Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Tila Tequila Takes a Shot at Love with Bobby Banhart

Atlanta, Ga. 12/19/2007 04:10 AM GMT (FINDITT)

The finale of MTV’s hit reality show, “A Shot at Love with Tila Tequila,” was a bit of a shocker as it was the small town boy from Worchester, N.Y. that won the heart of Tila and ultimately earned a shot at love.

A stunned Dani sat bewildered at the end of the show, amazed that Tila sent her home while an even more stunned Bobby needed time to absorb the idea that the woman he had been vying for had chosen him.

For Dani Campbell the end was heartbreaking as she couldn’t make sense of what happened and when Tila jumped into Bobby’s arms the Fort Lauderdale, Florida firefighter walked away.

After starting the show with 16 men and 16 women all fighting for a shot at love with the self-proclaimed bi-sexual, Tila, the Internet star carefully whittled her options down to Dani and Bobby, setting the stage for her decision on Tuesday.


Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Jessica Alba Pregnant With First Child

Now we know the reason for that planned career break...

By: Cher Tippetts on Wednesday 12th Dec 2007

Photo: WENN

Jessica Alba is expecting her first child with boyfriend Cash Warren.

The 26-year-old Fantastic Four actress announced the happy news via her publicist.

Her rep Brad Cafarelli said: "I can confirm that Jessica and Cash are expecting a baby in late spring, early summer."

Jessica is reportedly "thrilled" with the news, and can't wait to be a mother.

A source close to the Latina actress said: "Jessica was really jealous that all her friends were settling down and getting pregnant, so she is thrilled she has joined the club now.

"She feels like she is ready to be a mom, and knows she and Cash will make great parents."

Jess and Cash met on the set of Fantastic Four in 2004 but reportedly split earlier this year.

They quickly rekindled their romance and have recently been indulging in public displays of affection.

Jessica recently said she was planning to take eight months off work, but didn't specify why.

She said: "I've worked the last two and a half years without stopping. This is the time to do it."


Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Rightful Miss California USA Finally Crowned

As the vote counting error was clarified, Christina Silva was stripped of her Miss California crown which was instead awarded to Raquel Beezley, organizers said Monday.

24-year-old Christina Silva was initially named Miss California a week ago but she was forced to relinquish the title to the second runner-up after organizers discovered an apparent accounting error that led to a shape up in the order, Keith Lewis, the pageant’s state director said.

The one who will be representing California at the Miss USA pageant in April next year is 21-year-old Raquel Beezley.

Lewis explained that several judges questioned the results the following day and the error was discovered after the ballots were opened and recounted, "It was a simple human error," he said.

The contestants were scored by five celebrity judges who independently ranked them. The mix-up occurred when the points were reversed, with the lowest point given to the winner and the highest to the fourth runner-up, Lewis said.

However, Silva, who was forced to step down, has hired an attorney and is currently looking into her legal options.

"I don't want the title. I want the truth," Silva, who was told she can keep the tiara and the sash, was quoted by ABC as saying.

Speaking exclusively to ABC’s "Good Morning America," Silva recalled the joy of winning and how she was announced for days later that she had to give up the title.

"Within 10 minutes he just said, 'I don't know how to say this to you but you are not the winner. Miss [Raquel] Beazley, the second runner-up, is the winner, and there was an accounting error,'" Silva said about the moment when Lewis broke the news to her.

"All he kept saying is, 'Christina, you can continue wearing the crown and the sash and go on to Miss USA, but if this leaks your integrity and your acting career could be jeopardized. And we know you're faith-based and a woman of integrity and we know you're going to do the right thing, right?'" she added.

© 2007 - eFluxMedia

GE Microwave Recall Review

GE Profile and Kenmore brands microwave walls are recalled by GE due to fire hazard. GE announced on Wednesday that it recalls about 92,000 microwave walls due to fire hazart, reports CNN.

The problem of this microwaves is that the door switch in the microwave oven can overheat and should stop being used immediately. GE says people must stop using them immediately.

These recalled microwaves are not news. In fact, "The recalled units were sold from January 2000 to December 2003 and cost between $1,500 and $2,000, according to GE, which announced the recall with the Consumer Product Safety Commission," writes CNN in the report.

The GE recall information is not yet posted in GE's site.

"GE is offering a free repair on GE and GE Profile units or a rebate toward the purchase of a new product. Sears is doing the same for Kenmore units."


Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Internet Saves a Life: Going Online Helped Nancy Makin Lose More Than 500 Pounds

Nancy Makin at 700 lbs (left). Makin at 170 lbs on GMA this week (right).

Dec. 3, 2007

Weighing 700 pounds, Nancy Makin had lost hope.

After 12 years of weight gain, Makin had spiraled into despair. The more food she ate, the more shame she felt, and nothing could stop the cycle.

Then one day her sister gave her a computer. Inspired by the friends she'd made online and no longer judged by how she looked, Makin finally took control of the situation.

"The anonymity of the computer gave me access to a world that would have just as well have left me alone, alone to die but I did not," Makin wrote in a letter describing her saga.

Today Makin weighs a healthy 170 pounds and hopes others will be inspired by her story to take back their own lives.

Out of Control

The weight gain started after a divorce and fear at her job. Makin began overeating to avoid her feelings and soon she just couldn't stop.

"My son would bring me 10 double cheeseburgers. So I'd eat four, put the rest in the fridge. And then they'd call to me during the night or whatever and you'd eat 'em cold. I could go in and overeat cold squash out of the fridge. It doesn't matter."

"You're stuffing your feelings. That's what people need to know. It's not just being a glutton."

Too humiliated to go out in public, Makin only allowed her family to see her, often sending her son to get her groceries. "I only regret that my son — that I hurt him, that I marred his childhood somehow, that it could have been more full."

Escape Online
It was the gift of getting online that ultimately let Makin escape her misery.

"Internet provided anonymity. And people who would have rejected me out of hand, based on appearance, got to see my insides."

Before she knew it, the political junkie was surfing through chat rooms and making friends, beginning to find value in herself again. "I was being loved and nurtured by faceless strangers. … Friends accepted who I was based on my mind and soul."

"I was so busy and happy to get up every morning that I like to say I lost weight in my fingers first."

Makin said the psychological transformation was so complete that she lost all that weight without diet pills, exercise or even a diet. She just stopped gorging.

"I achieved this on my own, in a natural way, with no surgical procedures having been performed. No particular 'diet' plan was followed; no pills, potions or ab-crunching exercises played a part in my recovery," she wrote in a congratulatory letter to herself.


Monday, December 3, 2007

Eye-Fi Points To The Future Of Web-Based Products

Posted by David DeJean, Nov 29, 2007 09:54 AM

The Eye Fi Wireless SD card for digital cameras reduces a Wi-Fi card to fit on an SD flash storage card, with room left over for 2 Gbytes of storage. But amazing as that is, the most interesting thing about Eye Fi is the way it works the network.

I first saw the Eye Fi Wireless SD card at a trade show, and was so intrigued that I put the gizmo into's upcoming Holiday Gift Guide (look for it this weekend), and sought out Eye Fi CEO Jef Holove to ask him how it works.

The Eye Fi is intended to solve one of the major annoyances of digital cameras -- automatically transferring images from your camera to wherever you want to store your photos, whether that's on a local PC or Mac, or Web sites for photos, blogs or social-networking. Eye Fi currently works with 17 sites, including Facebook, Flickr, and TypePad.

The hardware form factor is plain vanilla SD -- it will fit in any camera that will accept an SD card (which is currently about 77% of the camera market, said Holove). But shrinking the radio and interface down to SD size weren't big problems. According to Holove, the two technical hurdles were tuning the antenna built into the card, and optimizing its power management.

The orientation of the card in the camera and the amount of metal that surround it both affect antenna performance in ways that had to be taken into account in the card's design. And while the card draws relatively little power, it has to function within the camera's overall power profile.

The card is actually powered down most of the time, said Holove. It knows if it's got new content and won't even try to transfer files if there's nothing to transfer. If it detects new data, it wakes up every minute or so and checks for networks it knows how to connect to. Eye Fi works only from a digital camera to a host computer -- it won't work on public Wi-Fi networks that require you to log in. So you're not going to send pictures to Shutterfly from the bottom of the Grand Canyon -- unless you live at the bottom of the Grand Canyon. It's strictly for cameras, too -- it works in one direction and sends only JPG files to the host (if you want to transfer RAW files, you'll have to do that some other way) -- so it's not going to magically make your PDA or media player with an SD slot into a wireless device.

The Eye Fi card packs an impressive amount of technology into a device the size of your thumbnail, but the other half of the product, the service half, is just as interesting. Like many new hardware and software products, the Eye Fi card is a one-time investment that buys you the promise of unlimited use of a Web-based service. When you choose to have the Eye Fi card send photos to your online site, the image files get there the way they always have. But instead of you transferring the files from camera to computer, logging into the service and uploading the files, an Eye Fi service handles all that -- and also does things like resizing the files if your destination site has limits.

This is a business model that used to have some risk attached: nothing is free, and what if the customers use more of the service than the provider can afford? Holove wasn't worried. The Eye Fi service is just servers and bandwidth, and both those things are getting cheaper over time. The company doesn't store the photos, it just proxies them from your PC to their final destination. That doesn't mean Eye-Fi isn't looking for ways to make a buck on its service, too. "We can introduce premium things people will want to pay for," said Holove. But the cost of servicing the device is so low, in comparison with the initial price, that the business model is a good one.


If you want more product details on the New Eye Fi, CLICK HERE

The Master Cleanse Diet Claims Outstanding Results

New diet plan called The Master Cleanse Diet says that its weight loss results are 'outstanding.' The Master Cleanse Diet is also known as Lemonade Diet. Below is the press release from the company presenting this diet plan.

The Master Cleanse Diet, which is also known as the Lemonade Diet or Master Cleanser Diet is making big waves in the health industry. It has become the latest rage from Health Gurus to Hollywood Actors and Actresses. But is the Master Cleanse Diet all its cracked up to be?

The diet is based off of a mixture of lemon juice, cayenne pepper and maple syrup (grade b). This may sound like an odd compilation however the results have been most surprising. This particular mixture, master cleanser enthusiasts say, is the key to cleansing the body of long-term toxins and cleaning the blood, kidneys, liver and colon as well as the intestinal wall. In addition to this many experience vasts amounts of weight loss in addition to the cleanse. Reports have been done that claim people lose around 20 lbs in less than a week.

"I feel better than I have ever felt before" Says Jenny Smith of Portland Oregon,"and I've lost significant weight as a result."

There has been known cases of people continuing the Lemonade Diet for up to fourty days. The diet recommends however doing it a minimum of four.

"The main purpose is not to lose weight" says Jenny," It's about purifying your body and starting over with a diet that benefits you."

Many have also claimed that they do not gain their weight back after the cleanse, just a little bit of water weight. This is due to the persons lack of craving bad foods as a result of the cleanse. They often crave much healthier things like fruit and vegetables which provides much better long-term health benefits than the food they previously craved.

The concept of the Master Cleanse Diet derives from the fact that we live in a fairly polluted world. So polluted that our bodies cannot detoxify properly as a result. This build-up over time can produce long-term health problems including diabetes, cancers, acidity problems as well as many other health problems. This cleanse is supposed to level out the body while intensely detoxifying the system over a period of ten days. It has been said that we are what we eat as well as we are what we most commonly do. This is the stance that the Master Cleansers go by.

The Master Cleanse Lemonade Diet has even hit hollywood in a big way. Famous singer Beyonce Knowles is a large advocate of the master cleanse lemonade diet. It is recommended, however that people go through the diet using a fiber supplement, colon cleanser or natural laxative as the diet does not consist of any fiber.

For more information on the Master Cleanse Lemonade Diet visit

Editor's note: eMaxHealth does not say this is a healthy diet plan, nor it endorses it. The point of this article is just to present a new diet plan for information purpose only.


Sunday, December 2, 2007

Larry Fitzgerald out for Cardinals

Fantasy Football Breaking News

Larry Fitzgerald - WR - ARZ - Dec. 2 - 2:49 pm et

Cardinals declared WR Larry Fitzgerald, QB Tim Hasselbeck, FB Tim Castille, FS Aaron Francisco, OL Elton Brown, WR Jerheme Urban, DE Bo Schobel and DT Ross Kolodziej inactive for Week 13 against the Browns.
Bryant Johnson will move into the starting lineup for Fitzgerald, who's out with a groin injury. Downgrade Kurt Warner some, although he remains a strong QB1 option. Dec. 2 - 2:49 pm et


Las Vegas Marathon 2007

Thousands of runners and walkers hit the pavement just after 6 a.m. on Sunday to take part in the Las Vegas Marathon 2007.

The race began with an explosion of fireworks as the runners and walkers took off from a parking lot near the Mandalay Bay Hotel. The marathon started at 6:07 a.m. under perfect weather conditions -- cold but not windy.

SLIDESHOW: See images from the Las Vegas Marathon 2007

A runner from Russia, Sylvia Skvortsova, won the Las Vegas Marathon 2007 with an unofficial finishing time of 2:29:02. The top men's finisher is Christopher Chebobibich from Kenya, who will take home $20,000. His unofficial finishing time was 2:16:49. The women are given an 18 minute lead in the race and this is the first time a woman has won the challenge. The top local winner, Abebe Yimer, a former Ethiopian, who now lives in Clark County will take home $10,000.

Numerous roads around the valley were closed, including the Las Vegas Strip, to accommodate the marathon participants.

Many of the runners in this year's Las Vegas Marathon have been in training since early summer. A large number of people just took part in the half-marathon. However, there was some confusion with some of the lead runners in the half-marathon making a wrong turn and ending up on the course for the 26.2 mile marathon.

Click here for Las Vegas Marathon 2007 results

This year's marathon drew nearly 17,000 participants and there were about 4,000 volunteers on hand to support the runners at the mile markers with water and food.

Entertainment, including a performance by the Blue Man Group, a Spamalot water station and a finish line performance by the Cirque du Soleil Jam Band greeted the marathon participants. There was also Run-Through Wedding Chapel for nearly 50 couples who were getting married or renewing their vows.

This year's runners will include runners from 42 countries including Russia, Kenya and Australia. Last year's two top finishers were from Kenya.

Josephe Kahugo of Kenya who won the 2006 marathon.


Saturday, December 1, 2007

Tradition surrounds Army-Navy game

Frederick N. Rasmussen | Back Story
December 1, 2007

In an article in yesterday's Sun, sports columnist Rick Maese recounted the age-old Army-Navy game tradition of West Point cadets slipping into Annapolis to capture a couple of the Naval Academy's mascot goats.

Today's Army-Navy clash at M&T Bank Stadium will be the fifth time the two military academies have played the game locally.

The first time was 1893, when they met in Annapolis, with Navy winning, 6-4. Thirty-one years later, when they took to the field at the old Municipal Stadium on 33rd Street in Baltimore; this time, Army trounced Navy, 12-0.

In 1944, President Franklin D. Roosevelt, who thought the game would give a war-weary nation a positive boost, linked it to a war bond drive. The 70,000 fans attending the game, again at Municipal Stadium, were required to purchase war bonds with their tickets.

After Army beat a powerful Navy team, 23-7, Gen. Douglas MacArthur cabled West Point head coach Col. Earl H. "Red" Blaik from his Pacific base: "WE HAVE STOPPED THE WAR TO CELEBRATE YOUR MAGNIFICENT SUCCESS."

When the game was last played in Baltimore, in 2000 at what was then PSINet Stadium, Navy won, 30-28.

There is another tradition associated with the game that may or may not be as well-known as the kidnapping of Navy goats: the ringing of two bells on the steps of Bancroft Hall on the campus of the Naval Academy.

On the steps of Bancroft Hall is the ship's bell from the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise - the "Big E," World War II's most decorated ship.

The carrier fought in the war from its beginning, on the morning of Dec. 7, 1941, to May 14, 1945, when a kamikaze attack off Japan destroyed its forward elevator and killed 14.

The extensive damage required the ship to withdraw from active duty and sail for Puget Sound Navy Yard for repairs. It was there when the war ended on Aug. 15, 1945. The carrier was decommissioned in 1947 and scrapped in 1960.

The ship's bell arrived at the Naval Academy in 1950 and sits on a stand that was donated by the Class of 1921. It is rung continuously, beginning when the final score of the game is known until the team returns to Bancroft Hall.

The other bell that is also rung in the post-game ceremony - and it's rung only if Navy defeats Army - is the Japanese Bell.

The 1456 Japanese temple bell was presented to Commodore Matthew C. Perry by the regent of Lew Chew, now Okinawa, during his 1854 voyage to the Far East.

The tradition began in 1900, after Navy returned from Philadelphia, where it had beaten Army, 11-7. The team's jubilant captain bonged out the winning score on the Japanese Bell.

James W. Cheevers, senior curator of the Naval Academy Museum, said in an interview with The Trident, the academy's newspaper, that the original bell was returned to Okinawa in 1987, as part of an effort to restore to the island some of its cultural items, many of which were destroyed during World War II. The current Japanese Bell is a replica.

There is another tradition that held that Naval Academy football teams pulled down window shades as they traveled by train through Baltimore - to ward off bad luck - but it has fallen into disuse. If the teams travel through Baltimore nowadays, it's aboard a bus.

When Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer was filming Navy Blue and Gold, an eminently forgettable 1937 film starring Jimmy Stewart, Robert Young and Florence Rice, a scene in the movie portraying Baltimore in an unfavorable light came to the attention of G.H. Pouder, vice president of the Baltimore Association of Commerce.

The disputed scene, according to Pouder, showed the Naval Academy football team en route to battle Army passing through the city on board a train with all of the car's shades pulled down.

"The team doesn't do this. It's the regiment of midshipmen, and not the team, which pulls the shades down," reported The Evening Sun.

The scene continues with a Pullman porter informing the players they are missing the sights of Baltimore, and he begins raising the shades.

"Members grab him and tell him that it is bad luck to look at Baltimore on the way to an Army game. The porter, in order to give the city a break, tells them that may be so, but they are missing about the best-looking girls in the country," reported the newspaper.

When the Naval Academy, which was required to approve the scene, refused to do so until the city gave its approval, the cinematic contretemps dropped squarely into Pouder's lap.

After checking with academy officials regarding the superstition, Pouder told film officials that it was "still strong among the Navy boys," reported the newspaper.

Pouder said he didn't really mind the original scene after all, but MGM, in a public relations gesture, agreed to rewrite the lines describing the scene's action as "just an old Navy custom," which did not in any way reflect on the city.

more in /news/local

Copyright © 2007, The Baltimore Sun

Friday, November 30, 2007

Evel Knievel, iconic American daredevil, dies at 69

Evel Knievel, the flamboyant motorcycle stuntman whose thrilling triumphs and spectacular failures enshrined him as America's consummate daredevil, died today in Clearwater, Fla. He was 69.

Knievel, who survived at least 38 broken bones, multiple concussions and countless abrasions acquired in daring jumps that ended in unplanned crashes, had been in failing health for years, including suffering from diabetes and idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, an incurable condition that scarred his lungs.

Longtime friend and promoter Billy Rundel told the Associated Press today that Knievel had difficulty breathing at his Clearwater condominium and died before an ambulance could get him to a hospital.

"It's been coming for years, but you just don't expect it," said Rundel. "Superman just doesn't die, right?"

Knievel died only three days after it was announced that he and rapper Kanye West had settled a federal lawsuit over the use of the legendary daredevil's trademarked name and likeness in a popular West music video.

Many of Knievel's successes were remarkable -- riding fast motorcycles up steeply pitched approach ramps and vaulting through the air over as many as 20 cars or 14 Greyhound buses before landing safely on descent ramps as far as 150 feet from the takeoff point.

But it was some of his defeats that won him his greatest fame -- slamming to the pavement in a Caesars Palace crash that left him in a coma for a month and falling into an Idaho gorge in a failed attempt to leap across the 1,700-foot-wide Snake River Canyon on a specially designed "skycycle."

Despite repeated accidents that cost him a total of more than three years in hospitals, Knievel once told the Wall Street Journal that there was only one mishap that prompted him to drop a stunt from his repertoire.

He said he used to stand in front of a motorcycle speeding directly toward him, jumping spread-eagle at the last second as the cycle and its rider flashed beneath him.

In 1965, in Barstow, he didn't jump quite high enough. The motorcycle, going about 60 mph, hit him square in the groin.

"A highway patrolman covered my head with a blanket," Knievel said. "He thought I was dead. So did I."

Knievel was laid up for more than a month, but he came back for more. Glib, shrewd, arrogant and charming, he promoted himself and his dangerous pursuits so successfully that Evel Knievel emerged as a millionaire and a household name in the 1960s and '70s.

At a time when the nation was still struggling with the effects of the Vietnam War and Watergate, Knievel became an iconic American hero figure in his tight-fitting, red-white-and-blue jumpsuit. His image was used to market motorcycles, crash helmets, Halloween costumes and candy. Two movies and several television programs were based on his exploits.

"America was down on its ass when I came along, and it needed somebody who was truthful and honest, somebody who would spill blood and break bones and suffer brain concussions, someone who wasn't phony," he said without a trace of modesty.

Robert Craig Knievel was born to Ann Keaugh Knievel and her husband, car dealer Robert Edward Knievel, in Butte, Mont., on Oct. 17, 1938. His parents separated when he was 6, and he moved a few blocks to the home of his grandparents.

"When I was a kid, the main activity was to go up and throw rocks at the whores, bang on the doors and have the pimps chase us down the street," Knievel said in a New Yorker magazine interview. "When I was 8, I saw Joey Chitwood's Auto Daredevils at Clark Park, in Butte. A guy jumped a motorcycle over a car. That night, I stole a motorcycle from a neighbor."

By the time he entered high school, Knievel was well known to Butte police.

"I got into a lot of trouble," he told Esquire magazine. "Probably it all started with stealing hubcaps, and then a little more trouble all the time until, pretty soon, you're snatching purses and robbin' places and doing things you shouldn't be doing."

Along the way, he picked up his nickname, Evel. There were conflicting accounts, even by him, of how that happened. But the bottom line is that someone, perhaps he, started calling him "Evil," and he changed the I to an E to make the whole thing more distinctive.

The trim, 180-pound 6-footer was a good athlete. After dropping out of school in 1956, he won a regional ski-jumping competition, pole-vaulted more than 14 feet during a short stint in the Army, played briefly with the Charlotte (N.C.) Clippers of the Eastern Hockey League and started, managed and starred on his own semi-pro hockey team in Butte.

Knievel married his high school sweetheart, Linda Joan Bork, in 1959.

He was employed for a while as a hunting guide and an insurance salesman. And by his own, unsubstantiated accounts, he also worked successfully as a con man, an armed robber, a car thief and a safe-cracker.

"I robbed so many safes in Oregon that one of the newspapers said it looked like somebody was dropping bombs through the roofs," he told Esquire.

If he did, he never got caught. And he said that after an armed robbery during which he beat a man, he had a change of heart.

"I got away with it, but it's not the right way of life," he said in a Sports Illustrated interview. "I want to be good to people."

Knievel opened a Honda motorcycle dealership in Moses Lake, Wash., in 1965, hyping sales by offering a $100 discount to anyone who could beat him at arm wrestling. That same year, he started Evel Knievel's Motorcycle Daredevils.

"We had a traveling show," he told the New Yorker. "I'd do five or six stunts -- ride through fire walls, jump over boxes of live rattlesnakes and land between two chained mountain lions, get towed down a drag strip at 200 mph."

Emboldened by his successes, he wrote Stuart Udall, then secretary of the Interior, asking for permission to leap the Grand Canyon on a winged, jet-powered motorcycle. Udall "did not share my enthusiasm, Knievel said.

Undaunted by the turndown, Knievel kept mounting high-powered motorcycles and jumping over things -- 10 cars, then 12, then 16. On Jan. 1, 1968, he attempted to leap 141 feet over the fountains in front of Caesars Palace in Las Vegas.

The takeoff went all right and he cleared the fountains, but when he landed, the motorcycle skidded and he tumbled end over end across a parking lot, suffering multiple fractures of the hip, pelvis, legs and one arm. He didn't regain consciousness for 31 days.

"Broken legs and arms mean nothing to me anymore," he later told the Journal. "It only hurts for a while."

In February 1971, he jumped 19 cars and cleared 150 feet. Not long afterward, he jumped 20. Thousands paid to watch him do it.

"When you see me make the jump, you're just as scared as I am," he told Esquire. "When I make it, you're just as glad."

Between the jumps, personal appearances and product endorsements, Knievel was making pretty good money. His fingers were barnacled with diamonds. He drove around in a Rolls-Royce. He owned a Learjet. He lived, most of the time, in a gaudily painted tractor-trailer rig, complete with a bar, lounge, bedroom, dressing room and enough space in the back for his motorcycles and jumping ramps.

Life was good, but he still wanted to jump a canyon. And if officials wouldn't let him do it on public land, he'd do it on private land, where no one could stop him. To that end, he purchased some property along the 400-foot-deep Snake River Canyon, just outside Twin Falls, Idaho.

On Sept. 8, 1974, as about 40,000 spectators, who'd paid $25 apiece, looked on from a nearby bluff and thousands more watched on closed-circuit television in theaters across the nation, Knievel blasted off a 108-foot-long takeoff ramp on his steam-propelled Sky Cycle X-2.

"The witless Knievel is titillating a barbaric appetite for treating violent death as a spectator sport," columnist George F. Will wrote. "Like pornography, the event is brutalizing, antilife."

A parachute opened prematurely, slowing the cycle on takeoff, and Knievel made it less than halfway across the canyon.

Buoyed by the parachute, he and the cycle sank slowly down onto a brush-covered slope on the near shore. He suffered a few scratches, and the event didn't make as much money as he'd hoped, but newspapers and television stations around the world covered the jump. The publicity helped generate crowds for subsequent stunts.

In May 1975, he tried to leap over 13 double-decker buses at London's Wembley Stadium. He cleared the buses but crashed on landing, crushing his pelvis. Five months later, he cleared 14 Greyhound buses in Ontario, Canada.

In 1976, while practicing for a jump over a tank full of live sharks in Chicago, he crashed, suffering a concussion and breaking both arms. For the first time, a bystander was hurt, losing an eye. And for Knievel, that was the beginning of the end.

He made a few more jumps, but he was wearing out his welcome, and the public wasn't much interested.

In 1977, he served five months and 22 days in the Wayside Honor Rancho near Castaic for smashing the left arm of television executive Sheldon Saltman with a baseball bat. Knievel, utterly unrepentant, told the judge he did it because the uncomplimentary book Saltman had written about him was a "filthy lie."

By 1981, Knievel's son Robbie had taken over the daredevil act. Evel was drinking hard and suffering from depression. His wife divorced him. Saltman won a $12.75-million judgment against him, and most of Knievel's financial assets were gone.

"If God had wanted you to hang on to money, he'd have put handles on it, so you could carry it around like a suitcase," he told Entertainment Weekly.

Knievel bounced back in the 1990s, sobering up and finding work doing more advertising endorsements. Television rediscovered him, airing several whatever-happened-to pieces. In 2000, he was remarried, to Krystal Kennedy, a woman less than half his age.

But time was taking its toll. Hepatitis C, contracted from one of his many blood transfusions, claimed his liver, and he had a transplant. His frequently fractured legs led first to a cane, then to a walker. He came down with diabetes. He had a hip replacement and his spine was fused. His arms were so crippled that he needed help putting on a belt.

But Knievel was still thinking big. As late as 2003, at age 64, he was still talking about making another jump, "further than I jumped at Caesars Palace."

In July 2004, he told the San Antonio Express-News that he had no regrets about his life.

"If the world had more people like me, it would be a more interesting place," he said.

In addition to his partner, Krystal -- they were married in 1999 and divorced a few years later but remained together -- and his son Robbie, Knievel is survived by another son, Kelly; two daughters, Tracey and Alicia; 10 grandchildren; and a great-grandchild.

By Eric Malnic, Special to The Times
3:33 PM PST, November 30, 2007


Movie Review : Aaja Nachle

How do you describe AAJA NACHLE? Good, bad, average?? It�s a difficult task. But there is that little extra something that has worked in the favour of this Anil Mehta directed, Yash Raj film. And that extra something happens to be Madhuri Dixit. Take off Madhuri and this movie falls flat. And the makers have exploited well her image of one living in the US of A, of a dancer, and of one making a comeback after marriage and motherhood. Madhuri, on her part, could not have asked for a better comeback film.

There is no genius in the script; you know what will unfold as the film progresses, but in the implementation of the age-old Laila Majnu kahani, Anil does the trick. Dia (Madhuri Dixit) vows never to return to her village Shamli, where she grew up, after she runs off with an American photographer she falls in love with. Meanwhile, her parents sell off their home and move away to someplace no one knows, ashamed of their daughter�s deed.

But fate has other things in store. A call informing Dia about her guruji�s ill health has her breaking her promise and coming to India with her daughter. Makarand, her dance guru played by Darshan Jariwala passes away before she can arrive leaving her a request to save Ajanta Theatre from getting into the hands of the builders. The same Ajanta Theatre where she grew up learning her dance moves.

Dia now has a tough task of proving to the powers that be that Ajanta should be left for the villagers to pursue the art of dancing and she has two months to prove this with the help of the very villagers who ridiculed her. You don�t need to be a genius to know what the end will be. But enter the Laila-Majnu twist and there is a whole new dimension to the movie.

The picturisation in the form of an Opera of the Laila-Majnu story is fantastic. In song and dance, the villagers, after many rehearsals, enact the story to a resounding applause. In one word, the execution of the whole Opera is brilliant. Never has the Laila-Majnu tale been told so convincingly and effectively.

Madhuri Dixit is not in her best of form, but she leaves her mark on the film. The years away from the camera have not dimmed her enthusiasm to perform and this can be seen from �Take One�. Her dancing, as usual, is superb. But for me it is Akshaye Khanna in his cameo, and Konkona Sen Sharma who excel. There�s also Jugal Hansraj who shows some fire, briefly, in his performance as Laila�s brother in the Opera. Ranvir Shorey still looks cock-eyed after his NO SMOKING role and surprisingly has the same body language. Irfan Khan, for his part, is caught in his �Hutch-recharge mode�. A waste of a brilliant actor. Thankfully, Vinay Pathak moves from his BHEJA FRY act after the first few scenes.

On the flip side, you see guruji flinging a slipper in jest at Dia while having his meal and the next moment he digs the same hand into his plate (yuck). A scene later, Dia tip-toes in home late with slippers in hand and immediately sits at the dinner table to eat with her father. Also, there is no attempt on Dia�s part to find out whether her parents are dead or alive, when she visits her village after 11 years. But yes, she wants to save Ajanta!

To go or not: For Madhuri Dixit fans, there is no holding back, they will find their seats any which way. To answer the first question, it�s not a great movie, but definitely worth a one-time watch!

Ratings : 2 / 5
By Martin D'Souza, Bollywood Trade News Network