one above. It was originally posted on BuzzFeed as just an image macro, before moving to meme generator…. and well the rest is history.

first-world-problems-girl-silvia-bottini-2The real person behind the meme is actually the beautiful Silvia Bottini, a model and actress from Varese, Italy. She has been in a few productions, most notably Romeo & Juliet as well as Alice in Wonderland. She has also done a few commercials.

3. Overally Attached Girlfriend

It started as a screen grab pulled from her YouTube video singing Justin Bieber’s song ‘Girlfriend’… the rest is history.

Her real name is Laina Walker and she currently makes funny YouTube videos.

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4. Scumbag Steve

His real name is Blake Boston and the original photo was taken by his mom when he was 16. Blake is now a father and is currently pursuing his music career.

5. Hipster Barista

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His real name is Dustin Mattson, and he works at Octane Coffee down south in Atlanta. The meme started on Quickmeme and then spread to Reddit where it took off. Mattson at first wasn’t that pleased with the meme.

In an interview with Eater.com, Mattson said, “I do find it discouraging and disappointing that there was so much exposure brought to an attempt at making a joke of a culinary industry and the professional barista. To me, it’s very telling on how we laud farm-to-table food, craft beer, cocktail mixology, but it’s ok to have no respect for the specialty coffee world and the people who are committed to it.”

6. Bad Luck Brian

His real name is Kyle, and the original photo is from his 7th grade year book picture that his friend thought looked funny so he turned into a meme…. the rest is history. He now makes funny YouTube videos and also has his own Facebook page.

7. Success Kid

The original image was taken by photographer Laney Griner of her then 11-month-old son Sammy on August 26th, 2007. The meme is sometimes known as I Hate Sandcastles.

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10 Deadliest Snipers in History Part: 1

Extreme marksmanship has been a part of war ever since firearms became the tools of choice. There are just some people who can do things with a rifle that others cannot.

The following list contains what we believe to be the 10 deadliest snipers of all time. The list may not be ordered based on the number of confirmed kills or the longest shots made, but by taking into account an entire career.

10. Senior Sergeant Roza Shanina, Soviet Red Army

Screen Shot 2015-04-21 at 12.36.25 PM Shanina was one of the more well known female snipers in history. She joined the Soviet Army after her brother was killed in 1941. As a marksman she amassed 59 confirmed kills in her very short career. She rose to command the 1st Sniper Platoon (184th Rifle Division). She was awarded the Orders of Glory and Medal of Courage. She was killed while shielding a commanding officer during an artillery attack at the young age of 20.

9. Sergeant Fyodor Okhlopkov, Soviet Red Army

Entry-6.-Mikhail-Ivanovich-Budenkov-600x407 Okhlopkov is credited as being one of the most effective Soviet snipers during World War II. He is credited with 429 kills. His service earned him the Hero of the Soviet Union in 1965 as well as an Order of Lenin. Okhlopkov was initially passed over for these awards due to his ethnicity.

8. Billy Dixon, American Civilian

Screen Shot 2015-04-21 at 12.19.21 PMBilly Dixon is one of only eight American civilians to receive the Medal of Honor. Dixon helped found the Adobe Walls settlement in Texas during his time as a buffalo hunter. When the settlement was attacked by hundreds of Native Americans, Dixon ended the battle by using a borrowed .50-90 Sharps rifle to shoot and kill the chief of the attackers nearly a mile away. Dixon took three rounds to make the shot and later acknowledged it was a “scratch shot”. However, that didn’t stop the rest of the country from naming it “The Shot of the Century”.

Following his time as a hunter, Dixon became a civilian Army Scout. During this time, Dixon and four Army Cavalrymen were surrounded during the Battle of Buffalo Wallow. Dixon’s sustained, accurate rifle fire held the enemy off for three days until weather forced them to end their attack. For his actions during this battle he was awarded the Medal of Honor. Dixon’s total kill count during the battles is unknown.

7. Major Lyudmila Pavlichenko, Soviet Red Army

Screen Shot 2015-04-22 at 1.23.27 AMMajor Pavlichenko is regarded as the most successful female sniper in history with 309 confirmed kills. Pavlichenko was a 24 year old university student when Germany invaded Russia in World War II. She was one of the first sets of citizens to volunteer for service and specifically requested infantry service. She refused an offer to become a nurse. Due to her accuracy with a rifle she became one of the first 2,000 female snipers in the Soviet Union. She was one of only 500 to survive the war.

Careers in the Country Music Industry

Country music fans can turn their fandom into a career by seeking out jobs in Nashville’s Music City and beyond. Though the glitz and glamour of country music might be reserved for top country artists, jobs exist at every level of the industry, requiring a range of skill sets. Competition might be high to secure these much-desired positions, but a willingness to start from the bottom up and network within the blossoming country music field can turn country music dreams into a reality.

Musicians

  • Although country music singers receive the most fanfare, their success would not exist if it weren’t for a dedicated team of musicians to help them on tours and in the studio. Guitar players and backup singers are a necessity for country music artists, and these positions can be rewarding while maintaining a private life that the lead singers have to give up. Musicians travel with artists on tour, playing in large arenas, small clubs and even on television.

Producers

  • Individuals with an ear for good music but perhaps without the interest in being a country music star can find their place in the industry by working as a record producer. With six top record companies along Nashville’s Music Row, including Sony, MCA and RCA, producers have a number of job opportunities in the country music capital. Producers manage a country music artist’s recording session, ensuring a song’s success. These individuals might also help select songs for an album or even write them.

Grand Ole Opry Jobs

  • Nashville’s Grand Ole Opry is the hallmark of country music, where artists have performed for decades. Country music lovers can look for positions at the Grand Ole Opry, where they can work behind the scenes to help produce country music shows at this historic venue. The Opry’s jobs change over time, but individuals can find jobs in ticket sales, event marketing or show setup. Another option is to choose a position as a tour guide, where you walk visitors through this venue made famous by country music.

Event Promoter

  • Individuals who love to attend country music concerts can turn this passion into a career in the industry. Working as an event promoter for a venue, like a country nightclub or large arena, exposes the individual to the country music industry by allowing him to market and promote upcoming country concerts. Alternatively, some concerts might hire promoters to go from city to city to advertise their tour.

The Cheapest SUVs to Lease

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SUVs are one popular choice for people who prioritize pulling power, passenger seating and cargo capacity for their vehicles. Purchasing an SUV is not the only way to take advantage of these features–you can also lease them. If you’re on a tight budget, looking for a vehicle with an appealing monthly price is priority, but also consider its safety and efficiency ratings.

Row of SUV's at car dealership

(Justin Sullivan/Getty Images News/Getty Images)

2010 Kia SportageAccording to U.S. News & World Report Ranking & Reviews for SUVs, a Kia Sportage’s base retail price is $16,995 as of 2010. The down payment for leasing this compact SUV is 30 to 60 percent of the total window price, which is about $5,098 to $10,197. Other leasing options for the Sportage take away the down payment and instead divide the down payment’s equivalent sum throughout the incentive period. The monthly lease payments will vary depending on the incentive periods chosen. Options include a 24-month incentive, 36-month incentive and 48-month incentive. Expect to pay the lowest possible monthly payment with the 48-month lease program.

Models pose with Kia Sportage SUV

Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images News/Getty Images

Jeep PatriotAOL Autos and U.S. News Ranking & Reviews included the Jeep Patriot on their lists of high-rated SUVs for 2010. Its average retail is $21,105 according to Automobile Mag. A 24-month incentive leasing program with a 30 percent down payment costs about $645 per month, depending on the percentage of sales tax on the vehicle. A 48-month incentive agreement comes out to a monthly payment of about $305.

Another lease option is a trade-in. You may be able to trade in a vehicle for the Patriot, or use a manufacturer rebate, if offered, to apply toward the payments due at the beginning of the lease. Lease costs are lowered with a high trade-in value because the dealer subtracts that value from the MSRP. One can estimate a vehicle’s trade-in price with online trade-in calculators that base computations on wholesale costs.

Front detail of a Jeep Patriot at car dealer

Scott Olson/Getty Images News/Getty Images

2010 Hyundai TucsonAccording to U.S. News Rankings & Reviews, the 2010 Hyundai Tucson’s highway fuel economy makes it an attractive choice. The vehicle has a high performance rank and a 60,000-mile basic warranty. This compact SUV costs $19,995. Rebates and incentives on this model include 36-month and 48-month programs with a finance rate of nearly 3 percent for both plans. An estimated monthly charge of $317 should be expected for a 36-month incentive if it’s with a 30 percent down payment, while a 48-month incentive can cost around $90 less. When compared with other SUV lease offers, these are competitive packages.

Hyundai Tucson

David McNew/Getty Images News/Getty Images

2010 Ford EscapeIncentives over 24, 36 and 48 months are available for this SUV. The longer the lease period, the higher the finance rate becomes, which can range from 7 percent to 9 percent. A 48-month lease incentive with a 30 percent down payment results in an estimated monthly price of $567, given its retail price of $21,515. Its high fuel-economy rating based on U.S. News Rankings & Reviews makes it a popular choice for lessors and dealers alike.

Ford Escape

Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images News/Getty Images

Top Five Foods that Keep Well in the Fridge

For many people, shopping is a time consuming chore, so knowing which foods can be kept in the fridge for longer periods can save precious time and allow you to plan meals for the family in advance. Your fridge should be kept at a temperature of 5° C or below to prevent food from spoiling or causing a health hazard, so check the temperature from time to time.

Top Five Foods that Keep Well in the Fridge

Image Credit

Cooked meats

Processed foods such as unopened packages of luncheon meat and hot dogs can safely be stored in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. Once they are opened, the time limit decreases, and hot dogs should be used within a week and luncheon meat within three to five days. Other processed meats can be kept for similar times, but check the packaging for specific details. Left over cooked meat and poultry can be safely kept in the fridge for three to four days.

Ready meals

Chilled prepared meals are very convenient and are available in many varieties. According to the Chilled Food Association food quality and safety in the chilled food industry is second to none, but few preservatives are used in UK chilled ready meals so they must be kept at the correct temperatures. Typically prepared chilled foods will keep from one to ten days in the fridge.Commercial refrigeration units all have appropriate shelving for each compartment.

Eggs

Raw eggs in their shells will keep for an amazing three to five weeks in the fridge, whilst hard boiled eggs can be stored for up to a week. Raw egg whites and raw egg yolks are safe for two to four days and foods such as quiches and pies made with eggs can be kept in the fridge for three to four days.
Of course, if you find you have egg whites left over, these can be frozen and kept for up to twelve months to be used at a later date for meringues or soufflés.

Raw Meats

Raw meat cannot be kept as long as cooked meat in the fridge, and the Food Standards Agency stresses the importance of storing food in the correct position in the fridge. Raw meat and poultry should be stored at the bottom of the fridge and in sealed containers so that other foods do not become contaminated with harmful bacteria. Fresh lamb, pork and beef can be kept for up to five days, but you should only keep turkey and chicken for two days.

Drinks

Milk can be kept for several days in the fridge, and bottled water is more refreshing when drunk straight from the fridge. Fruit juices are also best stored in the fridge, for taste as well as safety. Companies such as Fridge Freezer Direct can supply the ideal fridge or freezer for your family’s needs, and you may fond that bottle coolers can be invaluable, especially in the summer months. Cold beer is a must for many people when entertaining friends at a barbecue or garden party.

Storing food in the fridge is largely a matter of common sense, and as long as you follow government guidelines on food safety, you can save time and money by batch cooking and planning your meals in advance.

Step by step guide on how to find out your family history

Your family is one of the best part of your life, you may cherished them every day, love and protect them. However, did you know about your family secret? Today, I will provide you a step by step guide on how to find your descendant and your family secret through genealogy. You can use Focused Family Research to find out about history of your family.

Getting Fit: Sports for Children

 

As a parent, you may find yourself frustrated that your children are not getting the exercise they need. You may have been doing your best to make this happen, by restricting their sedentary activities, including television time and their online game playing. You can’t always be there to direct them, but by registering them for wholesome activities when they’re young, they’ll pursue those things that are good for them throughout their lives.

 

Fitness for Most Any Age

 

Children can participate in fitness activities from the age of two. Before that age basically cannot comprehend what they need to do. Starting them young gets them used to fitness and will help them keep at it as they grow.

 

The youngest children in this group can start with some simple exercises. Tumbling, catching and throwing are fun activities and are something the youngest among us love to do. And since they’re already running you can transfer that energy to the water by teaching them how to swim. Up until first grade, keep this activity unstructured — they’ll be plenty of time for your child to engage in more advanced sports explains Fitness 19.

 

As Your Children Grow

 

You can introduce your children to structured sports as soon as they enter the first grade. Here, there are teams that work with young children to develop their skills in a number of sports, including soccer, gymnastics and swimming.

 

Very popular at this age is t-ball, what helps children grasp hand and eye coordination. Martial arts and tennis are two sports offering similar results and can be pursued as well. Once your child masters t-ball, a logical transition to softball or baseball follows.

 

By the time your child is 10 years old, he or she may be very established in a particular sport. This is where you may need to decide whether to allow your child to move up to the next level. Recreation level is fine, but challenge and classic levels can do a better job of helping your child excel. Consider the time factor too — typically, a higher level of play means more commitment, with double the practice time and more games. It will also cost you more and may require you to travel with your child out of state for some games.

 

The Teen Years

 

Once a child hits 12 or 13, you may notice a change in interest when it comes to organized sports. As children grow, they become aware of their own talents and skills, and will assess their lives accordingly. Some may want to reach higher, while others may prefer to stop their program.

 

As a parent, you’re also aware of what your child can and cannot handle. You may want to push your son or daughter, but you may be concerned that you’re not giving them enough room to decide for themselves.

 

Teenagers, especially high school-aged students, have many other activities to balance. Friends are more important than ever before and they’ll also begin to show more concern for their academic progress. Organized sports may no longer have room in their lives, but that doesn’t mean that exercise must stop — encourage your teens to ride bicycles, attend sports camp, and engage in pickup sports games.

 

Fitness for Yourself

 

Caring for your children is important as is caring for yourself. Show an example by participating in sports yourself — there are leagues for men, women, coeds, and for people who are 50 and over.

 

By participating, you’ll show your children that you’re serious about your own health as well as their own health. People who exercise live better lives — they are happier, better toned, and have fewer physical ailments.

 

Top Dwayne Johnson Meme

How I Feel Whenever I Talk About Anime

Dwayne And His Master

The 20 best Chuck Norris facts

 Chuck Norris turned 75 today (March 10)

1) Chuck Norris was bitten by a cobra and after five days of excruciating pain… the cobra died.

2) He who laughs last, laughs best. He who laughs at Chuck Norris, it’s definitely his last laugh. (In his book, The Official Chuck Norris Fact Book, Norris added under this fact: “Now that’s funny. I love to laugh, as do most people.” Most people are still unsure if he was joking.)

3) The easiest way to determine Chuck Norris’s age is to cut him in half and count the rings. (Norris commented: “Three years ago, at the end of a Nightline interview, ABC host Bill Weir asked me my age and I told him 66. Then I added with a smile, ‘I like to say I’m 39, with 27 years of experience.'”)

4) Chuck Norris is currently suing NBC, claiming Law and Order are trademarked names for his left and right legs.

5) Chuck Norris doesn’t dial the wrong number. You answered the wrong phone.

6) Chuck Norris knows Victoria’s secret.

7) If Chuck Norris was a Spartan in the movie 300, the movie would be called 1.

8) When Chuck Norris turned 18, his parents moved out.

9) When Chuck Norris swims in the ocean, the sharks are in a steel cage.

10) Chuck Norris will never have a heart attack. His heart isn’t nearly foolish enough to attack him.

11) Chuck Norris once kicked a horse in the chin. Its descendants today are known as giraffes.

12) Chuck Norris doesn’t breathe air. He holds air hostage.

13) Chuck Norris can delete the Recycling Bin.

14) Chuck Norris has already been to Mars. That’s why there are no signs of life.

15) Chuck Norris can kill two stones with one bird.

16) Chuck Norris’s calendar goes straight from March 31st to April 2. No one fools Chuck Norris.

17) Chuck Norris wears sunglasses so that his eyes won’t hurt the sun.

18) If you see Chuck Norris crying he will grant you a wish, if your wish is dying.

19) When Chuck Norris works out he doesn’t get stronger, the machine does.

20) Chuck Norris does not sleep; he waits.

The 18 Best Mick Fanning Shark Memes All in One Place

Was it a shark encounter or a shark attack? Was it the bright colored board that attracted the curiosity of the Great White? Was there one or were there two sharks?

Amidst this murky land of what ifs, one thing is for sure. Mr. White Lightning is safe and out of trouble. Regardless of who comes out on top at the end of this year, it will clearly be Fanning’s time to celebrate.

The surf community has come alive online, expressing comic relief, gratefulness and blessings for the life and safety of our hero. Here are some of the best from the last 24 hours.

1. Bull vs Fanning coming up next 

 Mick Fanning, Memes, Surfing, JBayOpen, WSL, Shark, Great White, South Africa

2. Borrowing ain’t a crime

 Mick Fanning, Memes, Surfing, JBayOpen, WSL, Shark, Great White, South Africa

3. The “Shark Whisperer” does his thing

 Mick Fanning, Memes, Surfing, JBayOpen, WSL, Shark, Great White, South Africa

4. Confusion.

 Mick Fanning, Memes, Surfing, JBayOpen, WSL, Shark, Great White, South Africa

5. Fin-ish’ed.

 Mick Fanning, Memes, Surfing, JBayOpen, WSL, Shark, Great White, South Africa

6.  South African waters.

Mick Fanning, Memes, Surfing, JBayOpen, WSL, Shark, Great White, South Africa

7. Shark Rider

 Mick Fanning, Memes, Surfing, JBayOpen, WSL, Shark, Great White, South Africa

8. World Shark Boxing Champ

 Mick Fanning, Memes, Surfing, JBayOpen, WSL, Shark, Great White, South Africa

9. How to punch a shark

 Mick Fanning, Memes, Surfing, JBayOpen, WSL, Shark, Great White, South Africa

10. Autograph please?

 Mick Fanning, Memes, Surfing, JBayOpen, WSL, Shark, Great White, South Africa 

11. Chuck Norris who? 

 Mick Fanning, Memes, Surfing, JBayOpen, WSL, Shark, Great White, South Africa

12. Ultimate hero 

 Mick Fanning, Memes, Surfing, JBayOpen, WSL, Shark, Great White, South Africa

13. Kapow!

 Mick Fanning, Memes, Surfing, JBayOpen, WSL, Shark, Great White, South Africa

14. Super hero Mick

 Mick Fanning, Memes, Surfing, JBayOpen, WSL, Shark, Great White, South Africa

15. Release date, coming soon.

Mick Fanning, Memes, Surfing, JBayOpen, WSL, Shark, Great White, South Africa 

16. Why not start a #Kickstarter campaign to build a 50 feet golden statue of the man?  

 Mick Fanning, Memes, Surfing, JBayOpen, WSL, Shark, Great White, South Africa

17. Because he is the most Interesting Man in the world

 Mick Fanning, Memes, Surfing, JBayOpen, WSL, Shark, Great White, South Africa

18. Otherwise known as “White Lightning”

Mick Fanning, Memes, Surfing, JBayOpen, WSL, Shark, Great White, South Africa

No, Superman, drinking isn’t a super power

A businessman walks into a fancy bar on top of a skyscraper at the end of a long week. He sits down next to a buff looking guy who looks like he had a little more booze than he can handle but doesn’t think to much of it. It’s happy hour on a Friday, after all. The tipsy but intimidatingly built guy looks at the bartender and then at the new patron and says “Hey, let me fill you in on a secret about the architecture of this building. I know it sounds crazy, but it’s designed in such a way that if I was to jump out the window, I wouldn’t evel fall. The wind current the building creates would glide me naturally and safely to the ground. Pretty crazy, right?” The successful businessman didn’t climb the corporate ladder by being a fool. Although he knew the man to be drunk (and likely insane), the man decided he could use a laugh and  said with a chuckle, “Prove it”. So the inebriated fool walks over to the window and jumps out without hesitation. The businessman is flabbergasted. Did he just indirectly assist a suicide of some drunk? His mind raced for several minutes before he looked up to see the crazy man that had jumped walk back into the bar and coolly say,  “Told ya”. Incredulous, the businessman looks at the bartender who is shaking his head and laughing, and sternly insists that the man perform the unbelievable stunt once again. When the drunk man returns once again, the businessman is sure he is telling the truth. There really must be a wind current causing this phenomenon. So, the astonished man walks out to the window and jumps out, falls 100 stories, and dies immediately upon hitting the ground. The bartender turns to the drunk and buff man and says, “Ya know, you are a real asshole when you drink, Superman.”

Daredevil’s Revenge

Matt murdock, AKA Daredevil, walks into a restaurant and sits down. It turns out that he recognizes the owner when he approaches Mr. Murdock and hands him a menu. It’s James Logan who used to be Wolverine. Daredevil is fairly certain that the ex X-Men team member won’t recognize him without his mask and decides this is the perfect time for a prank. “I’m sorry, sir, but I am blind and I can’t read the menu. Just bring me a dirty fork from a previous customer and I’ll order from that.” he tells Wolverine after he’s sure the old hero doesn’t realize who he’s serving. Wolverine is definitely a little confused but walks over to the dirty dish pile and picks up a greasy fork to make his customer happy. He returns to Daredevil’s table and hands it to him. Daredevil puts the fork to his nose and takes a deep breath. “Ah, yes, that’s what I’ll have, meat loaf and mashed potatoes.” “Unbelievable,” Wolverine says to himself as he walks towards the kitchen. “It’s almost like a super power.” Perplexed, Wolverine goes back into the kitchen to talk about the odd customer with the chef. The cook actually happens to be Jean Grey who married Wolverine after they retired from crime fighting. Jean is just as bewildered as her husband, and the two agree that if the customer returns the ex-superheroes will have to test this mysterious man. Having fun with his own joke, Daredevil returns the following week. Wolverine sees him coming and runs into the kitchen. He tells his wife, “Jean, rub this fork on your panties before I take it to the blind man.” Jean complies and hands her husband the fork back. As Daredevil walks in and sits down, Wolverine is waiting eagerly. “Good afternoon, Mr. Murdock. This time I remembered you and I already have the fork ready for you.” The blind man puts the fork to his nose, takes a deep whiff and says, “I didn’t know Jean worked here.”

Peter Parker Cry

These Jim Carrey Celeb Impressions From 1992 Will Make You Smile

Mick Jagger

Mick Jagger

E.T.

E.T.

Elvis Presley

Elvis Presley

Steve Martin

Steve Martin

James Dean

James Dean

Robin Williams

Robin Williams

Jack Nicholson

Jack Nicholson

Yoda

Yoda

Popeye

Popeye

Clint Eastwood

Clint Eastwood

Regular People Behind Some Of The Most Memes – Part: 2

8. Ridiculously Photogenic Guy

He’s 25-year-old Zeddie Little, who happened to be running a 10K marathon in Charleston, South Carolina when a photographer snapped a picture of him. From there it took off… he even did an interview with GMA.

Wub35qU-Optimized9. SUDDEN CLARITY CLARENCE

The original photo was submitted to the Australia Associated Press who was covering the Schoolies festival in Australia. On November 23rd, 2011, Redditor NorthernSkeptic submitted a post titled “Introducing Sudden Clarity Clarence” that included an image macro with the caption “Oh my God / dubstep sucks.” The rest is history.

10. College Freshman

His name is Griffin Kiritsy and here’s a little background on how the meme all got started, via his personal blog:

“The story behind the picture is the worst part though. I did this interview over the phone and I thought that was the end of it, but a few weeks later the guy who set me up with the interview called and said a photographer was coming to take my picture. “No big deal” I told this guy, “I can pose for a few snapshots.” Little did I know that the f*cking Picasso of photos was coming to frame me for this shot, and I ended up on Thompson Hall lawn in the middle of the day in the middle of the week. For those of you who aren’t UNH-ers, it’s like walking in the middle of Main Street during rush hour. And I was there while he took 137,000 photos. Talk about committing social suicide as a first semester freshman. F*ck me.

11. Successful Black Man

The meme first started on 4chan pulled from a Shutterstock image and continued to spread from there. Apparently he graduated with a degree in electrical engineering and now lives in Texas working for General Electric…. according to one Reddit user.

12. ERMAHGERD

The ‘Goosebumps’ girl’s real name is Maggie, and she loves to travel. That’s really all we know about her.

13. Skeptical Baby

skeptical-babyThe photo you see below was taken at the Museum of Natural Sciences in Raleigh, North Carolina, by Jarod Knoten. The original photo below shows the father Dave with his son Mason. The photo was then submitted to Reddit where it spread like wildfire.

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Top 10 Internet Meme Classics

What Is a Meme?

An internet phenomenon or a meme is an image, video, phrase or simply an idea that spreads from one person to another seemingly for no logical reason at all. When people see a meme, no matter how silly it usually is, they find it amusing for one reason or other and forward it to their friends; soon millions of people know about it thanks to how fast the information can spread online and the viral effect. You can see the list of the best internet memes of all time below!

#1. Lolcats

An explosively popular phenomenon, lolcats are a photos of cats with a funny caption in lolspeak (also known as kitty pidgin). These captions might look completely random, but they actually have some popular sentence structures and may even contain other memes. It’s believed this phenomenon originated from 4chan imageboards. You can often find lolcat pictures on forums which don’t frown upon posting lolcat images as responses to the topic.

Crash Course in LOLspeak

  • Often start your sentences with ‘oh hai’ and end them with ‘kthxbye’.
  • Lolcats go OM NOM NOM NOM when they eat foodz.
  • White cats are usually Ceiling Cats. They are the Gods of the lolcat world. Correspondingly, black cats are Basement Cats and they are the loldevils.
  • Have fun messing with the spelling, as long as the word is still pronounced similarly (action becomes akshun, etc).
  • Use some popular lolcat sentence structures, such as:
    • In your noun, verbing your noun (In ur fridge, eating ur foodz) – which is really a spinoff from another meme, “in your base, killing your dudes”.
    • Adjective noun is adjective (Long cat is long).
    • OH HAI. I verbed ur noun (OH HAI. I eated ur cakez).
  • Use left dislocation: Skillz. I has dem.
  • Use singular verbs: I has a bunny.
  • Use white Arial Black font with a black outline for lolcat captions.

LOLcat Links

  • A LOLcat Colleckshun – a book with the best lolcat pictures ever. Great gift!
  • ICanHasCheezburger.com – the home of lolcats with a gallery and a lolcat maker.
  • LOLCode.org – a programming language based on lolcat grammar.

#2. Rickrolling

Rickrolling is one of the most widespread internet memes. It involves tricking people into clicking a link to a music video for the 1987 Rick Astley song “Never Gonna Give You Up”. The URL is often masked using services like TinyURL.com and said to be relevant to the topic at hand. If a person falls for the trick, then he is officially rickrolled!

Real-Life Rickrolling

Rickrolling has become so popular that it has spread even outside the internet. On April 4, 2008, many blogs asked their readers to vote “Never Gonna Give You Up” for the 8th inning sing-along at Shea Stadium for the New York Mets season. The Mets posted a web poll to select a song, and left a blank field for write-ins. To the great surprise of the organizers, Rick Astley’s song was the winner with more than five million votes. It was played during the home opener and greeted with a shower of boos from a crowd of 55,000 people.

Similarly in November 2008, Rick Astley was nominated for Best Act Ever at the MTV Europe Music Awards after the online nomination form was flooded with votes. However, during the actual show the Best Act category was treated like a joke, with Perez Hilton announcing that “MTV had been rickroll’d” instead of actually awarding Astley.

Rickroll Video on Youtube

If you’ve never been rickrolled in your life, now is the time. Click the video below and enjoy (over 40 million happy viewers!):

#3. This Is Sparta!

THIS. IS. SPARTA!!! is a meme inspired by the brutal and overly dramatic movie 300, in which the Spartan king Leonidas shouts the line before killing a Persian messenger. The whole dialogue goes like this:

Messenger: Choose your next words carefully, Leonidas. They may be your last as king.

King Leonidas: [to himself] “Earth and water”?

[Leonidas unsheathes and points his sword at the Messenger’s throat]

Messenger: Madman! You’re a madman!

King Leonidas: Earth and water? You’ll find plenty of both down there.

Messenger: No man, Persian or Greek, no man threatens a messenger!

King Leonidas: You bring the crowns and heads of conquered kings to my city steps. You insult my queen. You threaten my people with slavery and death! Oh, I’ve chosen my words carefully, Persian. Perhaps you should have done the same!

Messenger: This is blasphemy! This is madness!

King Leonidas: Madness…? [shouting] This is Sparta!

[Kicks the messenger down the well]

The meme has been modified many times; you must have seen people posting things like THIS. IS. INTERNETS! and such. Basically anything can be (and has been) used to replace the last part of the line. This web fad has also inspired a number of silly images and videos.

You can see one of the most famous creations below: a “This is Sparta” techno remix, which has gotten over 20 million views on YouTube (edit: the original video has been removed due to terms of use violation; you can still see one of the many other versions below):

#4. All Your Base Are Belong To Us

All Your Base Are Belong To Us (also known as “All Your Base”, “AYBABTU”, or just “AYB”) is an Engrish (broken English) phrase originating from the opening cut scene of the European Sega Mega Drive version of Zero Wing, a rather poorly translated Japanese video game by Toaplan.

AYBABTU became so popular not because of the game itself (indeed, most people spreading the meme never actually played Zero Wing), but because of various message boards (starting with SomethingAwful.com) and fan-made flash clips. The meme survived to this day thanks to occasional appearances in media, video games, T-shirts and webcomics. Some of these references are listed below.

All Your Base references

  • On April 1, 2003 seven people placed signs all over Sturgis, Michigan that read, “All your base are belong to us. You have no chance to survive make your time.” While it was only an April Fool’s joke, the police chief Eugene Alli said the signs could be “a borderline terrorist threat depending on what someone interprets it to mean.”
  • In February 2004, North Carolina State University students made the phrase appear in a news ticker on a live broadcast if News 14 Carolina channel.
  • On June 1, 2006, YouTube was taken down temporarily for maintenance. The phrase “ALL YOUR VIDEO ARE BELONG TO US” appeared as a placeholder while the site was down. Some users really believed the site had been hacked, so YouTube later added a message: “No, we haven’t been hacked. Get a sense of humor.”
  • During the MSNBC show “Countdown” on September 22, 2008, Nobel Prize laureate Paul Krugman said that the proposal presented to the US Congress concerning the federal bailout of failed financial institutions was the equivalent of US Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson saying, “All your decisions are belong to me.”

Transcript of the original Zero Wing opening

In A.D. 2101

War was beginning.

Captain: What happen ?

Mechanic: Somebody set up us the bomb.

Operator: We get signal.

Captain: What !

Operator: Main screen turn on.

Captain: It’s you !!

CATS: How are you gentlemen !!

CATS: All your base are belong to us.

CATS: You are on the way to destruction.

Captain: What you say !!

CATS: You have no chance to survive make your time.

CATS: Ha ha ha ha ….

Operator: Captain !! *

Captain: Take off every ‘ZIG’!!

Captain: You know what you doing.

Captain: Move ‘ZIG’.

Captain: For great justice.

Several other phrases from the dialogue above (such as “for great justice” or “main screen turn on”) have also been widely used in various instances of geek humor.

All Your Base video

You can watch a techno remix of All Your Base Are Belong To Us which contains the original cut scene from the Zero Wing game as well as a lot of instances where this meme had been used, both online and in real life:

#5. Oolong the Pancake Rabbit

Oolong the Pancake Rabbit

Oolong the Pancake Rabbit

Source: http://www.fsinet.or.jp/~sokaisha/rabbit/rabbit.ht…

Oolong (named after a certain variety of tea) was a domestic rabbit owned by a Japanese photographer Hironori Akutagawa. The rabbit was famous for the ability to balance various objects on his head (the owner called this trick “head performance”). Oolong achieved the status of an internet meme with a single photo where he balances a pancake on his head (see above). The picture was made into an image macro – much like with lolcats – and frequently posted on various online forums. The caption said: “I have no idea what you’re talking about, so here’s a bunny with a pancake on its head.”

You can view the entire gallery of photos of a rabbit with various objects on his head on the owner’s website. While it is in Japanese, it has received thousands of visitors from around the world and created a surprising number of Oolong fans.

Sadly, Oolong passed away on January 7th, 2003. His owner now has a new rabbit named Yuebing, which is a female of gray Netherlands dwarf variety. Akutagawa has been training her in the arts of “head performances” as well.

#6. The “O RLY?” Owl

O RLY? (an abbreviation of “Oh, really?”) is yet another internet phenomenon in a form of image macro (although just the phrase without the picture is often used as well). It dates back to at least year 2003 when it was used on the Something Awful forums. The photo of the snowy owl in the original image was taken by nature photographer John White, who posted it to the newsgroup alt.binaries.pictures.animals back in 2001. The phrase is often used in online forums to respond to posts in a sarcastic or mocking way. It is one of the internet memes that you are most likely to see on internet chatrooms.

The meme later came to include two more phrases, used in response to the first one:

“O RLY?”

“YA RLY”

“NO WAI!!!”

O RLY Owl Meme References

  • In the Game Boy Advance game “Mega Man Battle Network 6”, if the player tries the Humor program at Cyber Academy, Lan responds to a certain joke with “O Rly?” and MegaMan.EXE replies with “Ya Rly!”. Also there is a “No Wai!” joke at the Expo Site.
  • In the Xbox 360 version of the football game Blitz: The League, one of the hidden gamer achievements is called “O RLY?”. It is earned by losing a Campaign Mode game by more than 24 points. Unsurprisingly, the image of this achievement is a snowy owl.
  • The promotional video announcing the American license of The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya anime features a short segment using pictures with the caption “O RLY?” in both English and Japanese. It starts with Yuki Nagato making a statement in Japanese, with an “O RLY?” image displayed, and with her replying, in Japanese, “Really.” At the end of the segment, another picture saying “NO WAI!” is displayed.
  • In the MMORPG Everquest 2, Orly and Yarly are two Hooluk (owl-like race) NPCs that stand above the portal on Whisperwind Isle in The Barren Sky.
  • The TV show “Totally Viral” featured the O Rly Owl in its opening titles.

#7. Leeroy Jenkins

Leeroy Jenkins is a character in the wildly popular machinima video “A Rough Go” which is taken during a World of Warcraft guild raid. In the video, the guild (called “PALS FOR LIFE”) is making detailed plans on how to beat the Rookery room in the Upper Blackrock Spire (instanced dungeon that takes a lot of players to beat) while one of them – Leeroy – is away from his computer. All the raid is wiped spectacularly when he returns to his PC and just charges into the room without any preparation while shouting “Leeroy Jenkins!” into the microphone.

The video and the character have become extremely popular (to the point of being mentioned in a TV show) and achieved the internet phenomenon status. Watch the original Leeroy Jenkins YouTube video below:

The real name of the player who created Leeroy is Ben Schultz. After Leeroy became a celebrity in the World of Warcraft, poor guy couldn’t even play the game properly on his character because people kept sending him in-game messages 24/7. The internet meme since then had spread from gaming to online and mainstream media.

Leeroy Jenkins References

  • Blizzard added a “Jenkins” title to WoW players who could kill 50 of the famous dragon whelps from the movie within 15 seconds, with the achievement “Leeeeeeeeeeeeeroy!” being attained for the same accomplishment.
  • In Bioware’s RPG/Shooter video game Mass Effect, there is a character named Jenkins who at the very beginning charges in to attack the enemies and promptly dies.
  • Leeroy Jenkins was mentioned as part of a clue on the November 16, 2005 episode of the TV show Jeopardy! as part of their college week tournament.
  • There is a Leeroy Jenkins card in the World of Warcraft Trading Card Game.
  • There are many Leeroy Jenkins parodies and fan videos. Before you go, check out this catchy fan-made Leeroy Jenkins techno remix:

#8. It’s Over Nine Thousand!

IT’S OVER NINE THOUSAND! is one of the most popular anime memes. It originates from the English dub of the Dragon Ball Z (DBZ) anime which is famous for it’s painfully long, over-the-top fights with a lot of “powerups” and screaming. People often use this meme when numbers or levels of some sort are involved.

It’s Over Nine Thousand Original Transcript

Nappa: “VEGETA! What does the scouter say about his power level?”

Vegeta: “IT’S OVER NINE THOUSAAAAAAAAAAAND!” *crushes scouter*

Nappa: WHAT, NINE THOUSAND!?

You can watch an excerpt from the original DBZ “over 9000” scene below:

The Dow Jones is… under 9000 :(

#9. Epic Fail

While fail is normally used as a verb, on the internet it has become a noun meaning a spectacular failure of some sort – basically the opposite of success, or win. It can also signify disapproval of something (such as “this movie fails”, an example given by UrbanDictionary). The word “epic” is often added for a bigger effect. When the fail is so big it boggles the mind, it becomes epic; in other words, it is a failure of epic proportions.

While you could say that Epic Fail is more like internet slang than a meme, it has spawned thousands of image macros and videos. Fail BLOG, a website dedicated to sharing fail photos and other images, is probably the most popular source. Visit it if you feel like laughing at someone else’s expense. There are lots of other smaller sites hosting fail pictures as well.

Youtube also has many fail video compilations which show people failing to do something and often getting hurt as a result – something most people secretly love to watch, if the popularity of these videos is any indication. You can watch one of these Epic Fail compilations below (over 20 million views!):

#10. Loituma Girl

Loituma Girl, also known as “Leekspin” is a combination of a 4-frame animation loop taken from a Japanese anime Bleach and a gibberish part (all the words are made up) of a traditional Finnish folk song “Ievan Polkka” (sometimes misspelled Levan Polka) sung by the Finnish quartet Loituma. The song is taken from the band’s debut album Things of Beauty (1995). The animation comes from the second episode of Bleach, and features Inoue Orihime twirling a spring onion in her hand. In the anime, jokes are often made about Orihime since she likes to cook weird and often inedible stuff.

This web fad quickly became popular and hundreds of websites and blogs started linking to the flash animation of Loituma Girl. The Finnish band Loituma were shocked to see the massive amount of traffic to their website and thousands of fan letters from around the world and even more confused when they saw the animation. Watch the Loituma Girl original animation on YouTube below:

Loituma Girl References

  • In early 2009 Weetabix Limited – a UK food company – used the song in an advert for their “ready brek” cereal.
  • In April 2007 Eneco – a Dutch power company – used the song of Loituma Girl in its TV commercial for “ecostroom” (green energy).
  • In May 2007, Wrigley’s used this song in an ad on German TV for their “Extra” gum.
  • The Dutch company Artiq Mobile launched a website where people could upload home-made Loituma girl spoof videos and compete for a prize of 500 euros.
  • Patrick Macias from BBC radio said the following: “This is basically a joke for someone who spends all of their time staring at a computer, made by people who spend all of their time staring at a computer. It’s possible to read deeper meanings into it, but it sort of defeats the purpose because in the end it’s just this hypnotic clip of animation.

13 Some Funny Spongebob Jokes And Memes

But what’s even funnier than some of the jokes from the show are the jokes and memes inspired by it. Check out these 13 hilarious ones that will make you LOL:

1. This accurate statement that Patrick has:

Source

All schools should be Hogwarts, tbh.

2. This funny tough Spongebob:

Source

Livin’ life on the EDGE.

3. This look at how we all feel about showering:

Source

Find the lie.

4. The fact that we are all Squidward:

Source

Wow.

5. This perfect adaptation of the “Imagination” meme:

Source

Great for responding with sass.

6. This spot-on depiction of what group projects are like:

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THE WORST.

7. This picture of our relationship with the Internet:

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Literally me.

8. THIS SAD, SAD MEME:

Source

9. This Hunger Games mashup:

Source

LOL Patrick’s surprised face is the best.

10. This story of our lives:

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The struggle is real, you guys.

11. This:

Source

Just give me all the desserts, thanks.

12. This sad reality:

Source

13. And this look at how school works:

Source

100% true.

Which meme is your favorite?

10 Deadliest Snipers in History Part: 2

6. Staff Sergeant Adelbert Waldron, United States Army

Waldron served in the Vietnam War and racked up 109 confirmed kills, the most of any marksman during the conflict. According to Sniper: Master of Terrain, Technology, And Timing, He Is A Hunter Of Human, Adrian Gilbert:

Waldron_Adelbert_SniperOne afternoon he was riding along the Mekong River on a Tango boat when an enemy sniper on shore pecked away at the boat. While everyone else on board strained to find the antagonist, who was firing from the shoreline over 900 meters away, Sergeant Waldron took up his sniper rifle and picked off the Vietcong out of the top of a coconut tree with one shot (this from a moving platform). Such was the capability of our best sniper.

5. Master Corporal Rob Furlong, Canadian Forces

Furlong, for a time, held the record for the longest confirmed sniper kill in military history at 2,657 yd. According to Wikipedia:

Screen Shot 2015-04-22 at 2.44.06 AMIn March 2002, Furlong participated in Operation Anaconda in Afghanistan’s Shah-i-Kot Valley. His sniper team included MCpl. Graham Ragsdale (Team Commander), MCpl. Tim McMeekin, MCpl. Arron Perry, and Cpl. Dennis Eason. A group of three Al-Qaeda fighters were moving into a mountainside position when Furlong took aim with his Long Range Sniper Weapon (LRSW), a .50-caliber McMillan Brothers Tac-50 rifle, loaded with Hornady A-MAX 750 gr very-low-drag bullets. He began firing at a fighter carrying an RPK machine gun. Furlong’s first shot missed and his second shot hit the knapsack on the target’s back. The third struck the target’s torso, killing him. The distance was measured as 2,430 m (2,657 yd). With a muzzle speed of 823 m/s (2,700 ft/s), each shot reached the target almost four seconds after Furlong fired. This became the longest sniper kill in history at the time, surpassing the previous record set by his teammate, Master-Corporal Arron Perry, by 120 m (130 yd).

4. Captain Vasily Zaytsev, Soviet Red Army

Screen Shot 2015-04-22 at 2.49.48 AMZaytsev took part in one of the most iconic sniper battles of all time – The Battle of Stalingrad. During that battle, Zaytsev racked up 225 of his 400+ confirmed kills. This includes the killing of 11 enemy snipers which earned him lasting acclaim. Many of Zaytsev’s kills are credited at distances of greater than 1,000 meters. He often used a standard Mosin-Nagant rifle during battle. For his service, Zaytsev was awarded the Hero of the Soviet Union award as well as the Four Orders of Lenin award.

3. Chief Petty Officer Chris Kyle, United States Navy SEAL

Screen Shot 2015-04-22 at 2.57.15 AMNo list of the deadliest snipers in history would be complete without Chris Kyle. Kyle is credited with being the deadliest sniper in United States history with 160 confirmed kills and numerous other unconfirmed kills. He received two Silver Star Medals, five Bronze Star Medals, one Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, two Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals. Kyle wrote a bestselling autobiography, American Sniper, which was later turned into one of the top grossing films of all time. Kyle, along with his friend Chad Littlefield were shot and killed by Eddie Ray Routh at a shooting range in 2013.

2. Gunnery Sergeant Carlos Norman Hathcock, United States Marines

Screen Shot 2015-04-22 at 3.10.59 AMCarlos Hathcock is regarded as one of the most prolific US snipers in history. While his kill count isn’t as high as Kyle’s and his shot distance may not be the longest ever recorded, Hathcock is considered the best sniper in US history, even by Kyle, who once said “I had more kills, but that doesn’t mean I’m better than (Hathcock) is. I was just put into a position where I had more opportunities. I definitely cheated. I used a ballistic computer that tells me everything to do. So, I was just a monkey on a gun.”

Hathcock once rigged an optic to an M2 machine gun and used it to record a confirmed kill at 2,500 yd, which is still the 5th longest confirmed sniper kill in history. Hathcock amassed 93 confirmed kills during the Vietnam War.

1. Second Lieutenant Simo Häyhä, Finnish Army

Screen Shot 2015-04-21 at 1.57.30 PM Simo Häyhä is the single most successful sniper in military history. Nicknamed the “White Death” for his totally white camouflage and eerie white mask he wore in combat, the Finnish marksman amassed at least 505 confirmed sniper kills during the Winter War between Finland and the Soviet Union. He recorded an additional 200 kills with a submachine gun. More amazingly, Häyhä recorded all of his sniper kills without using an optic. His Mosin–Nagant rifle was equipped only with iron sights. Häyhä died of old age in 2002, living to the age of 96.

How India got the world’s most powerful cruise missile

India sucks at making weapons. The history of arms development in India is littered with the debris of numerous failed projects. The Light Combat Aircraft project is 30 years late; the jet combat trainer has been shot down by the air force; the army is not thrilled with the Arjun tank; we can’t even make a decent rifle for our armed forces.

The missile is named after two rivers, the Brahmaputra of India and the Moskva of Russia. Source: Boris Egorov/RIR

In this backdrop, how did India buck the trend with the BrahMos – the world’s most powerful cruise missile?

Well, first up, it is very likely Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO) projects are sabotaged – by politicians and military brass who get kickbacks from defence imports, as well as foreign weapons manufacturers.

At the same time, India’s missile men are a class apart. Because missiles and rockets with a range of over 300 km are not – legally – sold in the international arms bazaar, India’s Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme (IGMDP) was given a free hand. The result was a series of short, medium and long range missiles that today form the core of India’s Strategic Forces Command.

Cruising along

The idea to develop an Indian cruise missile became crystallised after the 1991 Gulf War when the American Tomahawk cruise missiles crippled Iraq’s command and communication centres, leaving its armed forces exposed to air attacks. That a few hundred cruise missiles could isolate the 1.2 million strong Iraqi military in the space of a few hours was a wakeup call for India’s defence planners.

In their minds, the memory of the 1971 War – when the US Seventh Fleet had sailed up the Bay of Bengal to strike Indian military targets – was still a raw scar. Back then the Russian Pacific Fleet had arrived posthaste and placed a defensive wall around India. But in the early 1990s, India’s only ally was no longer able to repeat that effort. If the US came after India with Tomahawks, India would probably meet the same fate as Saddam Hussein’s Iraq.

BrahMos Corp CEO A. Sivathanu Pillai writes in his fascinating book ‘The Path Unexplored’ that it was after seeing the Tomahawk’s success that India decided to acquire a precision attack cruise missile. “This was to be our magical first strike weapon,” he writes.

Things kicked off in 1995 when legendary missile man – and later President – A.P.J. Abdul Kalam asked Pillai, then the programme director of IGMDP, to take charge as the CEO of an India-Russia joint venture (JV) that would develop a brand new cruise missile.

Many of Pillai’s colleagues, including senior bureaucrats, were of the opinion that a JV with Russia couldn’t be a success and therefore he should stay away from the project. Also, in the absence of quality requirements – let alone the promise of an order – from the armed forces, it was deemed an extremely risky venture.

There was also the prospect of internal sabotage. As Pillai reveals in his book, there were senior military personnel who wanted to scuttle the BrahMos project by declaring its performance unsatisfactory. Their plan was to continue India’s dependency on imports, which would result in more kickbacks for middlemen.

Missile of the future

The team associated with evolving a cruise missile started looking at various options in terms of propulsion, guidance and control, seeker and configurations. “As per the traditions set for IGMDP we wanted this missile too to be a futuristic missile, best in its class,” Pillai writes.

But how to make the missile futuristic? “The answer came during one of our brainstorming sessions, and it was to simply increase the speed,” he writes. It was basic rocket science – when the speed of attack increases, it automatically reduces the response time of the enemy.

According to Pillai, Russia was chosen because of the “deep rooted relationship” with the country in space research. “The Russian contribution in the development of Indian space research capabilities has been remarkable,” he writes. India’s first satellite Aryabhatta, the remote sensing satellites Bhaskara-1 and Bhaskara-2, and currently operational remote sensing satellites IRS-1A, IRS-1B and IRS-1C were launched by Russian launch vehicles.

The first Indian in space, Rakesh Sharma, spent seven days in earth orbit on a Russian Salyut space station. Russia also provided the cryogenic engine for the Geostationary Launch Vehicle – which will power India’s future manned space missions. India was preparing for its first manned space flight by 2016-17 but the Americans sabotaged the India-Russia cryogenic partnership.

Choosing a Russian partner

NPO Mashinostroyenia (NPOM), the legendary organisation which developed iconic cruise missiles such as Malakhit and Granit as well as ICBMs and spacecraft, was chosen to work with DRDO on the future cruise missile.

One of the pluses in favour of NPOM was the company had provided crucial assistance in the development of the Akash surface to air missile. As well as helping DRDO overcome the problem with Akash’s supersonic engine, NPOM offered solutions in a number of other areas in missile technology. “Mutual understanding among the technical experts of DRDO and NPOM led to confidence building and envisioning of the future,” writes Pillai.

As a key DRDO man, Pillai travelled frequently to Moscow to hold talks with NPOM executives. On one such occasion the discussion moved to the performance of the Tomahawk cruise missile in the two Gulf Wars. Pillai told the Russian team he wanted India to have such a missile – but also that it should be superior to the Tomahawk.

As if on cue, the NPOM team started talking to each other in their language, in hushed voices. After the huddle, one of the team members told Pillai they already possessed a fully developed liquid ramjet engine which could possibly power a missile at supersonic speed. He said NPOM could not develop the missile because development activity had frozen in 1991, following the end of the Soviet Union.

On his next visit to Moscow, in 1993, Pillai met the legendary H. Yefremov, the then director general of NPOM. Yefremov disclosed the Germans had wanted to acquire the supersonic engine technology from Russia but NPOM had rejected the idea. “However, India being a close friend of Russia, it would be possible for Russia to agree for technology transfer and produce these engines in India,” Yefremov said. “This would enable India to not only manufacture the engines but also configure a supersonic cruise missile.”

Moscow would have in all likelihood rejected the transfer of such sensitive technology but for Yefremov’s tireless efforts to get approval for the JV.

Pillai was then taken to NPOM’s inner sanctum in Moscow where all the crown jewels of its scientific efforts were kept. Barring the supersonic engine, all the other engines, missiles and spacecraft were covered to maintain secrecy.

High-level parleys

Things now moved quickly and an India-Russia joint feasibility team was set up. During deliberations the team discovered that NPOM’s new engine could be configured for supersonic flight if the two countries put together their technological assets.

The team discussed this possibility with Ronen Sen, Indian ambassador to Russia who suggested that instead of collaborative efforts, India and Russia should go for a JV. Sen wrote a letter to Kalam advising him to work out the JV format with independent status.

The proposal now went to Prime Minister P.V. Narasimha Rao, also the Defence Minister. Rao, the prime mover behind India’s economic liberalisation, approved the JV. (It’s interesting to imagine the project’s fate if Manmohan Singh or I.K. Gujral had been the Prime Minister. Or if Mulayam Singh or A.K. Antony had been Defence Minister. It required a leader with cojones to give clearance to such a major project at a time when India’s bank balance was nearly zero.)

In fact, cash was an issue that almost derailed the project. In the backdrop of the post-disintegration chaos that prevailed in Russia in the early 1990s, NPOM was in no position to front up any share capital. “NPOM therefore came up with the idea that they will provide knowledge and technology as their share, to be valued at 50 per cent of the total capital,” writes Pillai. “The remaining 50 per cent required for full development would come as hot currency from the Indian government.”

Military

The original estimate for the JV was $1500 million and India’s share was $750 million. This was not acceptable to the Indian side, which insisted that Russia also put up cash. After numerous visits to Russia by Pillai and his team, the amount was set at a more realistic $250 million. However, DRDO was of the opinion that a JV could be successful only if both sides contributed money in cash as investment. “It became a stalemate,” writes Pillai.

At this point, the new Indian ambassador Satinder K. Lambah suggested a radical solution: the debt repayments being made by India for the billions of rubles in Soviet era credit could form the share capital for the Russian side. This ‘out of the box’ idea brought big smiles on everyone’s face, but first the idea had to be sold to both governments.

After several meetings with India’s Finance Ministry and the Reserve Bank of India, things started looking up on the Indian side. The DRDO team and NPOM representatives then approached the Russian Finance Ministry, where they were greeted by a top bureaucrat, a woman, who laughed at their proposal.

She said: “It was the Soviet Union but now it is the Russian Federation. It was friendship then, hence the rupee-ruble trade adjustments were made. But now for partnership, the dollar is the currency. How is it possible for me to take the debt as an investment?” She asked the team to clear her room.

Having run into a bureaucratic wall, the BrahMos team decided to pull some strings at the political level and got the project greenlighted.

Shareholding blues

Initially, BrahMos was incorporated with DRDO and NPOM holding 49 per cent each and an Indian financial institution holding 2 per cent. But because involving a third party would compromise secrecy, the financial institution was eliminated. The shareholding was now 50.5 per cent for DRDO and 49.5 per cent for NPOM.

The Russian side was keen for the JV to be a private sector company. Had DRDO’s share been 51 per cent, it would have become a public sector company falling under India’s Defence Ministry. “The Russians feared procedural formalities and government controls from the Indian side would delay the operations of the JV,” Pillai writes.

In hindsight, it was one of the best decisions made by an Indian defence enterprise. Free of government interference, BrahMos is today one of the most dynamic armaments companies in India.

There was one last hurdle. Moscow wanted to be sure India had the scientific and industrial depth to absorb a project of such complexity and magnitude, and despatched a specialist committee to India. DRDO selected certain key establishments – in Delhi, Dehradun, Hyderabad and Bangalore – to showcase India’s missile milestones.

“The Russian specialists were awestruck and very happy on seeing our development capabilities, especially in missile technology, guidance and control, software packages, computing capabilities and electronics systems. Their confidence levels shot up to high levels,” Pillai writes.

However, because of political turmoil in Russia in 1996-97, final clearance didn’t come until August 1998. And only in March 1999 was an agreement signed between the two countries.

Although three valuable years were lost, the DRDO-NPOM team wasn’t sitting idle. Basic design and consultancy work took place using the staff assigned to the company by the parent organisations.

Rapport matters

It was because of complete rapport between those at the top echelons in government and the scientific communities of the two countries that BrahMos achieved liftoff. First up, the friendship between Kalam and Yefremov and their belief in their respective teams was a key factor.

Yefremov’s academic stature and his role as a renowned rocket designer helped remove roadblocks and suspicions in the Russian bureaucracy.

пустым не оставлять!!Why the BrahMos armed Sukhoi is bad news for India’s enemies

On the Indian side, Kalam never turned down any of Pillai’s proposals. Similarly, when Kalam forwarded a proposal to Prime Minister Rao, the file came back with his approval the same day. This is something unimaginable in India where politicking comes first and national security takes a back seat. In India, even low-level personal assistants can delay projects of vital national interest by sitting on files. Sometimes they expect a bribe to clear a file; on other occasions they are paid by a competitor or foreign agency to block it.

But Rao was the right Prime Minister at the right time. Pillai remembers that while going through the JV documents, the Prime Minister nodded and said: “It is a good idea and if it clicks it has a good future.”

3 The Most Powerful Destroyers and Aircraft Carriers

  1. Izumo-class destroyer Japan's new warship Izumo, which has a flight deck that is nearly 250 meters (820 feet) long, is unveiled in Yokohama, south of Tokyo

Officially labelled as a destroyer, it will have a flat top that will function as a flight deck for helicopters. The vessel has been criticised as a thinly veiled attempt to boost the country’s military capabilities. Currently Japan is limited by its constitution to self-defence only, but rising tensions with China has led to fears of an escalation of a dispute over island. Japanese officials have insisted the ship will be used to assist humanitarian missions and large scale evacuations following events like the 2011 tsunami. The vessel has not been officially named but it has been dubbed Izumo after the armoured cruiser of the Imperial Japanese Navy, which was sunk in an air attack in 1945.

Operated by: Japanese Navy

Number in fleet: 1 with two more planned

Length: 820ft

Displacement: 27,000 tons

Maximum speed: 30 knots

Crew: 970

Weapons: 14 helicopters and anti-submarine warfare

2. Yamato-class battleship

10 of the world's largest carriers and vessels

Although currently resting on the bottom of the ocean off the south of Kyushu, Japan, the Yamato is the biggest battleship ever built and dwarves Japan’s new Izumo destroyer. Commissioned just a week after the attack on Pearl Harbour in 1941, she was the flagship of the Japanese Combined Fleet. She only ever fired her massive main guns in one battle at enemy surface targets in the Battle of Leyte Gulf in 1944. She was eventually sunk in 1945 after being attacked by US aircraft.

Operated by: Japanese Combined Fleet

Number in fleet: 2

Length: 862ft

Displacement: 70,000 tons

Maximum speed: 27 knots

Crew: 2,332

Weapons: 9 x 46cm guns, 12 x 155mm guns and 12 x 127mm guns. Seven aircraft

3. Nimitz-Class nuclear-powered aircraft carrier

The nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS George Washington

Currently the biggest warship in operation in the world. Capable of operating for over 20 years without being refuelled, the aircraft carriers are expected to have a service life of over 50 years. The first in the class, the Nimitz became mired in controversy shortly after entering service when following a fatal aircraft crash on deck, a forensic investigation revealed some of the personnel involved tested positive for marijuana. This led to the mandatory drug testing of all service personnel. Commissioned in 1975, the Nimitz-class vessels are due to be replaced by the even bigger Gerald R. Ford-class aircraft carrier in around 2015.

Operated by: United States Navy

Number in fleet: 10

Length: 1092ft

Displacement: 100,000 tons

Maximum speed: 30 knots

Crew: 5,000

Weapons: 85-90 bomber/fighter aircraft, missile defence systems

‘Deadliest sniper in the world’ Meet the Royal Marine who has killed 173 Taliban fighters

The unnamed serviceman is reported to have killed 173 people fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan.

The news comes as the movie American Sniper, about US marksman Chris Kyle, has been nominated for an Oscar.

However, Kyle’s 160 kills – racked up during the Iraq war – pale in comparison with his British counterpart.

A source told The Sun: “He’s a legend, a unique breed.”

At one point, the corporal killed a man every ten minutes, and he once gunned down more than 90 Taliban fighters in just one day.

The military source also told the newspaper that young recruits were ‘in awe’ of the man.

He added: “He is one of a unique band of marksmen who have done extraordinary things.

“He’s not the sort of man to brag. He’s very professional and humble, but with a gun in his hands this bloke is deadlier than the plague.”

Most of the man’s targets were killed in late 2006 and 2007, during Operation Herrick V as he served with the Brigade Reconnaissance Force in Helmand province.

During the operation, troops were told they could use deadly force on any enemy.

The rules of engagement were later changed so servicemen were only allowed to engage if their lives were in direct danger.

American Sniper movie poster

American Sniper is being tipped for an Oscar

The marine is reported to have completed tours of duty in Northern Ireland and Iraq along with his service in Afghanistan.

The source added that most snipers with his experience would only have killed between 20 and 30 people.

He said: “Since American Sniper came out he knew there was going to be attention. There’s lots of talk about his actions.”

American Sniper – starring Bradley Cooper and directed by Clint Eastwood – is the story of Chris Kyle, who died two years ago after being shot at a Texas rifle range by former US Marine Eddie Routh, who goes on trial for murder next week.

The movie has now made $248.9 million (£165.2million) in just six weeks at the box office, making it the most lucrative war movie without adjusting for inflation.

The record was previously held by Steven Spielberg’s Second World War epic Saving Private Ryan.

Last year, British combat troops finally left Afghanistan after their 13-year deployment in the country.

After the Second World War, Canada thought it would be a good idea to install cardboard sewer pipes

Thousands of kilometres of pipe. Hundreds of thousands of homes. The pipe once trumpeted as a home-building miracle has done millions upon millions of dollars in damage, and remains a ticking time bomb for unsuspecting residents across Canada.

Handout / Roto-Rooter

In Waterloo, Ont. alone, city surveys found that 100,000 homes had the pipes, which are made of a kind of papier mache strengthened with tar. Guelph, Ont., plumber Paul Neville said he has “too much experience” with the uniquely fragile design. In 2011, Edmonton estimated that it will cost a total of $1.8 billion to replace the city’s vast stock of the material.

The technical term is “coal tar-impregnated wood fibre,” although many builders knew it as “Orangeburg pipe,” due its primary maker, the Orangeburg Manufacturing Co. But in Canada it was also referred by the soon-to-be-ironic title of “No-Corrode.”

In the 1940s to 1950s it was a godsend to a continent short of metal after the war — and desperate to put up as many homes as possible to house the baby boom.

“The rationale at the time was just to get these houses built as cheaply as possible,” said Paul Neville, the service manager for Guelph’s Cornerstone Plumbing Solutions.

Naturally, North America’s love affair with the pipe made millions for the companies who had figured out how to turn wood pulp into plumbing infrastructure. At the height of the boom, in 1956, the Orangeburg Manufacturing Co. had sales equivalent to $140 million today.

Ads for the company from the time boasted that they had put “300 million feet” into service — enough to twice encircle the globe.

But then, starting in the 1990s, the Orangeburgs started to fail. After decades underground, the wood fibre pipes started to flatten into ovals. Standing water turned the outer walls soggy, allowing sewage-hungry plant roots to punch through.

Then, drain-clearing bits sent down to clear the roots only ended up tearing apart the pipe itself.

“It literally starts to rip like cardboard,” said Leger.

As pipes fell apart and thousands of toilets began simultaneously flushing to basement sinks, municipalities across Canada gradually realized they had a multi-million dollar crisis on their hands.

CATT Research Report

CATT Research ReportAn example of good (top) and degraded (bottom) pipes.

Cornwall, Ont., passed a bylaw effectively banning the pipe from city limits: If somebody spots it underground, it needs to be removed immediately.

In 2005, Halifax Council drafted a city-wide “No-Corrode” replacement strategy, knowing full well that each passing day risked another round of flooding brought about by a pancaked pipe.

Waterloo, in 1994, took on the Herculean task of replacing the city’s 100,000 wood-fibre sewer pipes — an endeavor that was estimated at the time to cost $650 million.

Mark Knight, a professor of engineering at the University of Waterloo, was tasked to study the mysterious pipe on which the city had declared war. His conclusion, after testing on dozens of No-Corrode samples, was that Waterloo’s post-war plumbing systems were undone by dishwashers.

“They were doing quite well until we started putting really hot water down there,” he said.

It’s why Knight, more than most, is careful not to blame the builders of the past for burdening future generations with sewer pipes that wouldn’t even reach the end of the century.

Schladweiler the sewer historian is similarly forgiving to the postwar apostles of Orangeburg pipe.

Plenty of building materials don’t make it past their 50th birthday, but only Orangeburg has the unloved distinction of filling basements with sewage when it reaches the end.

Thirty years ago, Alberta was cursed by thousands of pine shake roofs that rotted in only five years — versus the promised 25. Houses across the western world were torched by electrical fires after being outfitted with aluminum wires in the 1960s. And of course, uncountable Canadians never reached old age because of lead pipe or lead paint.

“Generally, everything that man makes, sooner or later, is going to wear out — it’s just a question of when,” said Schladweiler.

Plumbers contacted for this story expressed a unanimous conviction that modern plumbing technology has outgrown the mistakes of the Orangeburg past. Plastic pipes are “bombproof,” and few building codes will allow a building material so clearly ill-equipped to outlive the workers who installed it.

But Schladweiler’s not so sure.

“Forty years from now, somebody is going to look back and say ‘why the hell did they do that?’”

The 10 Greatest Tank Battles In Military History Part:1

5. Battle of Hannut, 12 – 14 May 1940

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The Battle of Hannut took place in Belgium, fought between the French army and Nazi German invaders. At the time, it was the largest tank conflict of the Second World War. Involving up to 674 German tanks (although some sources put the figure at 618) and 600 French and Dutch armored fighting vehicles, the battle was part of the German thrust through the Ardennes region. While it could be said that the Germans successfully tied down the Allied forces at Hannut, there was no conclusive outcome. The French army, although severely weakened, were able to fight on for some time longer.
4. Operation Goodwood, 18 – 20 July 1944

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Operation Goodwood, a British attack on German forces near the northern French city of Caen, has been called, by at least one historian, “the largest tank battle the British Army has ever fought.” Over 1,100 British tanks took part, with some authorities giving a figure as high as 1,300. Battling against 377 German tanks, the British had as their objective gaining control of Caen, from which they could then liberate the rest of the occupied country. Not all went as planned for the British, however, with the Germans preventing a complete breakthrough. The British advanced a further seven miles to the east of the city. The force of the attack, although by no means conclusive, confirmed the Germans’ fears that the British and Canadian forces on the eastern side of the Allied battle zone were their most dangerous enemies.
3. Battle of 73 Easting, 26 – 27 February 1991

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A decisive victory for the American and British forces in their Desert Storm operation in Iraq, the Battle of 73 Easting refers to the conflict that took place on the north-south line of coordinates on the military map. In a truly devastating show of strength from the Coalition, the Iraqi forces were overwhelmed and overcome. The main part of the battle involved the US 2nd Armored Cavalry Regiment, which attacked and completely destroyed the Iraqi 18th Mechanized Brigade and 37th Armored Brigade. During the battle — one of the most studied in modern history — the Iraqis lost over 160 tanks to the American and British forces.
2. Battle of Chawinda, 17 – 22 September 1965

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The battle of Chawinda, which was part of the Indo-Pakistani war of 1965, has been called one of the largest tank battles since World War Two’s Battle of Kursk. The forces were fairly evenly matched, with the Indian Army commanding 225 tanks and the Pakistani Army controlling 282 tanks (including reinforcements). The Indian aim of the attack was to seize control of the Sialkot-Pasrur railway, thereby cutting off Pakistan’s route to important supplies. Things did not, however, go the Indians’ way, with the Pakistanis receiving reinforcements from Kashmir that vastly improved their situation. At the UN-enforced end of hostilities, India held around 200 square miles of Pakistani territory.
1. Battle of Prokhorovka (part of Battle of Kursk) 12 July 1943

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Known as the largest tank battle in military history, the Battle of Prokhorovka saw 800-850 tanks of the Soviet army line up against the significantly smaller force of the Germans. Russian sources put the German number of tanks between 500 and 700. Although figures from German sources are not available, the real number is likely to have been far less, with 294 German tanks having been listed as available the day before the battle. After fierce and intense fighting, resulting in many dead and wounded, the outcome of the battle was not immediately clear. The Russians claimed a propaganda victory, particularly due to the fact that Hitler had been forced to call off the attack on the Kursk salient. Clearly, the Soviets were far from finished as a force in the war and the tide was beginning to turn away from the Germans.

The 10 Greatest Tank Battles In Military History Part:2

The tank is one of the most devastating and adaptable weapons available to an army’s command. Since their initial conception in the early 1900s and first use by the French and British during World War One, the tank has been a constant and powerful symbol of modern warfare. Throughout the 20th century, it has been one of the most potent tools available for an army to call upon and it has seen intense and devastating action. From the late World War Two mayhem of the Battle of the Bulge — which saw over 3,000 tanks take part in fighting — to the 1981 Battle of Dezful between Iran and Iraq, the tank has played a major part in offensives around the world. Join us as we take a look at the 10 most epic tank battles in military history.
10. Battle of Cambrai, 20 November – 8 December 1917

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World War One’s Battle of Cambrai, fought between the British and the Germans, took place towards the end of 1917 and is often mistakenly called the first tank battle in history. In fact, the distinction of having taken part in the first ever tank battle goes to the French army, who deployed tanks earlier in 1917, as did the British at the Third Battle of Ypres. Cambrai did, however, see a larger number of tanks deployed than ever before. The British plan of attack was to use their tanks to strike at the heart of the German Hindenburg Line. This formidable defense was previously viewed as impenetrable, until a commander named Henry Hugh Tudor suggested using tanks to support the troops attempting to break through the line. Around 476 tanks were used and both sides lost around 45,000 men. The final result of the battle was an operational stalemate.
9. Second Battle of El Alamein, 23 October – 11 November 1942

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With over 1,000 Allied tanks lining up against their 547 Axis counterparts, World War Two’s Second Battle of El Alamein saw the Germans effectively lose their battle for possession of Egypt and the much-prized Suez Canal. After the First Battle of El Alamein had halted the Axis advance into Egypt, the second battle effectively turned the course of the North African Campaign in the Allied forces’ favor. Tanks played a huge part in the battle, with the Allied forces receiving Sherman Tanks courtesy of the Americans. This bolstered their forces and made it possible for them to continue with the conflict longer than the Germans, whose own forces were more concentrated on the Eastern Front.
8. Battle of Raseiniai, 23 – 27 June 1941

8.-Battle-of-Raseiniai-600x424

The major tank battle of Raseiniai, in World War Two, saw virtually a complete destruction of the Soviet Union’s deployed mechanized units on the Northwestern Front. Consisting of 749 tanks, versus the Germans’ 245, the Soviet tanks — which were technically superior to their German counterparts — were systematically outmanoeuvred and overpowered. The Germans were helped in no small part by their air force, the Luftwaffe, which made life particularly difficult for the Soviet command. A major battle of Operation Barbarossa (a.k.a. the German invasion of the USSR), the Battle of Raseiniai left the German army in a state of supreme confidence and with no doubt of the tank’s importance in the war.
7. Battle of the Valley of Tears, 6 – 9 October 1973

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The Yom Kippur War — fought between Israel and an Arab coalition led by Egypt and Syria — saw the Arabs break a ceasefire that had lasted since the Six-Day War of 1967 and march into Israeli territory. Tanks were central to the surprise attack, known as the Valley of Tears, which occurred on Yom Kippur, the holiest day in Judaism. The number of Syrian tanks has been estimated at around 1,260, with the Israelis having command of around 100. Various reasons have been given for the Israelis overturning such a massive disadvantage in tank numbers — from the superiority of their air force to the threat of their using nuclear weaponry.
6. Battle of Brody, 23 – 30 June 1941

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The Battle of Brody, which has been called “the largest tank battle of World War II until the Battle of Kursk two years later,” saw 800 Axis tanks line up against 2,500 of their Russian opposite numbers. The German victory was partly due to their air force, the Luftwaffe, flying over the Polish war fields, destroying up to 201 Soviet tanks. However, the tank battle was incredibly fierce, with the German forces finding that the new Soviet T-34 tanks were virtually impervious to their firepower. It was mainly due to the Red Army’s supply chain drying up that the Germans were allowed to continue their offensive and press home their advantage.

Forgotten Role of Indian Soldiers Who Served in First World War Marked at Last

Like 1.5 million of his fellow countrymen in colonial India, Sukha volunteered enthusiastically when the call came for recruits to bear arms for Britain’s “King Emperor” in a far-off European war in 1914.

It was a journey from which the 30-year-old serviceman, again like tens of thousands of his compatriots, never returned. But when Sukha died, his remains were abandoned in a different “no man’s land” from the Flanders quagmire that claimed the lives of so many who fought on the Western Front in the First World War.

Sukha was a so-called “untouchable” – those regarded with such disdain that they did not merit a surname and performed menial functions, from cooking to emptying officers’ bed pans. When he died of pneumonia in 1915 in a Hampshire military hospital, neither his Hindu nor Muslim comrades were prepared to accept his body for burial. Instead, the vicar of St Nicholas Church in Brockenhurst offered a space in the graveyard for him.

The headstone, bought with contributions from parishioners, paid tribute to the serviceman from Uttar Pradesh. It reads: “By creed, he was not Christian, but his earthly life was sacrificed in the interests of others.”

The story of Sukha casts an uncomfortable light on the prejudices of India’s caste system, which persist to this day. But it is also a tale that highlights another troubling legacy of the First World War – the forgotten role of the vast numbers of men who travelled from the British Raj to fight in the trenches of France and Belgium.

Bournemouth.jpg
Indian soldiers recuperate on the beach in Bournemouth

A new book, For King and Another Country: Indian Soldiers on the Western Front 1914-18 by Shrabani Basu, recounts for the first time some of the personal stories of the Hindus, Sikhs and Muslims from modern-day India and Pakistan who fought alongside the British and other allies in the conflict. For 12 months between 1914 and 1915, the British Indian Army fought on one of the bloodiest stretches of the Western Front.

But despite contributing the largest volunteer army from Britain’s imperial dominions at a cost of some 70,000 lives, there is concern that the sacrifice of the fighters from pre-partition India has been allowed to slip between the cracks of the post-colonial history of both countries.

Basu, a historian, told The Independent on Sunday: “Few people are aware that 1.5 million Indians fought alongside the British – that there were men in turbans in the same trenches as the Tommies … They have been largely forgotten, both by Britain and India.

“The soldiers who had fought for their colonial masters were no longer worthy of commemoration in post-independence India. There is no equivalent of Anzac Day.

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British Indian soldiers behind a fortification in East Africa during WWI, 1915

“The contribution of Indian and other Commonwealth soldiers should be part of the First World War curriculum in schools, and museums should highlight their stories. That is the only way to ensure that they do not become a footnote in history.”

By Armistice Day, soldiers from the subcontinent had won 11 Victoria Crosses, including the very first awarded to a British Indian Army soldier – Khudadad Khan, a machine gunner with the 129th Baluchi regiment. The Germans were taken aback by the ferocity with which the Indians fought. One enemy soldier, who had witnessed Sikh troops in hand-to-hand combat at Neuve Chapelle in 1915, wrote: “At first we spoke of them with contempt. Today we look on them in a different light …. In no time they were in our trenches and truly these brown enemies are not to be despised. With butt ends, bayonets, swords and daggers we fought each other and we had bitter hard work.”

Often the Indian soldiers were forced to improvise, using jam tins packed with explosives as grenades and inventing the Bangalore torpedo – a tube filled with TNT used to blow holes in barbed wire.

Few people are aware 1.5 million Indians fought alongside the British – that there were men in turbans in the same trenches as the Tommies

Shrabani Basu

In order to sustain the Indian troops in the alien environment of northern France, a remarkable logistical operation was put in place, which included the setting up of separate kitchens to meet the dietary requirements of Muslims and Hindus. In many cases, cooking was carried out close to the front lines to allow curries to be supplied to the soldiers, at the cost of the lives of many orderlies killed by artillery as they ferried the hot food to the trenches.

But the heavy death toll was also exacerbated by acts of negligence. The Indian regiments were sent to Europe in their tropical cotton drill; winter kit, including greatcoats, did not arrive before dozens had perished from cold and frostbite.

The racist attitudes of the era also enflamed tensions. Wounded Indian soldiers being cared for in hospitals in places such as Brighton were not allowed to receive direct care from English nurses, and recuperating troops were also kept under armed guard in locked camps.

One injured private or “sepoy” felt sufficiently aggrieved to write a letter directly to King George V. “The Indians have given their lives for 11 rupees,” he wrote. “Any man who comes here wounded is returned thrice and four times to the trenches. Only that man goes to India who has lost an arm or a leg or an eye.”

Eventually, Britain’s generals recognised that the Western Front was not the best place to deploy its Indian troops and instead sent them into battle in locations from Mesopotamia to Gallipoli, where they again fought valiantly.

In the 1920s a large memorial to India’s First World War dead was built in northern France at Neuve Chapelle, but until this month there has been little to mark their sacrifice on British soil.

A memorial in honour of the 130,000 Sikh soldiers who fought in the conflict was unveiled a week ago at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire, after a fundraising drive by British Sikhs.

Organisers say they sensed a sea change in efforts to maintain the memory of the sacrifice of the soldiers of the Raj. Jay Singh-Sohal, the founder of the charity behind the memorial, said: “In the immediate aftermath of the war there was a warmth to the Anglo-Indian relationship which was lost amid the atrocities committed by the British at the end of the colonial era.

“Time has now healed some of those wounds and we can look with fresh eyes at the historic contribution of Sikhs, Hindus and Muslims. It is very important because it also helps British Asians to understand and feel part of Britain.”

As Basu’s book makes clear, the men fighting in Flanders were under no illusions about the nature of the conflict into which they had been thrust. A poem by one Sikh soldier reads: “The cannon roar like thunder, the bullets fall like rain/ And only the hurt, the maimed and blind will ever see home again.”

‘Piles Of Corpses’ – Veteran On Horror Of War

On 15 April 1945 British troops liberated the Bergen-Belsen Nazi concentration camp near Hanover in Germany.

They found a horrific scene: thousands of dead prisoners and thousands more seriously ill and close to death.

Colonel Leonard Berney was one of the first British soldiers inside the camp and he shares his memories on Remembrance Sunday.

“We had no idea what we were going to see,” he said. “All we knew was that there were about 60,000 prisoners in this camp and the disease typhus had broken out and that’s all we knew.

“When we went into the camp, what we were met with was absolute shock and horror. We had no conception of what we were going to see at all.”

The British soldiers had negotiated a truce with the German guards, so the camp was handed over without a fight.

War veteran Col Leonard Berney talks to Sky News about Belsen

Colonel Berney: ‘We’d never seen anything like it’

Now 95, Col Berney says the images still haunt him.

“There were piles of corpses on both sides of the roads. And in between the huts there were piles of corpses. There was an enormous stench of death. It was really, really awful.

Rick Clement

Video: Soldier To Walk For Fallen Friends

“At the very end of the camp there was a big mass grave, about the length of a tennis court I suppose, with hundreds of corpses already in it.

“We’d been fighting battle after battle from Normandy for 10 months up to that time when we got to the camp, and we were used to seeing casualties and people killed, but never, never had we seen anything like this at all.”

It is thought as many as 70,000 people died in the camp, many from typhus, after it was liberated.

The British Army restored electricity and set up emergency medical centres to treat the sick, but for thousands it was too late.

“The people that were there were mostly emaciated, walking skeletons, in a complete daze,” said Col Berney. “They didn’t really realise they were being rescued. There were a few in a better condition, some wearing prison clothes, some wearing rags.

“I remember it was a real Dante’s Inferno, I will never forget it.”

It took a number of weeks to remove all the bodies and bury them properly.

Germans living nearby were brought in to be shown what had been going on inside the camp and to ensure such evil was never forgotten.

Belsen’s commandant Josef Kramer was found guilty of war crimes and hanged later that year.

The camp itself was burned to the ground.

For Remembrance Sunday the Queen, joined by the Duke of Edinburgh and members of the leading political parties, attended a special service – gathering at the Cenotaph in central London.

A two-minute silence was held at 11am, with wreaths will be laid at the foot of the Whitehall memorial.

This was followed by a veterans’ march – and this year’s ceremony was slightly shorter to reduce the time elderly war veterans had to stand.

US Delivery of TOW Missiles to ISIS Seized by Iraq ?

Iraqi Forces Seize US-Supplied Anti-Armor Missiles from ISIL in Fallujah

Iraqi Forces Seize US-Supplied Anti-Armor Missiles from ISIL in Fallujah

TEHRAN (FNA)The Iraqi army and volunteer forces discovered US-made military hardware and ammunition, including anti-armor missiles, in terrorists’ positions and trenches captured during the operations in the Fallujah region in Al-Anbar province.

The Iraqi forces found a huge volume of advanced TOW-II missiles from the Takfiri terrorists in al-Karama city of Fallujah. The missiles were brand new and the ISIL had transferred them to Fallujah to use them against the Iraqi army’s armored units.

Iraqi officials have on different occasions blasted the US and its allies for supplying the ISIL in Syria with arms and ammunition under the pretext of fighting the Takfiri terrorist group.

On Saturday, the Iraqi forces discovered US-made military hardware and ammunition from terrorists in the town of Beiji.

“The military hardware and weapons had been airdropped by the US-led warplanes and choppers for the ISIL in the nearby areas of Beiji,” military sources told FNA.

In February, an Iraqi provincial official lashed out at the western countries and their regional allies for supporting Takfiri terrorists in Iraq, revealing that the US airplanes still continue to airdrop weapons and foodstuff for the ISIL terrorists.

“The US planes have dropped weapons for the ISIL terrorists in the areas under ISIL control and even in those areas that have been recently liberated from the ISIL control to encourage the terrorists to return to those places,” Coordinator of Iraqi popular forces Jafar al-Jaberi told FNA.

He noted that eyewitnesses in Al-Havijeh of Kirkuk province had witnessed the US airplanes dropping several suspicious parcels for ISIL terrorists in the province.

“Two coalition planes were also seen above the town of Al-Khas in Diyala and they carried the Takfiri terrorists to the region that has recently been liberated from the ISIL control,” Al-Jaberi said.

Also in February, a senior lawmaker disclosed that Iraq’s army has shot down two British planes as they were carrying weapons for the ISIL terrorists in Al-Anbar province.

“The Iraqi Parliament’s National Security and Defense Committee has access to the photos of both planes that are British and have crashed while they were carrying weapons for the ISIL,” Head of the committee Hakem al-Zameli said, according to a Monday report of the Arabic-language information center of the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq.

He said the Iraqi parliament has asked London for explanations in this regard.

The senior Iraqi legislator further unveiled that the government in Baghdad is receiving daily reports from people and security forces in al-Anbar province on numerous flights by the US-led coalition planes that airdrop weapons and supplies for ISIL in terrorist-held areas.

The Iraqi lawmaker further noted the cause of such western aids to the terrorist group, and explained that the US prefers a chaotic situation in Anbar Province which is near the cities of Karbala and Baghdad as it does not want the ISIL crisis to come to an end.

Also in February, a senior Iraqi provincial official lashed out at the western countries and their regional allies for supporting Takfiri terrorists in Iraq, revealing that US and Israeli-made weapons have been discovered from the areas purged of ISIL terrorists.

“We have discovered weapons made in the US, European countries and Israel from the areas liberated from ISIL’s control in Al-Baqdadi region,” the Al-Ahad news website quoted Head of Al-Anbar Provincial Council Khalaf Tarmouz as saying.

He noted that the weapons made by the European countries and Israel were discovered from the terrorists in the Eastern parts of the city of Ramadi.

Meantime, Head of Iraqi Parliament’s National Security and Defense Committee Hakem al-Zameli also disclosed that the anti-ISIL coalition’s planes have dropped weapons and foodstuff for the ISIL in Salahuddin, Al-Anbar and Diyala provinces.

In January, al-Zameli underlined that the coalition is the main cause of ISIL’s survival in Iraq.

“There are proofs and evidence for the US-led coalition’s military aid to ISIL terrorists through air(dropped cargoes),” he told FNA at the time.

He noted that the members of his committee have already proved that the US planes have dropped advanced weaponry, including anti-aircraft weapons, for the ISIL, and that it has set up an investigation committee to probe into the matter.

“The US drops weapons for the ISIL on the excuse of not knowing about the whereabouts of the ISIL positions and it is trying to distort the reality with its allegations.

He noted that the committee had collected the data and the evidence provided by eyewitnesses, including Iraqi army officers and the popular forces, and said, “These documents are given to the investigation committee … and the necessary measures will be taken to protect the Iraqi airspace.”

Also in January, another senior Iraqi legislator reiterated that the US-led coalition is the main cause of ISIL’s survival in Iraq.

“The international coalition is only an excuse for protecting the ISIL and helping the terrorist group with equipment and weapons,” Jome Divan, who is member of the al-Sadr bloc in the Iraqi parliament, said.

He said the coalition’s support for the ISIL is now evident to everyone, and continued, “The coalition has not targeted ISIL’s main positions in Iraq.”

In Late December, Iraqi Parliamentary Security and Defense Commission MP disclosed that a US plane supplied the ISIL terrorist organization with arms and ammunition in Salahuddin province.

MP Majid al-Gharawi stated that the available information pointed out that US planes are supplying ISIL organization, not only in Salahuddin province, but also other provinces, Iraq TradeLink reported.

He added that the US and the international coalition are “not serious in fighting against the ISIL organization, because they have the technological power to determine the presence of ISIL gunmen and destroy them in one month”.

Gharawi added that “the US is trying to expand the time of the war against the ISIL to get guarantees from the Iraqi government to have its bases in Mosul and Anbar provinces.” Salahuddin security commission also disclosed that “unknown planes threw arms and ammunition to the ISIL gunmen Southeast of Tikrit city”.

ISIL Terrorists Fleeing Fuaa, Kafraya after Russian Airstrikes

ISIL Terrorists Fleeing Fuaa, Kafraya after Russian Airstrikes

TEHRAN (FNA) – ISIL terrorists are on the run to save their lives after sustaining heavy casualties in the Russian airstrikes in the province of Idlib, Northwestern Syria. The Takfiri terrorists withdrew from their positions in the towns of Fuaa and Kafraya and fled towards Sahl al-Qab region.

A source close to Ahrar al-Sham terrorists in Idlib was quoted by Arab media as saying that different terrorist groups have asked their commanders to retreat from their positions in different parts of Idlib.

“Although countries like Saudi Arabia and Qatar have supplied the terrorists with over 1,000 US-made TOW missiles, the morale of the terrorists is still at its lowest level,” the source, who remained unnamed, told the Arabic-language Al-Watan newspaper.

Idlib is the scene of heavy fighting between the Syrian and Hezbollah troops who are backed up by the Russian air force and the terrorists who have been occupying part of the province for the some long time now.

On Saturday, the Russian bombers carried out precise attacks on militants’ positions and destroyed the Takfiri terrorists’ operations room in Idlib. The Russian fighter jets hit a center of the terrorists in Khan Sheikhoun region in the Southern parts of Idlib four times and destroyed a five-story building that was the militants’ main base and arms depot as well.

The Russian Air Force also pounded the command center of militant groups in Idlib province today. Several militias, including senior commanders, were killed and wounded during the Russian warplanes’ air raid.

The Syrian fighter jets also bombed concentration centers and hideouts of the foreign-backed Takfiri militants in Idlib countryside on Saturday, inflicting heavy losses on them. The airstrikes hit terrorists’ positions in Khan Sheikhoun city, Tal Merei and in the towns of al-Hbeit and al-Tamanaa.

Syria in Last 24 Hours: Russian Warplanes Destroy US-Trained Militants’ Base in Idlib

Syria in Last 24 Hours: Russian Warplanes Destroy US-Trained Militants' Base in Idlib

TEHRAN (FNA) – The Russian warplanes struck a military base of a US-trained militant group in Northwest Syria over the past few hours. The Russian fighter jets destroyed the military base of Division 13 militant group in Idlib province.

Division 13’s Facebook page confirmed the strikes, and said the site has been totally taken down and many of its fighters were killed in the attack. Division 13 is one of the many militant groups that have received military training under a US-led program to fight against President Bashar Al-Assad’s government.

The Russian air force started daytime precision strikes against ISIL facilities in the region on Wednesday, September 30. The air group in Syria incorporates more than 50 planes and helicopters, including Sukhoi-24M, Sukhoi-25, and multi-functional Sukhoi-34.

Also in the past 24 hours, the Russian jets carried out 67 sorties against the ISIL targets in Syria.

“Attack aircraft from the Russian air group deployed in Syria carried out record 67 combat missions in the past 24 hours hitting a total of 60 Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant targets,” Russian Air Force chief Lieutenant General Igor Makushev told journalists.

“In the past 24 hours, the Russian combat aircraft carried out 67 missions. The Sukhoi Su-34 and Su-24SM planes destroyed 60 terrorist targets,” Makushev said.

The intensity and effectiveness of airstrikes by Russian air force against the ISIL targets significantly increased in the past 24 hours, inflicting heavy casualties among terrorists.

According to Deputy Chief of the Russian General Staff, Lt. Gen. Igor Makushev, the Russian Sukhoi Su-34 and Su-25SM strike aircraft destroyed six command and communication posts, six ammunition and fuel depots, 17 training camps, three underground bunkers, 16 fortified positions, a vehicle repairs facility, 17 vehicles and two multiple-launch rocket systems.

In addition, directs hits by Russian KAB-500S precision guided bombs destroyed the headquarters of the Liwa al-Haqq terrorist group.

“Radio intercepts confirm that this airstrike killed two IS(IL) high-ranking field commanders and about 200 terrorists,” the general said.

Russia’s Sukhoi Su-25, Su-24M and Su-34 attack aircraft, with the support of Su-30 jets, commenced precision airstrikes against ISIL targets in Syria on September 30, following a request from Syrian President Bashar Assad.

According to the Russian Defense Ministry, since the beginning of the air campaign Russian air forces have carried out about 140 strikes against terrorist positions, including command centers, training camps and ammunition depots. Russian warships in the Caspian Sea fired 26 cruise missiles on ISIL targets on Wednesday.

Elsewhere, the Syrian army backed by the Russian warplanes continued offensives on Friday to break the siege of a strategic military airport in the Eastern countryside of the city of Aleppo. The Syrian troops, backed up by the Russian airstrikes, took full control of the village of Al-Jaboul in the nearby areas of Aleppo’s Kowaires Military Airport.

The Russian warplanes launched several precision strikes on ISIL positions in Al-Jaboul village opening the path for the Syrian ground force to win back the village.

The ISIL terrorists have besieged the Kowaires airport for over 2.5 years now, but the airport itself is under the Syrian army’s control. The Syrian army’s helicopters supply foodstuff and other needs to the Syrian troops defending the airport.

Meantime, military sources said that the Syria army has shot down the terrorist groups’ spy drone in Beit Hleibiyeh in the Northern countryside of Lattakia. A hostile surveillance aircraft operated by the terrorist groups was shot down by the Syrian troops as it was flying over the coastal province of Lattakia, the sources said.

The Syrian army is engaged in heavy fighting against the terrorist groups in Lattakia. In the latest battles on Thursday, the Syrian troops inflicted heavy losses on the foreign-backed militants in the Northern parts of the province.

Also, some 12 terrorists were killed in Syrian airstrikes in the Northern countryside of Lattakia on Tuesday. The terrorists were killed in the airstrikes in al-Farz, Salma, Ikko and Droushan in the Northern parts of the province. Also, informed sources said that the Syrian army troops repelled the armed groups’ attacks on al-Breij area in the Eastern territories of Aleppo province and killed over 50 militants.

The sources said that dozes of the militants were also wounded as a result of the army soldiers’ heavy fire on the terrorist groups in al-Breij. The sources said that there were also fierce clashes between the army and the militant groups in the vicinity of al-Nairab airport, 10 km East of Aleppo city.

Meantime, military officials said that the Syrian Armed Forces’ operations in the Northern parts of the Central province of Hama against the militant groups left over 77 terrorists dead or wounded.

The sources said that 5 terrorists were killed and 12 others were injured in the Syrian army troops’ operations in Kafr Zeita town, one of al-Nusra Fronts’ important strongholds in the province. An army unit also killed 30 terrorists and destroyed 3 vehicles to the North of Tallet al-Sayad.

Elsewhere, military sources said that the Russian warplanes bombed the positions of the ISIL Takfiri terrorists in Tabaqa airbase and the town’s national hospital, which was used only as the command center of the ISIL since its capture.

The sources said that the Russian Air Force carried out a dozen airstrikes against the strongholds of the ISIL in the Southern territories of Raqqa province. The Russian fighter jets reportedly targeted the ISIL strongholds at the city of Tabaqa, where the terrorist group has turned the Tabaqa National Hospital into its central command’s headquarters.

In addition to the airstrikes over the Tabaqa National Hospital and the Tabaqa airbase, the Russian Air Force continued to attack the Al-Rusafa Camp (the ISIL’s primary storage facility) and numerous targets inside the provincial capital. Local sources said on Monday that ISIL terrorists have evacuated the Raqqa province and fled to Iraq.

“The ISIL militants, most of them from the Caucasus, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Chechnya, together with their families have left Raqqa province for Iraq,” a local source told FNA.

The source noted that at least 220 ISIL families have fled to Iraq, and said, “Notorious terrorists such as Abu Talheh Hejazi from Saudi Arabia and ISIL religious police chief Abu Abdullah al-Akidi are among the militants who have fled Raqqa province.”

 Syrian Army Seizes Kafr Nabudah in Hama with Russian Aerial Backup

Syrian Army Seizes Kafr Nabudah in Hama with Russian Aerial Backup

TEHRAN (FNA) – The Syrian Army announced on Monday that its forces seized back full control over Kafr Nabudah area after inflicting heavy casualties on the Al-Nusra militants and following massive airstrikes by the Russian fighter bombers.

The Syrian army had said earlier in the day that the central command of the al-Nusra Front had been targeted by the Russian fighter jets in Kafr Nabudah, Latmeen and Lataminah.

Meantime, a main weapon and ammunition depot of the Nusra militants was destroyed in the Russian air attack on Kafr Zita. The sources said that the Syrian army, with the aerial backup of the Russian warplanes, raided the militant centers in all the above mentioned areas and is advancing against them.

Syrian Forces Win Back Two Vital Regions from ISIL in Aleppo

Syrian Forces Win Back Two Vital Regions from ISIL in Aleppo

TEHRAN (FNA) Military sources in the Northern province of Aleppo announced on Monday that the Syrian armed forces, in heavy clashes with the ISIL terrorists, won back two key areas of Kafr Tunah and Jabal Antar after killing over 20 militants.

The sources said that the Syrian army troops, alongside the National Defense Force (NDF), purged Kafr Tunah and Jabal Antar of ISIL Takfiri terrorists and took full control over the two regions. The sources added that over 20 ISIL members were killed and several more were wounded in the army operations.

Syrian warplanes bombed ISIL positions and supply routes in the Eastern countryside of Aleppo on Sunday.

The air raids destroyed the terrorists’ positions and line of movement in the villages and towns of Qseir al-Ward, al-Baqjiyeh, South of al-Nasriyeh, Jeb al-Safa, al-Sheikh Ahmad, Tal al-Ne’am, Tal Istabl, al-Salhiyeh, al-Hwaijeeneh, al-Jaboul and Tal Sab’een.

Militant Groups Sustain Heavy Losses in Syrian Army Operations in Dara’a

Militant Groups Sustain Heavy Losses in Syrian Army Operations in Dara'a

TEHRAN (FNA)- The militant groups’ centers and line of supply were attacked in four separate operations of the Syrian Army in Southern Dara’a province, local officials informed on Monday.

The sources said that the Syrian army targeted terrorists’ positions in Tal al-Sheikh Hussien and Tuloul Khleif areas, which resulted in the killing and wounding of several militants.

The sources added that all members of a group of militants were killed or injured and their logistic convoy of 6 vehicles was destroyed by the Syrian forces in Dara’a al- Balad neighborhood in Dara’a city. The army soldiers also killed and injured tens of terrorists in al-Abazid neighborhood in Dara’a al-Balad.

Last week, Syrian army troops continued to tighten noose around the Takfiri militants in Dara’a, killing and injuring a group of them. Army units targeted terrorists’ positions of and supply routes in Dara’a al-Balad area and al-Mahtta neighborhood in the city of Dara’a.

The operations left a large group of the militants dead and injured, most of them from al-Nusra Front.

Iran Quietly Deepens Involvement in Syria’s War

The new offensive launched by Syrian government forces in the countryside south of Aleppo has shed light on Iran’s growing role in Syria’s civil war.

Officially Iran denies it has deployed any combat troops in Syria, but a week before the offensive began, it was reported that hundreds of Iranian troops had arrived in Syria in preparation for an imminent assault on rebel-held areas.

Iran also announced the deaths of four high-ranking officers from the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) in Syria.

At least one of them, Brig Gen Hossein Hamedani – the most senior Iranian military officer to have been so far killed in the Syrian conflict – lost his life near Aleppo.

Iranians attend the funeral ceremony of IRGC commander Brig-Gen Hossein Hamedani in Tehran, Iran (11 October 2015)

Paramilitary force

According to Iranian media, 18 high-ranking IRGC officers have been killed in Syria in the past three years.

But the killing of four in just one week – particularly one just before a major offensive – implies that Iran may be more involved in the war than it has previously acknowledged.

In the past few days, some Iranian and Syrian media outlets have even published photos of Maj Gen Qasem Soleimani purportedly taken in Syria.

For the past year, Gen Soleimani – the commander of the IRGC’s overseas operations arm, the Quds Force – has been co-ordinating the Iraqi government’s operations against Islamic State (IS).

Several IRGC commanders have also warned that they would take revenge on “the terrorists” who killed Gen Hamedani, suggesting the force might have troops on the ground in Syria.

IRGC officials say that so far their most significant contribution to the defence of President Bashar al-Assad has been the creation of the paramilitary National Defence Forces.

Mohammadreza Naghdi, the commander-in-chief of Iran’s own paramilitary force, the Basij, said last week that funding for the NDF was overseen by Gen Hamedani.

In May 2014, the general himself announced that Iran had trained and organised 70,000 Syrians into 128 NDF battalions. A few days ago, IRGC commander-in-chief Mohammad Ali Jafari said the NDF now had 100,000 fighters.

Gen Hamedani also said that 130,000 Basij militiamen and women were ready to go to Syria if necessary.

‘Volunteers’

It is not clear how many Iranians have travelled to Syria to fight, but Iranian media do sometimes issue casualty reports.

In June 2015, the official Irna news agency said at least 400 Iranian and Iran-based Afghan “volunteers” had been killed in the past four years.

Portraying them as “volunteers” may be an attempt to counter accusations that Iranian troops are involved directly in combat.

For possibly the same reason, most of the IRGC officers who have lost their lives in Syria have been described as “retired” or “former” members of the force.

In spite of such assertions, a senior politician has stated that Iran is prepared to join the war.

A few days ago, Alaeddin Boroujerdi, the chairman of the Iranian parliament’s national security and foreign policy committee, told a news conference in Damascus that Iran was ready to send troops to Syria if Mr Assad’s government requested them.

It is possible that the defeats suffered by the Syrian army in recent months and the increased worldwide concern over IS have prompted Iran to act.

However, Iran’s foes worry that the IRGC may also now be feeling emboldened by the results of the recent nuclear deal, which paves the way for the lifting of sanctions, likely benefitting the force with a source of fresh funds.

How to Find Jersey Cards in Packs

Although “pack searching” is not illegal, it is considered unethical by many people who collect trading cards, especially sports cards. It is, however, a widespread practice, particularly at retail department stores like Meijer, Walmart and Target. Hobby shop owners and trade show vendors likely will ask you to leave their stores or booths if they see you pack searching. “Jersey cards” are prime targets of pack searches. They contain a card with a patch of a game-worn jersey from a player and make an individual pack of cards thicker, heavier or stiffer (and more valuable).

  • Flex a pack of cards gently between your fingers. Jersey cards are thicker and more rigid than a common card. The pack will not bend as easily as a normal pack. (Card companies, of course, are aware of all the tricks of the trade and randomly insert “dummy” cards into packs.)
  • Weigh the pack. Seasoned veterans can do this by touch alone. Others actually use portable scales, which they tote into stores and use while they pick through displays of cards. Some people buy cards by the box, take them home, weigh the individual packs, remove the packs they deem worthy and re-sell the common packs.
  • Measure the thickness of the pack. Again, experienced collectors do this by feel. If a jersey card is present, the thickness of the entire pack will be greater than a normal pack. Some collectors take it a step further and manipulate the cards within the pack, searching for a single card that appears thicker (this sometimes is referred to as the “slide” test). Dummy cards offer some safeguards, but they are not included in all packs and, thus, the odds are in the pack searcher’s favor if he buys a seemingly thicker pack.
  • Use calipers to measure a pack’s thickness. This is a more scientific approach to the thickness-feel test and provides incredibly accurate results. Some people have no compunction at all about performing this test in-store. Others buy boxes of cards and take them home to test for thickness. They keep the packs that show promise and sell the others. Dishonest hobby shop owners and dealers have been known to employ this practice.
  • Press down on the middle of a pack. This often is called the “swipe” test. A jersey pack will present an indentation or seem more spongy than a regular pack

Trade Marketing Tools

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Trade marketing is especially beneficial for companies selling products through retailers. The buyers from retail locations want to know about new products and promotions to help generate sales within their stores. Facilitate a win-win relationship with retailers by allocating a budget for trade marketing.

Advertising

  • Advertising in trade magazines or on websites will garner attention. Use social media, such as blogs and social networking sites, as free advertising vehicles to inform current and potential customers about company news. Point-of-purchase marketing tools are another form of advertising for retailers. Shelf tags promoting benefits and secondary location displays help generate consumer sales.

Trade Lists

  • Create a contact list of retailers and other important members of the trade, such as trade magazine and websites. Trade contact lists can be used for email blasts, mailings and newsletters. Send out information or product samples for new products. Use the list to inform the trade about promotions, product updates or company news.

Public Relations

  • Public relations can be a powerful trade tool. Send out press releases to relevant trade media through an advertising agency or PR newswire. Press releases can include information such as new hires, new products, promotions or tie-ins with current events, such as green initiatives. Editors may pick up your story. News stories by third parties provide credibility and a wider reach for your targeted trade audience.

Trade Shows

  • Trade shows provide an opportunity to network with other professionals in your trade. Trade shows can have large floor plans and thousands of people in attendance. Promote your company and its products. Retailers will be most interested in new products. Ensure someone is manning the booth at all times if you choose to walk the showroom floors. Contact retailers and other trade professionals ahead of time to set up meetings. Develop a list of all the booths you want to visit and contacts you want to make. Spend time walking the trade show floors to learn about new products and other industry news once you have accomplished your goals.

Salary of a New Country Music Artist

Though country music emanates from Nashville, Tennessee, many new country artists have come from various parts of the country. New country music combines traditional country music with pop music, creating multi-format music that can be heard on top 40, adult contemporary and country music radio stations. Because of its crossover appeal, new country artists may earn more money than traditional country artists. Salaries for these musicians can vary widely based on record sales, merchandising and live performances. While new country artists such as Carrie Underwood may burst onto the scene and earn millions from multi-platinum albums and live performances other artists may earn considerably less.

The Songwriter

  • New country music places emphasis on great songs. Thus, songwriting is as important as singing and performing in the world of country music. Songwriters make money via several ways: from live performances of their music on radio, television and films, royalties for record sales and print music. According to Mypursuit.com, the average yearly salary for a songwriter was $40,000 in 2006, with the lowest 10 percent earning approximately $15,000 yearly and the highest 10 percent earning more than $110,000 yearly.

Record Deals

  • According to Savingcountrymusic.com, renowned actress Gwyneth Paltrow signed a $900,000 record deal with Atlantic Records to record a country pop album as of 2010. Typically, it costs roughly $300,000 to record a superstar country artist’s album. As such, Paltrow nets $600,000 with the entire $900,000 advance recoupable from album sales. Because advances are recoupable from CD sales, superstar artists such as Paltrow would have to sell more than 465,000 albums to break even before earning any royalties from sales (on 10 to 15 cents royalty for each CD). Newer artists in this genre do not make a profit from album sales and lack the major sponsorships that established artists receive.

Concert Revenues

  • Because CD sales are still an integral part of country music, new country artists perform live to help drive CD sales. Newer artists such as Easton Corbin may command between $15 and $25 for live performances. Tickets for Joshua Gracin at an April 2011 performance in New Jersey sold for $15. In contrast, according to Ticketmaster, tickets for Keith Urban’s 2011 “Get Closer World Tour” range from $32 to $62. Veteran artists such as Rascal Flatts, Carrie Underwood and Kenny Chesney earn millions each year from tours.

Top Salaries

  • According to a 2007 “Forbes” article titled ” The Top Earning Country Music Stars,” several new country artists earn million dollar salaries annually. Rascal Flatts earned approximately $40 million in 2007, while Kenny Chesney earned $22 million dollars. These figures are representative of tour earnings from the year. In 2010, Taylor Swift joined the group, earning $45 million dollars in 2010.

The Effects of Country Music on Adolescents

Teens spend an average of 2 1/2 hours listening to music per day, according to an article in the New York Times; in addition, 90 percent of youth have an MP3 player or a CD player in their bedroom. With such heavy use, multitudes of researchers have looked into the impact music has on teen behavior. Even country music can have a dark side, according to research reported by the Center for Youth Studies.

Country Music Affects Teens and Adults Similarly

  • According to research cited by the Center for Youth Studies, country music has a similar effect on teens as it does adults. So even if you’ve grown out of your teen years, pay attention to how this genre has been known to make its mark on listeners.

Country Music Increases Suicide Rates

  • As country music increases on the airwaves, suicide rates for whites increased, the Center for Youth Studies cites. This is particularly true in metropolitan areas. According to the article, the genre encouraged listeners in the midst of difficult circumstances to consider suicide.

Country Music Encourages Promiscuity

  • Country music that includes content that is heavily sexual has a reactionary effect on listeners, according to research cited by the Center for Youth Studies. Not all country music is explicit, but that which is can encourage early sexual activity. Keep the content of music in mind while listening and consider if the behavior is something you would approve of for yourself.

Negative Messages Aren’t Isolated to Country Music

  • Whatever the genre, negative messages in music influence risk behaviors in children, the New York Times article explains. So whether it’s an acoustic guitar with a decided twang or an urban beat with lyrically spoken words, the meaning of the message is important. Music that encourages smoking, alcohol use and other actions encourages youth to emulate the habit as well.

The Difference Between Rock & Country Music

Rock music and country music are actually more alike than many people realize. They both have similar roots, and one of the earliest forms of rock music came from a combination of country music and rhythm and blues. Both types of music have similar rhythms and instrumentation, and it can sometimes be difficult to distinguish a country song from a rock song. Still, there are differences between the two genres, something that fans of both genres will be quick to point out.

Instrumentation

  • The instrumentation of rock music is characterized by the electric guitar backed by an electric bass and percussion from a drum kit. Other instruments have been frequently added such as pianos, synthesizers, and organs. While country music is often based around the guitar and bass, it often favors acoustic guitars over electric ones (although electric guitars can be heard in modern country). Other instruments common in country music include the fiddle, the slide guitar, the pedal steel guitar, and the banjo. Drums weren’t often used in early country music, but they are common in modern country bands.

Rhythm and Chord Progression

  • Both rock music and country music favor simple duple rhythms with little syncopation, although some more progressive rock music can include more complex rhythms. Rock songs are often based on older musical modes as well as major and minor modes. Structurally, most early rock songs were based on the 12-bar blues structure. Harmonies range anywhere from simple triads, parallel fourths and fifths, and even more dissonant harmonic progressions. Country music favors not just a simple rhythm but a simple chord progression. Traditional country music tends to be very simple, which lends itself well to its popularity and playability.

Lyrics

  • Unlike many other musical genres, rock lyrics cover a wide range of themes including romantic love, sex, rebellion, and social themes. Lyrics can be very important in rock music but often it’s the music that takes center stage. On the other hand, the lyrics of country songs are far more important. Many country songs exist to tell a story, and the genre’s simple chord progression and rhythms lend themselves well to a wide variety of song lyrics and stories that can be told.

Geographic Location

  • The importance of geographic location and references to it in both country and rock music is something that some people consider important, although the issue has been hotly debated. By its very definition country music refers to music played by and enjoyed by people in rural areas as well as the south. It was introduced in rural areas and was associated with “singing cowboys” of the 1930s and ’40s. Modern country music is enjoyed by people in both urban and rural areas, and musicians can come from pretty much anywhere and still be famous as country stars. Rock music is considered to be a little more universal, associated as much with urban locations (San Francisco in the 1960s or Seattle in the grunge era of the 1990s) as well as rural areas.

Themes in the Short Story “Why I Like Country Music”

James Alan McPherson’s short story “Why I Like Country Music” subtly explores themes relating to race and courage in the United States. While reminiscing on the strong associations he developed between country music and the first girl he ever loved, the narrator reveals how his youthful conceptions of colorism, stereotyping and segregation reflected common, if somewhat misguided assumptions about race and status. McPherson’s short story challenges so-called “old-fashioned” attitudes about race in southern America, while simultaneously revealing how those attitudes naturally developed.

Colorism

  • Colorism refers to the idea that there exists prejudice within black communities depending upon how light or dark an individual’s skin tone is. Whenever he introduces a character from his past, the narrator always mentions that character’s skin tone. Gweneth Lawson, the narrator’s boyhood crush, is described as “chocolate brown,” while Leon Pugh, the boy with whom the narrator vies for Gweneth’s attention, is described as “peanut brown.” Over the course of the story, however, individuals with varying skin tones are grouped and regrouped in a seeming mishmash, whether it be for classroom groups or dancing partners and so on. In this way, McPherson plays with the notion that black folk’s skin tone can play any substantial role in how they are and can be grouped.

Stereotyping

  • McPherson’s narrator is aware of many stereotypes that exist about black folk, as well as northerners and southerners. Of himself, he recognizes that because he can’t dance and enjoys country music, he somehow challenges common assumptions about black folk. Similarly, the narrator discusses how in his southern town, citizens had inaccurate assumptions about how “cultured” northerners were. In his recognition and challenging of these assumptions throughout the story, the narrator subtly undermines common stereotypes, while simultaneously revealing just how easy it can be for a young person to internalize them without question.

Social Segregation

  • While many other stories about black schoolchildren living in the South might choose to focus on racial segregation between whites and blacks, McPherson’s story examines the ways in which segregation lines can be drawn between a wide variety of groups. In his story, northerners are segregated from southerners because of the former’s assumed “culture.” Similarly, country folk are segregated from city folk for much the same reasons. And within his classroom, the narrator and his peers are separated into square dancers and Maypole dancers, a segregation line the narrator crosses several times as he tries his hardest to be near Gweneth.

Courage

  • In the final scene of the story, the narrator displays an uncharacteristic amount of youthful courage when he leaves his Maypole dancer group to join the square dancing group. He does this so he can dance with the girl he likes. This simple act of courage, given the story’s subtle handling of much deeper themes, has great implications on how individuals ought to behave in light of challenging social problems such as stereotyping and segregation. A simple act of courage, McPherson seems to suggest, is all it takes to transition from one social condition to another.

How to Have a Good Country Singing Voice

Developing a good country singing voice requires practice and discipline. Whether you are interested in singing as a hobby or going professional, there are a number of steps you can take to meet your full potential. As you improve as a vocalist, you will be able to perform a wider range of country songs. Over time, you will achieve greater depth and breadth as a country singer.

  • Seek instruction from an experienced country vocalist. Lessons are one of the best ways to refine your skills because they help you expand on your strengths while addressing your weaknesses. When looking for a vocal instructor, learn as much as you can about her experience as a vocalist, teaching history and reputation. It is also important to find someone whose personality, teaching style and musical interests are similar to your own.
  • Listen to various artists, styles and songs. The more you are exposed to country music, the better your grasp of it will be. When listening, pay carefully attention to intonation, musical expression and tone quality. For every song, make a list of the things you like and the things you dislike.
  • Always warm up before you begin to sing. Warming up is not only important for the health of your vocal chords, it will improve your tone, intonation and range. More complicated warm-ups will also increase your technical ability.
  • Record yourself when you are singing. You can do this with a tape recorder or digitally on your computer. After you have recorded yourself, replay it and listen carefully. Take special note of sections in the music that need practice and what can be done to make them better.
  • Develop focused practice habits. If you simply sing a song over and over, you will waste time and your practice will be less effective. Instead of starting from the beginning, focus on the areas of the song that are difficult for you. A piece of music is like a road full bumps: If you drive the entire road repeatedly, the whole thing will wear down uniformly. Instead, you must go over the bumps again and again until they are flush with the rest of road.
  • Use good breathing technique whenever you sing. If you use poor technique, it can lead to bad habits that will hinder your development as a singer. Proper breathing will automatically improve your tone, intonation and musicality.
  • Practice your twang. There are several exercises you can use to improve your twang, a characteristic feature of most country music. First, try cackling like a witch. Next, whinny like a horse. Finally, practice saying “nyeah, nyeah, nyeah, nyeah,” like a taunting child. All of these exercises produce a twang sound. During each exercise, pay attention to where your lips and tongue are. Also take note of how much air-flow goes through your nose as opposed to your mouth. As you sing, try to recall how it felt to produce a twang and incorporate it into the music.

How to Compare Blues & Country Music

According to Etta James in an interview with American Chronicle: “The Blues and country are first cousins … What I look for in a song is for the story to be for real. I like a blood and guts kind of thing. That’s what you find in the lyrics of country music.” Blues and country music both developed in the 19th century in the Southern United States. They share a similar history. For this reason, they share many of the same musical and lyrical characteristics.

  • Learn the history behind blues and country music. They are both forms of American folk music influenced by earlier styles brought overseas. Blues music grew out of field hollers and chants sung by African slaves. Irish and Scottish balladeers borrowed the guitar and banjo of blues and thus created “country”. According to Reebee Garofalo in “Rockin’ Out: Popular Music in the USA”, “Terms like country and blues are only used to separate the same kind of music made by blacks and whites … designations like race and hillbilly intentionally separated artists along racial lines and conveyed the impression that their music came from mutually exclusive sources.” Country is an offshoot of blues. They are essentially the same thing. In the PBS special, “Rhythm, Country and Blues,” country is referred to as “white man’s blues.”
  • Listen to the instrumentation in country and blues songs. They share many of the same instruments. These include guitar, bass, piano and drums, among others. Traditional country music differed from blues in that it utilized instruments such as the pedal steel guitar and fiddle. Modern country doesn’t necessarily include these instruments, sounding closer to rock music, an offshoot of blues.
  • Listen to the similarities in lyrical content in blues and country music. Both genres tend to express raw emotion like heartache and frustration. Freed slaves and immigrants both had to deal with economic and civil hardship, and channeled their strife into song for solace. Listen to Muddy Waters’ “Trouble in Mind” and Hank Williams’ “Cold Cold Heart.” Both songs express pain over a lover. Waters sings “I’m going down to the river/Oh you know I’m gonna sit right down right down there, on the ground/ You know if I get to thinkin’ about my baby, I wanna jump overboard and drown.” Williams expresses similar heartache and frustration over his object of affection, singing “The more I learn to care for you, the more we drift apart/Why can’t I free your doubtful mind and melt your cold cold heart.” Listen to current blues and country music. They continue to express the emotions felt by real people.

How to Play Bass Guitar for Country Music

Country music is the art of telling a tale. You as the bass player take the backseat and assume the most basic role, keeping rhythm. Fancy bass lines and fills are not necessary for country music because the focus of the song is on the lyrical, story-telling aspect. This article explains the basics of how to play bass guitar for country music.

  • Find a position of comfort with your bass. Sit down with the bass on your thigh or stand up with your bass strapped around your shoulder. You should also always warm up before you start playing to get loose.
  • Start creating a simple bass line for a country song by getting a very steady count going with your foot. A simple 4/4 will do: 1-2-3-4, 1-2-3-4, and on.
  • Start adding some notes in, now that you have a steady beat established. The best notes to use in country music are the root and the 5. For example, if you are playing in A, the root is A and the 5 is D.
  • Put all this together and create your country bass line. Remember your steady rhythm and play, A, D, A, D along with the 1-2-3-4. You have just created a simple, yet very solid bass line to play when the rest of the band is playing in A.
  • After you have become comfortable with the simple A and D bass line at the 1-2-3-4 count, you can add other notes or create a different rhythm. Don’t go overboard, however. Keep the count in line with the speed of the lyrics and story. Some good notes to add in with the A and D would be a low G or a high E. The low G is the third fret on the first, or E string. The high E is the 7th fret on the second, or A string.

How to Find a Country Music Song

With its grass-roots sound, country music is considered to be the most popular genre of music in America. As legends such as Dolly Parton, Hank Williams and Johnny Cash paved the way for new stars such as Taylor Swift, country music has become bigger than ever. However, it is frustrating when you are unable to find a specific song that you want to hear. However, the Internet has a vast musical database so you can find your country music song in no time.

  • Go to the CMT website (see Resources below) and highlight “Music,” then choose whether you want to browse through the artists, lyrics, new music, upcoming tours, or listen to radio CMT. CMT stands for Country Music Television and is a cable channel that offers country music videos as well as news and TV shows. Watch this channel to experience both old and new country songs.
  • Go to the Digital Dream Door Website (See Resources below) and view the top 100 country music songs of all time. Although this is not an official list, a majority of the songs are considered to be hits. See if the song you are looking for is listed.
  • Go to the Good Win Music website (See Resources) and click on the country music artist in whom you are interested. Browse through the song selection and read the lyrics until you are able to find the particular song.
  • Go to the All 4 Oldies website and enter the name of the artist or song into the search bar. Use this site if the song you are trying to find was recorded on a 45 rpm record.
  • Go to the music store and browse through the selection of country artists. Find a specific artist and read the track listing on each of the albums until you are able to find the song you seek.

How to Become a Youtube Celebrity

Internet stardom. Youtube celebrities. The newest (and probably easiest) way to become famous is via the internet. Specifically Youtube. Independent directors, hobbyists, comedians, actors, producers, and personalities have stormed into the public eye through Youtube, on their way to fame and fortune. Here’s how to become the next Youtube celebrity.

Find your niche. Decide what it is that you are good at. Can you deliver the news in a funny way. Do you aspire to create a comedy show. Youtube offers limitless possibilities. You can upload videos of literally anything you want. Creativity is key. Find something you are passionate about and decide how to express it through video.
Become familiar with Youtube celebrities. Have you ever heard of “sxephil”? How about “Fred”? To view the most subscribed to users on Youtube. Become familiar with them. Most have to do with news, music, and especially comedy.

Create a username that is catchy and relevant to your Youtube venture/persona. “Communitychannel” and “sxephil” are good examples.
Start uploading your content. Display your mission statement, your bio page, and your first videos. The actual quality of the videos is not extremely important, but if it is bad people are less likely to enjoy it.

  • Be consistent. Set goals of how many videos you plan to make and when you plan to upload them.
  • Become an active Youtuber. Comment on others’ videos, choose your favorites, and converse with people. This will familiarize you more with the Youtube community while drawing more traffic to your videos.
Advertise. Myspace, Facebook, Twitter. Do all you can to get the word out. The more views your videos receive, the more they are likely to receive.

Monetize. Put Adsense on your video pages. Create a website and link to it. Many Youtube celebrities sell their merchandise on their websites as well as have affiliate sponsors to earn even more money.
Move onto other ventures to increase your celebrity. The top users on Youtube are offered tv deals, merchandising contracts, etc. Good luck!

How to Spot Real Celebrity Facebook Accounts

Identifying real celebrity accounts on Facebook can pose a challenge. Although many celebrities use the site to stay connected to family, friends and fans, a lot of accounts registered to the names of celebrities are fake and created by fans, stalkers, hackers and spammers. Facebook offers a tool to help you immediately identify some real celebrity accounts. To find others, you must search for clues that confirm account authenticity.

Facebook Verification

  • Although a real celebrity account often has a lot of “likes,” a high number isn’t a guarantee. Facebook researches profiles and fan pages that have a large number of followers and then tags confirmed accounts with a verification icon — a blue circle labeled with a white check mark — so fans don’t have to guess. The icon appears on an account’s cover photo to the right of the celebrity’s name. It also appears anywhere else on the site that links back to the account, such as in search bar results and on account thumbnails that pop up when you roll a cursor over a Facebook user’s name.

About Details

  • As small and new celebrity accounts don’t usually receive a verification icon, the next best way to spot a real account is by checking the About screen. Celebrities often list detailed information about themselves, such as work titles, academic accomplishments and professional awards, and offer self-written messages to fans. On a personal account, you might also find a link to a fan page and a note explaining that profile access is only approved for relatives and close friends. Another clue is the types of links added to the About screen. Celebrities typically add links to official websites and verified social network accounts.

Post Content

  • Because celebrities talk about their interests, work, family and friends, and often post personal photos and videos, post content usually reveals if an account is fake or real. If you’re uncertain, fact check specific details against information in news articles about a celebrity. Since many celebrities have to be careful about how they appear online to protect their image, a real account is less likely to have a lot of spelling and grammar errors. Additionally, unless a celebrity is known for using harsh language, posts won’t usually contain cursing or strong opinions. In fact, a real celebrity account is more likely to feature an apology to fans about past or recent off-color comments or poor behavior.

External Methods

  • If you’re having difficulty spotting real celebrity accounts on Facebook, or you’re trying to confirm that a specific celebrity has a Facebook account, consider looking for clues outside of the site. Celebrities who use Facebook typically link to their Facebook profiles and fan pages from their official websites and social media accounts. If celebrities have representation, their agents sometimes include links to their social networking accounts on their biography pages. If these methods don’t work, consider asking for help on fan sites.

Fake Accounts

  • Fake accounts aren’t merely an annoyance. Criminals often use them to convince fans to click links to phishing sites designed to steal personal information, or online stores designed to sell knockoff products that aren’t officially endorsed by a celebrity. When you spot a fake account on Facebook, report it immediately. Click the button marked with three dots next to the Messages button on the account’s cover photo, select “Report” or “Report Page” and then follow the instructions.

Why Celebrities Influence Teens

It’s difficult for anyone to avoid news about celebrities. Splashed across magazines, newspapers, TV, movies and the Internet, celebrities are perfectly positioned to influence teenagers. Teens are looking for role models as they try to deal with the many difficult issues that go with adolescence, which can make them highly susceptible to media influences.

Body Image

  • Teenagers often suffer from low self-esteem, which can be related to body image, according to KidsHealth. Celebrities are usually photographed looking immaculate, with flawless, hair, skin and teeth and slim, toned figures. It is natural for a teenager to compare herself to this seemingly perfect images and feel anguish because what she sees when she looks in the mirror does not compare. Taken to the extreme, a teenager might resort to a drastic diet or even develop an eating disorder in order to lose weight to look more like a skinny celebrity.

Style

  • Teenagers often define themselves through their clothes, seeking inspiration from magazines and the Internet. Many celebrities endorse fashion labels and designer brands, and their fans want to imitate their style. It is healthy and natural for teenagers to experiment with different looks and try to recreate the looks of their favorite celebrities, but some celebrities dress in a way that is not appropriate for adolescents, which can cause friction between teens and their parents.

Behavior

  • If a celebrity is pictured under the influence of alcohol or behaving in a reckless or dangerous manner, a teen who looks up to that person might decide to emulate their behavior. A teenager might think that the celebrity’s life is glamorous and exciting compared to his own, which could lead to him taking more risks. On the other hand, a celebrity who sets a positive example can encourage a teen to work hard to achieve his goals, and take responsibility for his health and well-being.

Advice for Parents

  • Parents cannot totally control what their teenager is exposed to in the media, but by spending time with her and teaching her to respect herself, it is possible to counteract potentially negative influences of celebrities. Setting a good example for a teenager is the most powerful step a parent can take, according to WebMD. Discussing what celebrities look like and how they behave will provide a valuable insight into the mind of a teenager, and help address any issues that arise, such as low self-esteem or an eating disorder.

How to Decide What Questions to Ask a Celebrity During an Interview

If you’re a writer or broadcaster, grabbing the full attention of a celebrity for an interview is part of the perks of your job. Ideally, you’ve had time to plan for it and you have a few questions committed to memory. But opportunity might also come knocking when you least expect it, so you might have to think fast.

  • Ask yourself what you would like to know about the celebrity. Chances are, if you’re curious, your readers or listeners will be as well. Write down the questions.
  • Go online and search for other profiles of the celebrity you’re going to interview. Find out what other reporters have asked him, especially recently. If any of these questions appear on your own list, someone has asked them before and they’re not news. Try to think of a clever angle to give these questions a new slant, or tweak them based on current events. Otherwise, cross them off your list.
  • Look for news items regarding your celebrity while you’re online, as opposed to profile pieces. If she just made a sizable donation to her local animal shelter, you can ask her about her interest in animals. If she just turned down a juicy role in a movie, ask her why. Her recent activities can point you in the right direction for a question or two if you’re innovative. You might have to dig deep to find topics that other reporters and broadcasters haven’t already exhausted.
  • Review your list of questions and decide which you would most like to be asked yourself, if you were the celebrity. When your interview begins, start with that one. Ideally, the celebrity will like it as well, and will begin talking freely. As he talks, pay attention rather than think about the next you have on your list.. Chances are he’ll say something that will trigger another question in your mind, something you didn’t think of before.
  • Memorize your research so it is on the tip of your tongue. As the interview progresses, if any of your existing questions meet with a less-than-enthusiastic response, this will allow you to think on your feet. You can jump to another subject if you’re prepared. All your questions don’t have to be questions. Some can be comments. The point is to get her talking, not to hear yourself talk. Drop an interesting statistic into the conversation, such as the box office numbers from her last movie, and wait for her comment on it. She’ll probably be impressed, and her response might lead to another question popping into your mind as well.

Becoming a Nanny for Celebrities

Nannies for celebrities aren’t just babysitters who supervise children when their parents are out. Celebrities tend to have one nanny per child who provides total care, such as feeding, bathing and dressing. Nannies coordinate children’s schedules, go with them to appointments or school events and accompany the family on trips – but they’re usually considered a secret. While the stars have no trouble talking about their staff of trainers, stylists and personal assistants, they stay tight-lipped about their nannies.

Knowledge and Skills

  • Some celebrities’ nannies have a high school diploma coupled with extensive experience, but many have a college degree, according to Celebrity Concierge & Staffing Services. For example, PopEater interviewed a nanny applicant for Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, who said the couple requires their nannies to have a degree in child development or education, as well as the ability to speak a minimum of two languages. Celebrities’ nannies must also be able to handle the paparazzi, media and general public.

Ready and Able

  • Celebrities usually expect their nannies to be ready at a moment’s notice. Last-minute gigs, events that run late and surprise occurrences run celebrities’ lives, which requires their nannies to be adaptable and flexible. Nannies must be able to work random hours, long days and weeks at a time to meet the demands of celebrities’ lifestyles. They must be ready for anything, from possessing medical release forms and passports for international traveling to carrying around first aid kits for emergencies.

Experience and Training

  • The New York Times magazine notes that rising celebrities often seek nannies who have industry contacts and nanny friends who also work for celebrities. In addition to reference checks and drug tests, celebrities or hiring agencies usually check applicants’ work histories and education. Some nannies obtain childcare training directly from a nanny institute such as the English Nanny and Governess School in Chagrin Falls, Ohio. The school offers 12-week programs where nannies learn the basics of cooking, riding horses, self defense, table manners and CPR.

Getting the Job

  • Joanne Barrow, the International Nanny Association’s 2013 Nanny of the Year, told Forbes that families looking for a nanny should rely on recommendations from friends or go through hiring agencies – but she advises against using sites like Craigslist. Hiring agencies don’t post vacancy announcements, but may accept nanny applications through their website. Candidates typically undergo thorough background investigations and are judged based on factors such as manners, language ability, driving record, attitude, appearance and job permanency.

Perks of Silence

  • In their daily lives, celebrities prefer to be seen as regular people. They require their nannies to maintain complete confidentiality on every detail of their lives. Forbes noted that Beth Torre, spokeswoman for Celebrities Staffing Services, admits that nannies who talk “won’t work in this town again.” However, nannies are generously compensated for their silence. New York Magazine reported in January 2012 that most nannies for celebrities make between $70,000 and $130,000 annually, and those with graduate degrees may earn more.

How to Impersonate a Celebrity

Celebrity impersonators are popular additions to fundraisers, corporate events and parties. In addition to being a source of great amusement for their families and friends. Impersonating a celebrity requires research and practice. The good news is the process of impersonating a celebrity is the same whether you want to transform into a president or a rock star.

  • Study the cultural output of the celebrity you wish to impersonate. If it’s an actor, spend time watching all of her movies. When you want to impersonate a musician listen to his albums and watch videos or concert footage. Politicians can be viewed in action by watching C-SPAN or the nightly news.
  • Learn important catch phrases, mega-hit songs or stirring speeches that are instantly recognizable as belonging to the celebrity. If you’re not a fan of the celebrity and need to see them, do a quick internet search to identify her most famous moment.
  • Copy the celebrity’s fashion, make-up and hair. Seek out still photos of the celebrity either on the Internet or in a weekly gossip magazine. Identify trends when impersonating a major celebrity, go for his or her iconic look.
  • Watch interviews of the celebrity out-of-character. When wandering around parties as the celeb, you will need to make small talk apart from your act. To be truly authentic, find out how the celebrity acts in interviews and adopt that persona.
  • Practice your act. Start with the song or act you plan to do, then add hair, make-up and costume. Once you are comfortable enough impersonating the celebrity alone, perform the act for a trusted friend or family members to get feedback. Incorporate any changes you need to make and take your act on the road.

How to Contact a Celebrity About a Charity

Whether you’re contacting celebrities about charities they already support or alerting them to new causes, the first thing you need to do is get their attention. Celebrities seem increasingly inclined to contribute to charities and their involvement can bring more awareness to a cause. While fans can interact directly with celebrities through social media, with so many vying for attention, getting stars to take notice is not easy. And, if a celebrity has not embraced social media, contacting them becomes even more difficult. Knowing your options and utilizing them to their fullest can mean the difference between acknowledgment and getting lost in the crowd.

Contacting the Celebrity

  • Tweet to the celebrity about the charity. Include a website or description of the charity and make it clear if you want them to respond to you or retweet information about the charity. You may have to tweet the celebrity multiple times over several weeks before you get a response.

    Including hashtags about subjects that are relevant to the celebrity, like their current projects, may get you noticed sooner.

  • Post messages on the celebrity’s official Facebook page. Some celebrities have official Facebook pages; contacting them there in conjunction with Twitter increases your chances of contacting them. Sometimes these pagers do not have walls to post a message, but they still may provide contact information.
  • Visit the celebrity’s official website. While less common, celebrity websites or sites for charities the celebrity already officially supports sometimes offer contact information.
  • Send information to the celebrity’s fan mail address. Celebrities often have addresses devoted to fan mail. Sending a letter allows you to write a reasoned and meaningful message about the charity. However, celebrities receive a lot of fan mail and it can take them months or even years to respond, so you may have to wait. Include a self-addressed, stamped envelope if you wish to receive return correspondence.

    There are many fan mail sites, but FanMail.biz has user feedback on whether the address actually works.

  • Find the celebrity’s contact information through IMDbPro and send information to their representatives. Since IMDbPro is specifically for use by the entertainment industry, users can click the “Contact Info” link on each celebrity’s page to find information on their agents or managers. IMDbPro is a paid service and costs $15.95 per month as of 2011.

How to Download Celebrity Wallpaper

Cell phone and computer users like to celebrate their love of celebrities in a variety of ways. A user can read about his favorite celebrity on fan sites and look for videos of lesser-known works by a new artist. You can download celebrity wallpaper for your computer or cell phone in a few simple steps to display your favorite star on your phone or in your house.

  • Search the online pages of your favorite celebrity news source for potential wallpaper for your computer. Pop culture magazines have started developing desktop backgrounds, including their magazine logo, as promotional tools. You can also copy photos from entertainment news sites directly to your desktop.
  • Save links for television networks and movie studios for wallpaper of your favorite actors in character. You can download previews of upcoming projects by actors and actresses that can be used on your desktop.
  • Store the celebrity wallpapers you download in the “Web” folder on your PC. This folder allows you to access wallpapers directly from your desktop instead of searching your folders. The “Web” folder is located in the “Windows” folder within your “C” drive.
  • Tap the right key on your mouse to activate your desktop. The “Desktop” menu will pop up, and you should scroll down to the “Properties” icon to set up celebrity wallpaper.
  • Select the “Desktop” tab from the desktop “Properties” page to access available images for wallpaper. Press the “Custom Desktop” feature and scroll through the list of available menus to find the “Web” folder.
  • Play around with different versions of celebrity backgrounds as you determine the best display options. You can select the “fit-to-screen” option on your computer to expand or contract the wallpaper to fit the boundaries of your screen. The “repeating” or “tile” option on PCs allows you to line up copies of the same image.
  • Trust your computer’s anti-virus program to run through downloaded files and websites to determine their safety. The latest generation of computer security software features tools for reviewing the potential for spam and viruses from certain sites. This approach is critical if you utilize free celebrity wallpaper from low-traffic sites.

Is it Legal to Use Celebrity Names on My Website ?

In some situations, it’s legal to use the name of a celebrity on a website, while in others it’s against the law. If the name is not used to slander or make a profit, it’s most likely legal to use a celebrity name on a website.

News and Commentary

  • If your website includes a celebrity name to report news about the celebrity or provide commentary about the celebrity, most likely that’s fair use and protected by U.S. law. However, the news and commentary must be accurate to the best of your knowledge.

Creative Works

  • United States law under the First Amendment also protects people that use likenesses in creative works. You can write a humorous poem about a celebrity or create a fictional story that uses the celebrity’s name.

Illegal Uses

  • Using a celebrity’s name for personal gain or to get publicity to your website is illegal. You cannot profit from the celebrity’s name or likeness.

How to See Celebrities and Famous People in New York

New York City is home to many famous stars and the prime location for various media outlets, award shows and movie premieres. Tourists visit the city just to catch a glimpse of their favorite star. However, with New York being one of the most populated cities in the world, celebrity hunters must prepare ahead of time and follow certain suggestions, if they wish to accomplish their mission.
  • Submit a free ticket request to “The Late Show” with David Letterman. “The Late Show” is best known for interviewing famous people and you can be part of the audience. Simply request a ticket online at the CBS website or in person at the the Ed Sullivan Theater. Make sure you call ahead of time for specified times.

    You will be contacted after the request has been submitted and asked a random trivia question about the show. If answered correctly, you will be given two free tickets to the show.

    You must be at least 18 years of age to attend.

  • Obtain dinner reservations at Graydon Carter’s restaurant in the Waverly Inn. This restaurant is known for its expensive menu and private atmosphere, making it a prime eating location for many celebrities. Famous guests have included Gwyneth Paltrow, Beyonce, Jay-Z and Chris Martin.
  • Visit the Trump International Hotel, located across the street from Central Park. The luxurious hotel is often preferred by many celebrities due to its proximity to numerous television stations and movie premiere locations. Celebrity sightings have included Tiger Woods, Chris Rock, Kevin Jonas and Casey Affleck.
  • Plan a trip to Barney’s Department Store, a prime shopping location for many celebrities. This Madison Avenue store houses various designer clothing and accessories. Its shoe department, in particular, is known to attract stars such as Katie Holmes, Vanessa Hudgens and Victoria Beckham.
  • Wear your best club attire and go to the Simyone Lounge. The club is located on West 14th Street and allows entry only to selected few. Those hoping to enter must reserve a table ahead of time, be on the VIP list or be approved by the bouncer. Crowds will wait in line at the entrance door’s velvet ropes, hoping to enter. Fashionable attire is highly suggested. Famous Simyone Lounge patrons include Kim Kardashian, Madonna, Elle McPherson, Quincy Jones and John Legend.
  • Check your favorite celebrity’s Twitter page for any events they might be having in New York. Some celebrities invite their fans to meet them at book-signings, autograph sessions or charity fundraisers.
  • Read though entertainment guides or newspapers that list celebrity events open to the public. You can find these at any supermarket or subway locations.
  • Print out a star map from the “New York Magazine” website. The map will show you where you are likely to find famous celebrities around New York, including their domiciles.

How to Invest in the New York Stock Exchange

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Known informally as the “Big Board,” the New York Stock Exchange is the world’s largest stock market in terms of the volume of capital that flows through it on a daily basis. The New York Stock Exchange has 1,366 “seats,” which are licensed to paying parties who become the only people permitted to trade securities directly on the index.

  • Set up a stock market trading account. You can do this by depositing your start-up capital with a traditional brokerage or by using one of the many discount brokerages cropping up all over the Internet. If you’re a novice investor, it is recommended that you open an account with a well-established brokerage and make all your trades through a stockbroker.
  • Spend some time following the New York Stock Exchange before you invest, and make practice trades using a stock-market simulator if you’re brand new to the world of investing. Follow business news to track current trends in the NYSE and get the inside scoop on up-and-coming companies.
  • Choose a company to invest in. Because the New York Stock Exchange lists the topmost companies of any stock market in the world, virtually every imaginable industry is represented on it. Narrow your options by identifying an industry to invest in, and then turn your focus onto finding a good company in that industry.
  • Research directly from the definitive source by heading to the official website of the New York Stock Exchange (see Resources below).
  • Search for New York Stock Exchange-listed companies that are undervalued. Known as “value investing,” this technique searches for solid companies with stock sitting below the market value it ought to have given its financial position. Work with your financial adviser to find undervalued stocks, or opt to go with a blue-chip corporation or up-and-coming company, depending on your risk tolerance.
  • Use your stockbroker or your online-trading account to buy shares of a company listed on the New York Stock Exchange. Especially for short-term investments, it is crucial to keep a close watch on daily activity. Sign up for stock alerts, or check frequently for quotes, keeping in mind that trading on the NYSE takes place Monday to Friday, from 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. EST.