sâmbătă, 30 aprilie 2011

Sin City: Jessica Alba, Benicio Del Toro, Rosario Dawson, Clive Owen & Bruce Willis

Sin City is the title for a series of neo-noir comics by Frank Miller. The first story originally appeared in "Dark Horse Presents Fifth Anniversary Special" (April, 1991), and continued in Dark Horse Presents #51–62 from May 1991 to June 1992, under the title of Sin City, serialized in thirteen parts. Several other stories of variable lengths have followed. All stories take place in Basin City, with frequent recurring characters and intertwining stories.

A movie adaptation of Sin City, co-directed by Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller with "special guest director" Quentin Tarantino, was released on April 1, 2005. A planned sequel was announced soon after, but has since been delayed indefinitely.

Basin City, almost universally referred to by the nickname Sin City, is a fictional town in the American west. The climate is hot and arid, although Sacred Oaks is characterized as being heavily wooded. A major river runs through the city, which has an extensive waterfront. Usually twice a year, a major downpour comes, and (in That Yellow Bastard) the city gets heavy snowfall in the winter. In the comics, Basin City has a surreal, Pan-American feel. Desert lizards and palm trees are common, while tar pits, desert areas, mountain ranges and flat farmland make up the landscape around the city.

The Basin City Police are more or less along the lines of paramilitary or SWAT, as they have to deal with incredibly high crime rates among criminals and civilians alike, which is why they have access to what most would consider "heavy weaponry" and full body armor. Those who make up the force have been described as commonly being lazy, cowardly and/or corrupt. Only a handful of the cops are honest, though frequently the wealthy of the city bribe the corrupt members of the police into performing their duty (usually as a result of some crime being committed (or threatened) against a member of their family).

During the California Gold Rush, the Roark family "imported" a large number of attractive women to keep the miners happy, making a fortune and turning a struggling mining camp into a thriving, bustling city. Over the years, as the Roark family migrated into other areas of business and power, these women ended up forming the district of Old Town, the prostitute quarter of the city where they rule with absolute authority. In addition, the people charged with governing the city, most of them from the Roark line, remained in power for generations, running it as they saw fit.

As the various yarns progress, the audience gradually becomes familiar with key locations in and around Basin City.

* The Projects, the run-down and poor side of Sin City, is a tangle of high-rise apartments where crime runs rampant. Its inhabitants have apparently evolved their own independent society with almost no legal contact with the outside world. Marv was born in the Projects and they make Dwight sick.
* The Docks, a collection of wharfs and warehouses that are local to the Projects. Hartigan and Roark Junior have their first confrontation here in That Yellow Bastard, and Marv drives a stolen police car off one of the piers at the beginning of The Hard Goodbye.
* Kadie's Club Pecos, a strip club/bar where Nancy Callahan and Shellie work, and Dwight McCarthy and Marv hang out. Though filled almost solely with drunk and violent men, Kadie's bar is one of the safest areas in Sin City. Marv, who possesses an extraordinarily high sense of chivalry, protects the female employees of Kadie's from any violence that makes its way inside.

* Roark Family Farm (a.k.a. "The Farm") is located at North Cross and Lennox and shows up in several stories, including The Hard Goodbye, That Yellow Bastard, The Babe Wore Red and Hell and Back. It was also home to Kevin, a serial killer with ties to the Roark family. Marv burns down one of the buildings, and the Farm is abandoned sometime after the initial Sin City storyline.
* Old Town is the red-light district and is off limits to the police, unless they're 'shopping'. This is where the city's population of prostitutes reside; it recently came under the control of the twins Goldie and Wendy. Though perfectly willing to engage in almost any sexual act for the right price, the women of Old Town show no mercy to those who "break the rules" and back up their independence with lethal force. The mob and pimps were thrown out after a period of fighting.
* Sacred Oaks, home to the rich and powerful of Basin City. This suburb lies beyond the city proper, a half an hour drive uphill. A university of some sort is also located there, and the entire area is patrolled by armed employees of its wealthy inhabitants.
* Basin City Central Train Station, which has a direct connection to Phoenix.
* The Santa Yolanda Tar Pits, an abandoned amusement park of sorts outside the city, where several tar pits are located and dinosaur bones were excavated at some time. After a 'big-budget dinosaur movie' (presumably a reference to Jurassic Park) caused a sensation, the county put up concrete statues of dinosaurs there to draw crowds. However, after an old lady fell through a railing into one of the pits and had a heart attack, the place was shut down indefinitely. They are frequently used as a place to dump things that people don't want found; high-schoolers also tend to sneak in there a lot. This is where Delia tells Phil to drive in Wrong Turn and where Dwight takes the corpses of Jackie Boy and his friends in The Big Fat Kill. Frank Miller has admitted the main reason the Tar Pits exist is as an excuse to draw the dinosaur statues.

vineri, 29 aprilie 2011

Succes 2011: Marco Lazzara, contratenor italian

Marco Lazzara (born 1962) is an Italian countertenor who sings a wide-ranging repertoire from baroque composers to those of the 20th century and has performed in a number of notable premieres and revivals of rarely performed operas.He has recorded widely on the Bongiovanni, Ricordi, Nuova Era, Forlane, Opera Rara and Dynamic labels.

Lazzara received diplomas in piano, organ, harpsichord and singing, followed by studies at the Accademia Musicale Chigiana in Siena, and made his professional debut in 1989. In the field of baroque music, Lazzara has sung as a leading soloist with the Alessandro Stradella Consort in a series of performances and world premiere recordings, including, Stradella's Il barcheggio, Moro per amore, and Esule dalle sfere and Nicola Porpora's Dorindo dormi ancor? on the Bongiovanni label. He also appears in the world premiere recording of Niccolò Piccinni's Salve Regina and Dixit Dominus on Bongiovanni. Lazzara was the first countertenor to sing the role of Orfeo in Gluck's Orfeo ed Euridice in Italy with a series of 1996 performances in Mantua, Pisa and Ravenna. In 2001, he sang the title role of Antonio Cesti's Il Tito in its first modern revival since 1983. The production at the Opéra National du Rhin in Strasbourg with William Christie and Les Arts Florissants premiered a newly edited score by music scholar Alan Curtis.

In the bel canto repertoire, Lazzara sang the role of Lurcanio in Simone Mayr's Ginevra di Scozia in a series of performances (and world premiere recording) in April 2001 at the Teatro Lirico Giuseppe Verdi in Trieste to mark the bicentenary of the opera's premiere and its first performance in modern times. Lazzara has also recorded an album of arias and duets by Rossini with Annick Massis (Duo d'amore) on the Forlane label, and a solo album of arias and songs by Bellini on the Dynamic label. The latter contains the first recording of Francesco Florimo's "Tu che al pianger" based on a theme from Bellini's La straniera.

Lazzara's performances in 20th century works include the role of Edgar in the Italian premiere of Aribert Reimann's Lear at the Teatro Regio di Torino in October 2001; Manichino di Donna in the world premiere of Azio Corghi's Il Dissoluto Assolto at the Teatro Nacional de São Carlos, Lisbon in March 2006 (reprised for its Italian premiere at La Scala the following September); Il delegato in the world premiere of Bruno de Franceschi's Il paradiso degli esuli (Pisa, 27 October 1994);[10] and Sesto Simbolo in the world premiere of Adriano Guarnieri's Pietra di diaspro at the Teatro dell'Opera di Roma on 10 June 2007 (reprised for the Ravenna Festival later that year). Lazzara has also performed as a soloist in Giacomo Manzoni's Trame d'Ombre (Webs of Shadows) at Carnegie Hall (April 2000)and in the first Italian performance of Alfred Schnittke's cantata based on the Faust legend, Seid nüchtern und wachet. The latter performance was broadcast live by RAI Radio 3 on 22 April 2007.

miercuri, 27 aprilie 2011

Succes 2011: Niki Lauda, a living Formula 1 legend

Andreas Nikolaus "Niki" Lauda (n. 22 februarie 1949) este un om de afaceri austriac și fost pilot de Formula 1, campion mondial în anii 1975, 1977 și 1984.

Dupa prima sa retragere din Formula 1 a fondat linia aeriana Lauda Air, care a devenit in timp una din cele mai mari linii aeriene din lume. Lauda a fost unul din primii piloti ale propriilor avioane.

În anul 1982 când s-a reîntors în Formula 1 după o absență de două sezoane a devenit primul pilot din lume plătit cu peste 1 milion de dolari pe sezon de către echipa sa.
Andreas Nikolaus "Niki" Lauda (born February 22, 1949 in Vienna) is an Austrian former Formula One racing driver and three-time F1 World Champion. More recently an aviation entrepreneur, he has founded and run two airlines and was manager of the Jaguar Formula One racing team for two years.

Born in Vienna, Austria, to a wealthy family. Although it is often reported in Spain that his paternal grandfather was Juan Lauda Crespo, from Galicia, according to Austrian sources his paternal grandfather was the Viennese-born businessman Hans Lauda.

Lauda became a racing driver despite his family's disapproval. After starting out with a Mini, Lauda moved on into Formula Vee, as was normal in Central Europe, but rapidly moved up to drive in private Porsche and Chevron sports cars. His career seemed to be going nowhere in particular until he took out a large bank loan, secured by a life insurance policy, to buy his way into the fledgling March team as a Formula 2 (F2) driver in 1971. He was quickly promoted to the F1 team and drove for March in both F1 and F2 in 1972. Although the F2 cars were good (and Lauda's test-driving skills impressed March principal Robin Herd), March's 1972 F1 season was catastrophic and Lauda, in despair and deep debt, briefly contemplated suicide but finally took out yet another bank loan to buy his way into the BRM team in 1973. Lauda was instantly quick but the team was in decline; his big break came when his BRM team-mate Clay Regazzoni rejoined Ferrari in 1974 and team owner Enzo Ferrari asked him what he thought of Lauda. Regazzoni spoke favourably of Lauda, so Ferrari promptly went and signed him, paying Niki enough to clear his debts.
After an unsuccessful start to the 1970s culminating in a disastrous start to the 1973 season, Ferrari regrouped completely under Luca di Montezemolo and were resurgent in 1974. The team's faith in the little-known Lauda was quickly rewarded by a second-place finish in his début race for the team, the season-opening Argentine Grand Prix. His first Grand Prix (GP) victory – and the first for Ferrari since 1972 – followed only three races later in Spain. Although Lauda became the season's pacesetter, achieving six consecutive pole positions, a mixture of inexperience and mechanical unreliability meant Lauda won only one more race that year, the Dutch GP. He finished fourth in the Drivers' Championship and demonstrated immense commitment to testing and improving the car.

The 1975 F1 season started slowly for Lauda, but after nothing better than a fifth-place finish in the first four races he then won four out of the next five races in the new Ferrari 312T. His first World Championship was confirmed with a fifth win at the last race of the year, the United States GP. He also became the first and only driver to lap the Nürburgring Nordschleife in under 7 minutes, which was considered a huge feat as the Nordschleife section of the Nürburgring was 2 miles longer than it is today.

Unlike 1975, Lauda dominated the start of the 1976 F1 season, winning four of the first six races and finishing second in the other two. By the time of his fifth win of the year at the British GP, he had more than double the points of his closest challengers Jody Scheckter and James Hunt, and a second consecutive World Championship appeared a formality. It would be a feat not achieved since Jack Brabham's victories in 1959 and 1960. He also looked set to win the most races in a season, a record held by the late Jim Clark since 1963.

A week before the 1976 German Grand Prix at the fearsome Nürburgring, (even though he was the fastest driver on the circuit at that time) Lauda tried to boycott the circuit, largely due to the safety arrangements. Most of the other drivers voted against it and the race went ahead. On the second lap at the very fast left kink before Bergwerk, Lauda's Ferrari swerved off the track, due to a suspected rear suspension failure, hit an embankment and rolled back into the path of Brett Lunger's Surtees-Ford car. Lauda's Ferrari burst into flames, but, unlike Lunger, he was trapped in the wreckage. Drivers Arturo Merzario, Brett Lunger, Guy Edwards and Harald Ertl arrived at the scene a few moments later, but before they and Lunger were able to pull Lauda from his car, he suffered severe burns to his head and inhaled hot toxic gases that damaged his lungs and blood. Although Lauda was conscious and able to stand immediately after the accident, he later lapsed into a coma.

Lauda suffered extensive scarring from the burns, which became possibly his most famous attribute in the eyes of the public. He only had enough reconstructive surgery to get his eyelids to work properly, but never felt a need to do any more. His right ear is mostly gone. Since the accident he has always worn a cap to cover the scars on his head. He has arranged for sponsors to use the cap for advertising.

With Lauda out of the contest, Ferrari boycotted the Austrian GP in protest at what they saw a preferential treatment shown towards McLaren driver James Hunt at the Spanish and British GPs. Carlos Reutemann was even taken on as a potential replacement.

Lauda returned to race only six weeks (two races) later, finishing fourth in the Italian GP. In Lauda's absence, Hunt had reduced his lead in the World Championship standings. Following wins in the Canadian and United States GPs, Hunt stood only three points behind Lauda before the final race of the season, the Japanese GP.

Lauda qualified third, one place behind Hunt, but on race day there was torrential rain and Lauda retired after 2 laps, stating that he felt it was unsafe to continue under these conditions. Hunt led much of the race before a late puncture dropped him down the order. He recovered to 3rd, thus winning the title by a single point. In spite of this, Lauda's move is seen as one of the bravest examples in motor racing.

Lauda's previously good relationship with Ferrari was severely affected by his decision to withdraw from the race, and he endured a difficult 1977 season, despite easily winning the championship through consistency rather than outright pace. Having announced his decision to quit Ferrari at season's end, Lauda left early due to the team's decision to run the then unknown Gilles Villeneuve in a third car at the Canadian Grand Prix.

Having joined Brabham in 1978 for a $1 million salary, Lauda endured two unsuccessful seasons, notable mainly for his one race in the Brabham BT46B, a radical design known as the Fan Car: it won its first race, but Brabham did not use the car in F1 again, not wanting the car to be banned outright. At the 1979 Canadian Grand Prix, Lauda informed B

rabham owner Bernie Ecclestone that he wished to retire immediately, as he had no more desire to "drive around in circles". Lauda, who had founded a charter airline, returned to Austria to run the company full-time.

Needing money to shore up his new business, in 1982 Lauda returned to racing, feeling that he still had a career in Formula One. After a successful test with McLaren, the only problem was in convincing then team sponsor Marlboro that he was still capable of winning. Lauda proved he was still quite capable when, in his third race back, he won the Long Beach Grand Prix. Lauda won a third world championship in 1984 by half a point over teammate Alain Prost, due to only half points being awarded for the shortened 1984 Monaco Grand Prix. His Austrian Grand Prix victory that year is the most recent time an Austrian has won his home Grand Prix.

1985 was a poor season for Lauda, with thirteen retirements from the sixteen races. He did manage 4th at the 1985 San Marino Grand Prix, 5th at the 1985 German Grand Prix, and a single race win at the 1985 Dutch Grand Prix. This proved to be his last Grand Prix victory and also the last Formula One Grand Prix held in the Netherlands. He retired for good at the end of that season.

Lauda returned to running his airline, Lauda Air, on his second Formula One retirement in 1985. During his time as airline manager, he was appointed consultant at Ferrari as part of an effort by Montezemolo to rejuvenate the team.[8] Ousted from his airline by boardroom politics after a sale to majority partner Austrian Airlines in 1999, he managed the Jaguar Formula One racing team from 2001 to 2002. In late 2003, he started a new airline, Niki. Lauda holds a commercial pilot's license and from time to time acts as a captain on the flights of his airline.

He was inducted into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame in 1993 and since 1996 has provided commentary on Grands Prix for Austrian and German television on RTL. He was, however, rapped for calling Robert Kubica a "polack" on air in May 2010 at the Monaco Grand Prix.

Niki Lauda has written five books: The Art and Science of Grand Prix Driving (titled Formula 1: The Art and Technicalities of Grand Prix Driving in some markets) (1975); My Years With Ferrari (1978); The New Formula One: A Turbo Age (1984); Meine Story (titled To Hell and Back in some markets) (1986); Das dritte Leben (1996). Lauda credits Austrian journalist Herbert Volker with editing the books.

Lauda is sometimes known by the nickname "the rat" or "SuperRat" because of his prominent bucked teeth. He has been associated with both Parmalat and Viessmann, sponsoring his ever faithful 'cappy' from 1976 onwards, used to hide the severe burns he sustained in his 1976 accident. Lauda admitted in a 2009 interview with the German newspaper Die Zeit that an advertiser currently pays €1.2m for the space on his famous red cap.

In 2008, American sports television network ESPN ranked him 22nd on their top drivers of all-time. In 2005 the Austrian post office issued a stamp honouring him.

Lauda had two sons with his first wife, Marlene: Mathias, a racing driver himself, and Lukas, his brother's manager. They divorced in 1991. He also has an illegitimate son, Christoph. In 2008 he married Birgit, who was 30 years his junior and was formerly a stewardess for his airline. She had also donated a kidney to Lauda when the kidney he received in a transplant from his brother years earlier failed. In September 2009 Birgit gave birth to twins, a boy and a girl.

marți, 26 aprilie 2011

Succes 2011: Peter Wingfield (Highlander, 24)

Peter Wingfield (born 5 September 1962) is a Welsh born television actor, well known for his television roles as Dan Clifford in Holby City, Dr. Robert Helm in Queen of Swords and Inspector Simon Ross in Cold Squad. But he is internationally best known for his role as the 5000-year-old Immortal Methos in the hit syndicated series Highlander: The Series.

Wingfield was born in Cardiff and grew up in the Grangetown community, a good student, initially educated at The Cathedral School, Llandaff he enjoyed athletics, music, outdoor activities, and drama. At the age of fifteen he was the Welsh National Trampoline champion. After his A-levels he entered Brasenose College, Oxford, and in 1982 began medical training at the prestigious St Bartholomew's Hospital in London. His time, however, was not devoted solely to medicine. In 1980 he spent his summer break at the National Youth Theatre of Wales where he discovered the sense of camaraderie and belonging that characterise truly outstanding acting troupes. His four-week stint with this youth theatre changed him in ways he didn’t fully appreciate at the time, but which were to have a lasting impact. He also worked during his college years at the Brasenose Little Theatre, both performing in, and producing, a variety of plays.
Shortly before completing his fifth and final year at St Bartholomew’s in 1987, Wingfield realised that the practice of modern medicine was not for him.One month before he was due to graduate, he made the decision to leave medical school and pursue acting as a full-time career.
Wingfield began his formal acting training at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London, coincidentally located just across the street from St Bart’s Hospital in London. His training covered the range of an actor’s repertoire, including voice, movement, and the acting skills necessary to be successful in arenas ranging from radio to mime. Peter was chosen in 1990 to compete for the BBC’s Carleton Hobbs Award for radio, which he won.

In 1990, shortly after leaving drama school, he landed his first television acting part as a taxi driver in the film Antonia and Jane. The qualification that led to his selection for the part was that he knew how to drive.

Wingfield appeared regularly on British television, and starred in numerous productions. His last major role in British television was as Tom Kirby in the series Noah’s Ark in 1997. Portraying a vet in the series, Wingfield had to take medication to combat his animal allergies. One positive outcome of this short-lived series is that the constant exposure to animals has apparently reduced his allergic reactions.
In the late 1990s Peter played Simon Pemberton in BBC Radio 4's serial The Archers.
A large international audience came to know him as Methos, the oldest living Immortal in Highlander: The Series. Since that series ended, Wingfield has appeared in numerous North American television productions for both Canadian and U.S. companies, including the portrayal of Dr Robert Helm on Fireworks Entertainment production's syndicated show Queen of Swords filmed at Texas Hollywood studios, Tabernas southern Spain home of the spaghetti western. A Canadian/Spanish/United Kingdom production. He reprised his role as Methos in Highlander: Endgame in 2000.

In addition to Antonia and Jane, Wingfield has appeared in the feature films X2: X-Men United, Highlander: Endgame (reprising the role of Methos), The Edge of Madness, Baby Geniuses 2, Catwoman and Uncovered. He also appeared on Stargate SG-1 as Tanith, and as Lach on Andromeda's fourth season episode The Others. Another notable appearance was in the TV movie Halloweentown 2: The Rise of Kalabar, where he played Alex. He also recently appeared in episodes of Caprica on the SyFy Channel.

While filming the fifth Highlander movie Highlander: The Source, Wingfield related his love for Methos:
“And I have to say, the first day of filming was unexpectedly emotional for me. As I put on the long black coat and drove to the set in the pre-dawn gloom, I could feel the presence of an old friend I have not seen for some years now. Really, in a very physical way, I could 'feel' him. And I was overwhelmed, possessed even, by the sense of him, tears welling up in my eyes as I formed the words in my head, over and over again, "Methos is alive."
From August 2006 to October 2007, he appeared in the BBC medical drama Holby City, playing General Surgical Consultant Daniel Clifford.

Although officially retired as a Trampoline National Champion, Wingfield is still a focused athlete. He runs as often as his schedule allows, his most recent major run being the New York City ING Marathon in November, 2009, which he ran in support of UNICEF.

Wingfield played the recurring role of David Emerson on Season 7 of the Fox TV series 24, which premiered on 11 January 2009. He also played Dr. Watson on the science fiction series Sanctuary.

In 2010, Wingfield starred in the remake of Riverworld for the SyFy Channel, playing Sir Richard Francis Burton. He also played Dr. John Trousdale in the Syfy original film Stonehenge Apocalypse. He also had guest roles in Human Target and NCIS Los Angeles.

vineri, 22 aprilie 2011

Julia Roberts, America's Sweetheart. Eat Pray Love - and win an Oscar from time to time

Julia Roberts (n. 28 octombrie 1967) este o actriță americană de film, mătușa Emmei Roberts, câștigătoare a premiului Oscar, pentru cel mai bun rol feminin din filmul inspirat de realitate, Erin Brockovich.
În Rețeaua Miraculoasă, ea este vocea personajului Charlotte.

Pe numele său adevărat Julia Fiona Roberts s-a născut în Atlanta, Georgia, fiica lui Betty Lou și Walter Grandy Roberts. Părinții săi au fost baptiști și catolici și ea a crescut în religia romano-catolică. Fratele său mai mare, cu care a fost certată o perioadă, Eric Roberts și sora sa Lisa Roberts Gillan sunt amândoi actori. Părinții săi au fost actori și ei, dar și scenariști, au fondat Școala de Actorie din Atlanta. În cadrul grupei de copii, ei au lucrat inclusiv cu micuțul lui Martin Luther King. În semn de mulțumire, acesta i-a plătit acesteia spitalizarea atunci când a născut-o pe micușa Julia. Pentru că părinții au divorțat în 1971, Julia Roberts s-a mutat într-o suburbie a Atlantei. Tatăl ei însă a decedat când ea avea doar zece ani. În acest timp, mama ei se recăsătorise deja cu Michael Motes, cu care au avut încă o fiică, Nancy Motes.

În școală, Julia Roberts a cântat la clarinet într-o formație. Visul ei de copil a fost sa devină veterinar, dar după terminarea liceului, frații săi au convins-o să urmeze o carieră în actorie. Mai întâi s-a înscris la o agenție de modele, iar în curând avea să devină actrița celebră din Pretty Woman.

Julia Fiona Roberts (born October 28, 1967) is an American actress. She became a Hollywood star after headlining the 1990's romantic comedy Pretty Woman, which grossed $464 million worldwide. After receiving Academy Award nominations for Steel Magnolias in 1990 and Pretty Woman in 1991, she won the Academy Award for Best Actress in 2001 for her performance in Erin Brockovich. Her films My Best Friend's Wedding, Mystic Pizza, Notting Hill, Runaway Bride, Valentine's Day, The Pelican Brief, Ocean's Eleven and Twelve have collectively brought box office receipts of over $2.4 billion, making her one of the most successful actors in terms of box office receipts.

Roberts had become one of the highest-paid actresses in the world, topping the Hollywood Reporter's annual "power list" of top-earning female stars from 2005 to 2006. Her fee for 1990's Pretty Woman was $300,000;[citation needed] in 2003, she was paid an unprecedented $25 million for her role in Mona Lisa Smile. As of 2010, Roberts's net worth was estimated to be $140 million.

Roberts has been named one of People magazine's "50 Most Beautiful People in the World" eleven times, tied with Halle Berry. In 2001, Ladies Home Journal ranked her as the 11th most powerful woman in America, ahead of then national security advisor Condoleezza Rice and former first lady Laura Bush. Roberts has a production company called Red Om Films, formerly Shoelace Productions, whose name is "Moder" (her husband's last name) spelled backwards, as well as a reference to the sacred Om symbol in Hinduism, which Roberts practices. Her brother Eric Roberts, sister Lisa Roberts Gillan and niece Emma Roberts, are also actors.

Roberts made her first big screen appearance in the film Satisfaction, released on February 12, 1988. She had previously performed a small role opposite her brother, Eric, in Blood Red (she has two words of dialogue), filmed in 1987 and released in 1989. Her first television appearance was as a juvenile rape victim in the initial season of the series Crime Story with Dennis Farina, in the episode titled "The Survivor", broadcast on February 13, 1987. Her first critical success with moviegoers was her performance in the independent film Mystic Pizza in 1988; that same year, she had a role in the fourth season finale of Miami Vice. The following year, she was featured in Steel Magnolias as a young bride with diabetes and got her first Academy Award nomination (as Best Supporting Actress) for her performance.

Roberts became known to worldwide audiences when she co-starred with Richard Gere in the Cinderella/Pygmalionesque story Pretty Woman in 1990. Roberts won the role after the first three choices for the part, Molly Ringwald, Meg Ryan and Daryl Hannah (her co-star in Steel Magnolias), all turned it down.The role also earned her a second Oscar nomination, this time as Best Actress. Her next box office success was the thriller Sleeping with the Enemy, playing a battered wife who escapes her demented husband, played by Patrick Bergin, and begins a new life in Iowa. She played Tinkerbell in Steven Spielberg's Hook in 1991, and also played a nurse in the 1991 film Dying Young. This work was followed by a two-year hiatus, during which she made no films other than a cameo appearance in Robert Altman's The Player (1992). In early 1993, she was the subject of a People magazine cover story asking, "What Happened to Julia Roberts?" She was offered the role of Annie Reed in the 1993 Sleepless in Seattle but turned it down.

In 1993, she co-starred with Denzel Washington in The Pelican Brief, based on the John Grisham novel. She also starred alongside Liam Neeson in the 1996 film Michael Collins. In 1995, she appeared in season 2 of Friends (episode 13 "The One After the Superbowl"). She was offered the role of Lucy Eleanor Moderatz in the 1995 While You Were Sleeping but also turned it down.

Over the next few years, she starred in a series of films that were critical and commercial failures, such as Stephen Frears' Mary Reilly (1996). Roberts overcame these failures with the commercial and critical success of My Best Friend's Wedding in 1997. In 1998, she appeared on Sesame Street opposite the character Elmo, demonstrating her ability to change emotions. She was offered the role of Viola de Lesseps in the 1998 Shakespeare in Love but turned it down.[14] She starred with Hugh Grant in the 1999 film Notting Hill. That same year, she also starred in Runaway Bride, her second film with Richard Gere. Roberts was a guest star on the Law & Order television series episode "Empire" with series regular Benjamin Bratt (at that time her boyfriend). Also in 1999, she starred in the critically panned film Stepmom alongside Susan Sarandon.
In 2001, Roberts received the Academy Award for Best Actress for her portrayal of Erin Brockovich, who helped wage a successful lawsuit against energy giant Pacific Gas & Electric. While presenting the Best Actor Award to Denzel Washington the following year, she made a gaffe, saying she was glad that Tom Conti wasn't there. She meant the conductor Bill Conti, who had tried to hasten the conclusion of her Oscar speech the previous year, but instead named the Scottish actor.[citation needed] Roberts would team up with Erin Brockovich director Steven Soderbergh for three more films: Ocean's Eleven (2001), Full Frontal (2002), and Ocean's Twelve (2004). Later in 2001, she starred in the road gangster comedy The Mexican giving her a chance to work with longtime friend Brad Pitt. In 2005, she was featured in the music video for the hit single "Dreamgirl" by the Dave Matthews Band.

Roberts had two films released in 2006, The Ant Bully and Charlotte's Web. Both films were animated features for which she provided voice acting. Her next film was Charlie Wilson's War, with Tom Hanks and Philip Seymour Hoffman, directed by Mike Nichols and based on the book by former CBS journalist George Crile; it was released on December 21, 2007. Fireflies in the Garden, also starring Ryan Reynolds and Willem Dafoe, was released at the Berlin International Film Festival in February 2008.

Roberts made her Broadway debut on April 19, 2006 as Nan in a revival of Richard Greenberg's 1997 play Three Days of Rain opposite Bradley Cooper and Paul Rudd. Although the play grossed nearly US$1 million dollars in ticket sales during its first week[16] and was a commercial success throughout its limited run, her performance drew criticism. New York Times' critic Ben Brantly described her as being fraught with "self-consciousness (especially in the first act) [and] only glancingly acquainted with the two characters she plays." Brantley also criticized the production of "Greenberg's slender, elegant play," writing that “it's almost impossible to discern its artistic virtues from this wooden and splintered interpretation, directed by Joe Mantello." Three Days of Rain received two Tony Award nominations in stage design categories. In 2009, Lancôme announced that Julia Roberts will become their global ambassador for their company. Roberts starred with Clive Owen in the comedy-thriller Duplicity for which she received her seventh Golden Globe nomination. In 2010, she appeared in the ensemble romantic comedy Valentine's Day, with Bradley Cooper, and starred in the film adaptation of Eat Pray Love.

Eat Pray Love had the highest debut at the box office for Roberts in a top-billed role since America's Sweethearts.

joi, 21 aprilie 2011

Emeric Jenei, antrenor câștigător al Cupei Campionilor Europeni cu echipa Steaua

Emeric-Alexandru Jenei (numele de botez scris uneori Emerich, în maghiară Jenei Imre) (n. 22 martie 1937, Agrișu Mic) este un fost jucător și antrenor de fotbal de naționalitate maghiară din România.

Devine celebru în România din 1986 când câștigă Cupa Campionilor Europeni cu echipa FC Steaua București, al cărui lot era format la acea vreme din Helmuth Duckadam, Ștefan Iovan, Miodrag Belodedici, Anton Weissenbacher, Dumitru Stângaciu, Ilie Bărbulescu, Adrian Bumbescu, Tudorel Stoica, Ladislau Bölöni, Mihail Majearu, Marius Lăcătuș, Constantin Pistol, Gavrilă Balint, Victor Pițurcă, Marin Radu II și Lucian Bălan.

La data de 8 mai 1998, colonelul în retragere Emeric Jenei din Ministerul Apărării Naționale a fost înaintat la gradul de general de brigadă (cu o stea).

Emerich Jenei or Imre Jenei (also known as Emeric Jenei or Ienei; 22 March 1937) is a former Romanian football player and coach of Hungarian ethnicity. In May 1986 he won the European Cup as coach of Steaua Bucureşti. He is considered one of Romania's best coaches, alongside István Kovács, Mircea Lucescu, and Anghel Iordănescu.

On 25 March 2008 he was decorated by the president of Romania, Traian Băsescu with Ordinul "Meritul Sportiv" — (The Order "The Sportive Merit") class II with one barret for his part in winning the of 1986 European Cup Final.

Jenei was born in Agriş, Arad County, and made his debut playing for Flamura Roşie Arad — now UT Arad, in the Romanian Liga I. In 1957, at age 20, he signed with Steaua club in Bucharest (1957). He played for Steaua until 1969, when he left Romania to play in Turkey for Kayserispor. In 1971, Jenei retired as player and became a coach. During his career as a footballer, he won 12 caps for Romania's national team (between 1959 and 1964).

The highlights of his career as a player were the Romanian football championship titles he won with Steaua in 1959-1960, 1960–1961 and 1967–1968, as well as his participation with Romania's Olympic team at the 1964 Summer Olympics in Japan, where the Romanians came on 5-th place.

As a coach, Jenei continued to enjoy success. Having returned from Turkey, he was named assistant coach at Steaua at the beginning of the 1972-1973 season. One year later, he was promoted to a head coaching position and finished 5th in Liga I, winning his first championship title as coach in 1976, then finishing as a runner-up in 1977. He won another championship title in 1978, but at the end of the season he was replaced by Gheorghe Constantin.

In 1978-1979, Jenei coached FC Bihor of Oradea, but the team finished the season in last place and he was sacked as a result. In 1981, he took over at CS Târgovişte, and the beginning of the 1982-1983 season found him as coach of Steaua for a second stint. After two years, in which failed to win the championship, he was again sacked, only to be brought back after four months.

In 1985 he won a new championship and in the following season led Steaua Bucureşti to victory in the European Cup final against FC Barcelona in May 1986. In the summer of 1986, Jenei was named co-head coach of the Romanian national football team, together with Mircea Lucescu, making his debut against Norway. Lucescu was sacked after a short while and Jenei became the only national team coach. He failed to qualify the team for Euro 88, but took the team to World Cup 1990. It was the first qualification of Romania at a World Cup in twenty years. Between August 1986 and June 1990, Jenei coached the team in 40 games, including two wins against Spain in 1987 and Italy in 1988.

After the World Cup, He returned back to Steaua Bucureşti in April 1991, for the fourth time, only to be sacked again in December of same year. he was named head coach of Hungary in 1992-93, but failed to produce notable results, instead he won a trophy with Hungary the Kirin Cup in 1993, a friendly tournament organized in Japan, and later being sacked after a short period of time, and replaced by Ferenc Puskás.

Jenei did not return to the pitch for a while, but, in August 1993, Emerich Jenei began his fifth stint as coach of Steaua, and won the championship one year later. In 1996, he was named head coach of Universitatea Craiova but was sacked after only ten games. Two years later he returned to Steaua for his sixth and final stint there.

In 2000, Jenei he was again called to coach Romania. The squad qualified for Euro 2000 but the previous coach - Victor Piţurcă - was sacked after a scandal which involved the team's best players, including Gheorghe Popescu and Gheorghe Hagi. At Euro 2000, Jenei took the team to the last eight, one of the team's best performances. During his second stint, the national team played 11 games.

In June 2000, he decided to retire from coaching. After that date, Jenei was president of FC Bihor and also worked for the Romanian Football Federation. He is regularly consulted by the Romanian media for his opinion ahead of important football games for Romanian clubs, especially Steaua, or the Romanian national team.

miercuri, 20 aprilie 2011

Succes 2011: David Sanborn, an American alto saxophonist with 3 Grammy Awards. Well known for sax solo in the theme song for the NBC hit drama L.A. Law, Lethal Weapon and Scrooged

David Sanborn (born July 30, 1945) is an American alto saxophonist. Though Sanborn has worked in many genres, his solo recordings typically blend jazz with instrumental pop and R&B. He released his first solo album Taking Off in 1975, but has been playing the saxophone since before he was in high school.

One of the most commercially successful American saxophonists to earn prominence since the 1980s, Sanborn is often identified with radio-friendly smooth jazz. However, Sanborn has expressed a disinclination for both the genre itself and his association with it.
Sanborn was born in Tampa, Florida, and grew up in Kirkwood, Missouri. He suffered from polio in his youth, and began playing the saxophone on a physician's advice to strengthen his weakened chest muscles and improve his breathing. Alto saxophonist Hank Crawford, at the time a member of Ray Charles' band, was an early and lasting influence on Sanborn. Sanborn performed with blues musicians Albert King and Little Milton at the age of 14, and continued playing blues when he joined Paul Butterfield's band in 1967, after attending the University of Iowa.

Although Sanborn is most associated with smooth jazz, he explored the edges of free jazz in his youth, studying with saxophonists Roscoe Mitchell and Julius Hemphill. In 1993, he revisited this genre when he appeared on Tim Berne's Diminutive Mysteries, dedicated to Hemphill.

RecordingsHe has been a highly regarded session player since the late 1960s, playing with an array of well-known artists, such as James Brown, Bryan Ferry, Michael Stanley, Eric Clapton, Cat Stevens, Roger Daltrey, Stevie Wonder, Paul Simon, Jaco Pastorius, the Brecker Brothers, Casiopea, Players Association, David Bowie, Todd Rundgren, Bruce Springsteen, Little Feat, Tommy Bolin, Bob James, James Taylor, Al Jarreau, Pure Prairie League, Kenny G, George Benson, Joe Beck, Donny Hathaway, Elton John, Gil Evans, Carly Simon, Guru, Linda Ronstadt, Billy Joel, Kenny Garrett, Roger Waters, Steely Dan, Ween, the Eagles, The Grateful Dead, the German group Nena, and Japanese pop star Utada Hikaru.
Sanborn has won numerous awards including Grammy Awards for Voyeur (1981), Double Vision (1986) and the instrumental album Close Up (1988). In television, Sanborn is well-known for his sax solo in the theme song for the NBC hit drama L.A. Law. He has also done some film scoring for films such as Lethal Weapon and Scrooged. In 1991 Sanborn recorded Another Hand, which the All Music Guide to Jazz described as a "return by Sanborn to his real, true love: unadorned (or only partly adorned) jazz" that "balanced the scales" against his smooth jazz material. The album, produced by Hal Willner, featured musicians from outside the smooth jazz scene, such as Charlie Haden, Jack DeJohnette, Bill Frisell, and Marc Ribot. His more recent albums include Closer.

In 1994 Sanborn appeared in A Celebration: The Music of Pete Townshend and The Who, also known as Daltrey Sings Townshend. This was a two-night concert at Carnegie Hall produced by Roger Daltrey of English rock band The Who in celebration of his fiftieth birthday. In 1994 a CD and a VHS video were issued, and in 1998 a DVD was released.
In 1995 he performed in The Wizard of Oz in Concert: Dreams Come True a musical performance of the popular story at Lincoln Center to benefit the Children's Defense Fund. The performance was originally broadcast on Turner Network Television (TNT), and issued on CD and video in 1996.

Broadcasting activitiesSanborn has performed on both radio and television broadcasts; he has also acted as a host. Since the late 1980s he has been a regular guest member of Paul Shaffer's band on Late Night with David Letterman. From 1988-89, he co-hosted Night Music, a late-night music show on NBC television with Jools Holland. Following producer Hal Willner's eclectic approach, the show positioned Sanborn with many famed musicians, such as Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie, Pharoah Sanders, Eric Clapton, Robert Cray, Lou Reed, Jean-Luc Ponty, Santana, Todd Rundgren, Youssou N'dour, Pere Ubu, Loudon Wainwright III, Mary Margaret O'Hara, Screamin' Jay Hawkins, and Curtis Mayfield. During the 1980s and 1990s, Sanborn hosted a syndicated radio program, The Jazz Show with David Sanborn. Sanborn has recorded many shows' theme songs as well as several other songs for The Late Late Show with Tom Snyder.

More recent activitiesIn 2004, Sanborn was inducted into the St. Louis Walk of Fame. In 2006, he was featured in Gordon Goodwin's Big Phat Band's album The Phat Pack on the track "Play That Funky Music", a remake of the Wild Cherry' hit in a big band style. Sanborn often performs at Japan's Blue Note venues in Nagoya, Osaka, and Tokyo. He plays on the song "Your Party" on Ween's 2007 release La Cucaracha. On April 8, 2007, Sanborn sat in with the Allman Brothers Band during their annual run at the Beacon Theatre in New York City.

marți, 19 aprilie 2011

Succes 2011: Jimmy Somerville, Bronski Beat and The Communards

James William "Jimmy" Somerville (born 22 June 1961, Glasgow) is a Scottish pop singer and songwriter.

He had considerable success in the 1980s with the pop groups Bronski Beat and The Communards, and has also had a successful solo career. He is known in particular for his falsetto singing voice.

Somerville's latest album, Suddenly Last Summer was released in May 2009 as a digital download only.

In 1983, Somerville co-founded the synth pop group Bronski Beat, which proceeded to have a number of hits in the British charts. Their biggest hit was "Smalltown Boy" which reached #3 in the charts. Somerville played the song's titular character in the music video who leaves his hostile 'straight' hometown for the friendlier city.

Somerville left Bronski Beat in 1985, and formed The Communards with classically trained pianist Richard Coles (now a Church of England vicar). They had a number of hits, including a cover version of Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes's "Don't Leave Me This Way", which spent four weeks at #1 in the UK charts, and became the biggest-selling single of 1986 in the UK. He also sang backing vocals on Fine Young Cannibals' version of "Suspicious Minds", which was a UK Top 10 hit.


The Communards split in 1988, and Somerville launched his solo career. He had several solo hits between 1989 and 1991, also singing on the second Band Aid project at the end of 1989.

After releasing his 1989 album Read My Lips, which included a hit cover of Sylvester's disco classic "You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)" as well as a cover of The Bee Gees' hit song "To Love Somebody" a year later, Somerville left the limelight and was absent from recording for a number of years. In 1990, Somerville contributed the song "From This Moment On" to the Cole Porter tribute album "Red Hot + Blue" produced by the Red Hot Organization, the proceeds from which benefited AIDS research.
Somerville returned in 1995 with the album Dare to Love, which included "Heartbeat", a #1 hit on the U.S. dance chart. Another album, entitled Manage The Damage, was released in 1999, and its companion remix album Root Beer came out a year later. His dance-oriented fourth solo album, Home Again, was released in 2005.

May 2009 saw the release of Somerville's Suddenly Last Summer album, which contained acoustic interpretations of songs Somerville chose to record that he found on his iPod. The album is only available via digital download.

Somerville has also led an acting career, appearing in Sally Potter's 1992 film of Virginia Woolf's Orlando, in Isaac Julien's 1998 Looking for Langston, and in an episode of the cult science fiction television series Lexx ("Girltown").

luni, 18 aprilie 2011

Succes 2011: Thomas Reiter, astronaut & Brigadier General in the Luftwaffe. One of the top 25 astronauts in terms of total time in space

Thomas Arthur Reiter (born May 23, 1958 in Frankfurt, Germany) is a retired European astronaut and is a Brigadier General in the Luftwaffe currently working as Director of Human Spaceflight at the European Space Agency (ESA).

As of 2008[update], he was one of the top 25 astronauts in terms of total time in space. With his wife and two sons he lives in Wahnbek (near Oldenburg) in Lower Saxony.

In 1982, Reiter received his diploma in aerospace engineering from the Bundeswehr University of Munich. In 2010 the university awarded him a honorary doctoral degree. He completed his training as a pilot in Germany and Texas.

He served as an onboard engineer for the Euromir 95/Soyuz TM-22 mission to the Mir space station. During his 179 days aboard Mir, he carried out two EVAs and became the first German astronaut to perform a spacewalk.

Between 1996 and 1997, he underwent additional training on the Soyuz spacecraft and was awarded a "Soyuz Return Commander" certificate, qualifying him to command a three-person Soyuz crew during its return from space.

He trained for a six-month mission to the International Space Station and was launched on the Discovery STS-121 mission to join Expedition 13. The launch date was set for 1 July 2006, but was moved to 2 July, and finally launched on 4 July 2006 due to weather delays. Discovery departed 15 July, leaving Reiter behind with Expedition 13. He later became part of Expedition 14 before returning to Earth aboard Discovery during the STS-116 mission.

His ISS mission was designated Astrolab by the European Space Agency.

Reiter has logged just over 350 days in space, the most by any non-American or non-Russian.

On August 8, 2007 Thomas Reiter was named a member of DLR's executive board. On March 17, 2011 he was appointed Director, now being responsible for training of astronauts, microgravity research, operations of space-based infrastructure and ESA satellite missions.

duminică, 17 aprilie 2011

Internaționali români de fotbal: Rodion Cămătaru

Rodion Gorun Cămătaru (n. 22 iunie 1958, Strehaia) este un fost fotbalist român, care a jucat în echipa națională de fotbal a României.
Rodion Gorun Cămătaru s-a născut la data de 22 iunie 1958 în orașul Strehaia și a debutat ca jucător de fotbal în Divizia A la echipa Universitatea Craiova la 10 noiembrie 1974 în meciul Universitatea Craiova - CFR Cluj-Napoca 1-1.

A evoluat ca fotbalist timp de 12 sezoane la Universitatea, câștigând două titluri de campion al României (cu echipa) în sezoanele 1979-1980 și 1980-1981 și patru Cupe ale României (1977, 1978, 1981, 1983). În anul 1986 s-a transferat la Dinamo București, devenind golgheter al Diviziei A.
În anul 1987, Rodion Cămătaru a câștigat trofeul Gheata de Aur a Europei, marcând în acel sezon 44 de goluri pentru Dinamo, într-un număr de 33 de meciuri jucate. Această reușită de excepție a provocat multe comentarii și controverse, deoarece Cămătaru marcase 20 goluri în ultimele șase etape de campionat.

Rodion Cămătaru a disputat 422 de meciuri pentru echipele de club, din care 377 în Divizia A, 29 la Charleroi și 16 la Heerenveen, marcând 198 goluri în Divizia A, în 15 sezoane. A jucat 47 de meciuri în cupele europene cu Universitatea Craiova și Dinamo București, marcând de șapte ori. Ultimul meci în Divizia A a avut loc la 14 iunie 1989 Dinamo București - FC Bihor Oradea 5-1.
S-a retras din activitatea de jucător de fotbal în anul 1993, după ce, din 1989, se transferase la echipe din Belgia și Olanda. Cămătaru a înscris la 20 mai 1993 ultimul gol ca fotbalist profesionist în finala Cupei Olandei la fotbal, jucând pentru echipa SC Heerenveen. Acel meci a fost câștigat însă de echipa adversă, Ajax Amsterdam.

Cămătaru a jucat în de 75 meciuri în echipa națională a României, pentru care a înscris 22 de goluri. El a făcut parte din lotul echipei de fotbal a României la turneele finale de la Campionatul European de Fotbal din 1984 și apoi de la Campionatul Mondial de Fotbal din 1990.
Rodion Gorun Cămătaru (born 22 June 1958) is a retired Romanian footballer, who played as a striker.

He was born in Strehaia and debuted in Divizia A with Universitatea Craiova in 1974. He spent twelve seasons with Universitatea, winning the league titles in 1980 and 1981. In 1986, he was transferred to Dinamo Bucureşti, where he became the Divizia A top goalscorer the first season with 44 goals in 33 games. He retired in 1993, having played in Belgium and the Netherlands since 1989. Cămătaru scored his last ever goal as a professional in the Dutch cup final, playing for Heerenveen, on 20 May 1993. The match was won by Ajax.
He controversially won the European Golden Boot as Europe's best goal scorer in 1987, after scoring 20 of his 44 goals in the last 6 games of the season. It is widely believed that this was due to manipulation, and so 20 years later, the second placed Toni Polster was also granted a Golden Boot.

Cămătaru got 75 caps and scored 22 goals for the Romanian national team, and represented his country at Euro 1984 and the 1990 World Cup.

sâmbătă, 16 aprilie 2011

Internaționali români de fotbal: Miodrag Belodedici

Miodrag Belodedici este un fost fotbalist român, actualmente director al centrelor de juniori ale Federației Române de Fotbal. Mai este poreclit și "Belo". S-a remarcat ca fotbalist la Steaua București, între 1983 și 1989, și la Steaua Roșie Belgrad, între 1989-1992. A câștigat 2 Cupe ale Campionilor cu Steaua Roșie Belgrad și Steaua București.
Miodrag Belodedici și-a început cariera de fotbalist la echipa Minerul Moldova Nouă, din liga județeană Caraș-Severin. Format de antrenorul Olimp Mateescu, Belodedici a fost transferat în anul 1982 la Luceafărul București. De aici, a fost recrutat la Steaua de către Ion Alecsandrescu, președintele clubului la acea dată. Miodrag Belodedici a evoluat la Steaua până în 1988, cucerind cu acest club patru ediții consecutive ale Campionatului României, Cupa României în 1985, 1987 și 1988, și Cupa Campionilor Europeni, în 1986, după ce a evoluat ca fundaș toate cele 120 de minute ale finalei decise în urma penalty-urilor de departajare. În vara următoare, Belodedici a câștigat cu Steaua și Supercupa Europei, în 1987.
În 1988, Miodrag Belodedici a fugit în Iugoslavia, acest fapt atrăgându-i o condamnare de 10 ani de închisoare în absență pentru trădare din partea regimului comunist. În Iugoslavia, Belodedici a jucat la Steaua Roșie Belgrad. Odată cu căderea regimului comunist din țara sa natală, Belodedici a fost grațiat. În scurt timp, a devenit unul din oamenii de bază ai echipei iugoslave, iar în anul 1991 a câștigat din nou Cupa Campionilor Europeni, după o finală cu Olympique de Marseille. Și această finală de Cupa Campionilor a fost decisă tot la penalty-uri. La Steaua Roșie Belgrad a evoluat până în 1992. Din 1992 și până în 1994 Belodedici evoluează sub culorile clubului Valencia CF, evoluând în Primera División. În 1994, imediat după Campionatul Mondial din Statele Unite, Belodedici a plecat la Valladolid, club de la care a trecut la Villareal CF, după care a plecat în Mexic, pentru a evolua pentru Atlante. S-a întors în România în anul 1998, și până în 2001 a evoluat din nou la Steaua, echipa la care s-a consacrat. Belodedici a cucerit cu Steaua al cincilea titilu de campion al României, în 2001, și o Cupă a României în 1999. Și-a încheiat cariera de fotbalist la vârsta de 37 de ani.
Miodrag Belodedici a debutat în echipa națională în 1984, de-a lungul carierei sale adunând 53 de selecții. A jucat pentru naționala României la Campionatul Mondial din 1994, precum și la Campionatul European din 1996. În 2009, cu ocazia Centenarului Federației Române de Fotbal, a primit distincția „Diamant” pentru întreaga sa activitate alături de alți importanți fotbaliști români.

Miodrag Belodedici (the usual Romanian spelling of Serbian Миодраг Белодедић, Miodrag Belodedić; (born 20 May 1964 in Socol) is a former Romanian football central defender.
Nicknamed The deer due to his elegant tackles, he won the European Cup twice, in 1986 with Steaua Bucureşti and 1991 with Red Star Belgrade, thus becoming the first player to win the trophy with two different clubs. Both of those clubs are from Eastern Europe, and the only Eastern European clubs that ever managed to capture the European Champions Cup.
Belodedici was born in a family of Serbian ethnicity in the village of Socol, near the border with Serbia. He joined the youth squad of Minerul Moldova Nouă in 1978, where his first coach was Olimp Mateescu. Three years later, he was selected to play for Luceafărul Bucureşti, a team formed by the Romanian Football Federation for the purpose of gathering all talented young players in the country in one squad.

From Luceafărul, Belodedici was signed by Steaua Bucureşti, being selected by the club's chairman Ion Alecsandrescu, after a search for an adequate sweeper. Between 1982 and 1988, Belodedici had a rewarding career with Steaua, winning the Romanian championship in 1985, 1986, 1987 and 1988, the Romanian Cup in 1985, 1987 and 1988, as well as the European Cup in 1986, the European Supercup in 1987, also reaching the Champions' Cup last four in 1987-88.

During this period, Belodedici made his debut for the Romanian national team on July 31, 1984, a friendly 1-0 win over China, playing in 19 games with four goals until 1992. Additionally, he became frustrated in his ambitions to play for Red Star Belgrade, the team he supported in childhood, as the communist regime did not allow players to transfer abroad.
In 1988, when the Nicolae Ceauşescu regime was still in power, Belodedici defected from his home country to the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. He later gave an account of his escape to Belgrade: once he had seen himself in the city, Belodedici contacted the president of Red Star, but could not get through due to widespread commotion in the team over the team's defeat in the derby with Partizan Belgrade. A Serbian friend attempted to have Belodedici agree to sign for Partizan instead, but Belodedici insisted that he would only play for Red Star. The president interrupted their conversation, and, when he realized that he was in fact the 1986 European Cup winner, he immediately signed him on the team as they were in need of a sweeper.

However, during his first year he had to play without a legal contract, and only in friendly matches, as the Romanian authorities forged his professional player contract, and UEFA suspended him for one year on the basis of data furnished. The Ceauşescu regime found him guilty of treason and sentenced him to ten years of prison in absentia. After the Romanian Revolution of 1989, all charges were dropped, and Belodedici returned to Bucharest.

In 1989, Belodedici was given the green light to play for Red Star and, soon after, became a permanent fixture on the squad. In 1991, he won the European Cup for the second time, scoring in the final against Olympique de Marseille, during the penalty shoot-out. He became only the second player to win the European Cup with two different clubs, but the first to do so by playing in both finals; as the first player to do so, Jimmy Rimmer, never played in the 1968 European Cup Final.
After a second European conquest, important European football clubs showed a keen interest to sign Belodedici, and he was sought after by U.C. Sampdoria, but signed with Valencia CF instead, in July 1992. During the period, Belodedici was called to play for the national football team for the first time in four years.

After only two years at Valencia, Belodedici spent one season each with Real Valladolid and Villarreal CF (the latter then in the second division), leaving for Mexico in 1996 to play for Atlante FC. In 1998, he returned to Steaua, and won another Romanian championship in 2001, adding a domestic cup in 1999.

Retiring in 2001, Belodedici worked with the Romanian Football Federation, coordinating national youth teams. As a player, he totalled 53 appearances for the country, and appeared in the 1994 FIFA World Cup, helping the nation reach the quarterfinals, also being selected for two UEFA European Championships: 1996 and 2000.

vineri, 15 aprilie 2011

Ronnie Coleman, de opt ori Mr. Olympia. Sportivul cu cele mai multe victorii în culturismul profesionist

Ronald Dean Coleman este un culturist profesionist american, căștigător al titlului Mr. Olympia de opt ori consecutiv, între anii 1998 - 2005. Este cunoscut sub diminutivul "Ronnie Coleman". La înălțimea de 1,80m el cântărește în jur de 135 kg în formă de concurs, iar în extrasezon urcă până la aproximativ 150 kg.
Pe lângă cele opt titluri de Mr. Olympia, prin care l-a egalat pe alt american de culoare, Lee Haney (campion între anii 1984 - 1991), Coleman deține recordul pentru cele mai multe victorii în culturismul profesionist, câștigând 26 de concursuri. Coleman a absolvit Grambling State University în 1989 cu specialitatea contabilitate. În acea perioadă el a jucat fotbal american în echipa universității. După absolvire, Coleman a lucrat ca ofițer de poliție în paralel cu activitatea de culturist profesionist.
Coleman a participat la Mr. Olympia 2006, desfășurat la 30 septembrie în Las Vegas, Nevada, cu dorința de a doborî recordul de opt victorii deținut de el și Haney, dar a terminat pe locul doi în urma lui Jay Cutler. În 2007 a încercat din nou să mai obțină un titlu, dar s-a clasat doar pe locul patru. După premiere, Ronnie a anunțat că aceasta a fost ultima lui participare la concursul Mr. Olympia.
Ronnie Dean "Big Ron" Coleman (born May 13, 1964 in Bastrop, Louisiana) is an American professional bodybuilder who holds the record of eight straight wins as Mr. Olympia, a record career total that he shares with Lee Haney.Alongside his eight Mr. Olympia wins as a professional bodybuilder, Coleman holds the record for most wins as an IFBB professional with 26. He broke the previous record (held by Vince Taylor at 22 wins) in Moscow on November 5, 2004.
Coleman graduated cum laude from Grambling State University (GSU) in 1986 with a B.S degree in accounting. While attending Grambling State University Coleman also played football as a middle linebacker with the GSU Tigers under famous coach Eddie Robinson. After graduation, Coleman became a police officer.
Being a police officer allowed Coleman the free time he needed to work out. Coleman's fellow officer suggested he attend a gym known as Metroflex. The owner of the gym was Brian Dobson, who happen to also be an amateur bodybuilder, offered Coleman a free lifetime membership to Metroflex if he would allow him to train Coleman for the upcoming Mr. Texas bodybuilding competition that year.
After the training for the upcoming event of Mr. Texas, Coleman won first place in both the heavy weight and overall categories. He also defeated the man that trained him, Dobson. Also in 1990 not only did Coleman take the title of Mr. Texas but he also took titles in that years National Physique Committee (NPC) Texas Championships. In 1991 Coleman also won what is probably considered one of the most prestigious competitions in amateur bodybuilding, Mr. Universe. This victory qualified him to enter the professional contest sponsored by the IFBB, the sport's largest sanctioning body.
Coleman won his first competition as a professional—the Canada Pro Cup in 1995. The following year he won the contest again. Followed by a first place win in 1997, The Russian Grand Prix.

Coleman's success as a professional bodybuilder has led to many product endorsements and other opportunities in his career. Due to his bodybuilding profession Coleman undergoes a lot of travel to places such as China, Brazil, and Australia. Coleman also makes many guest appearances at gym openings all around the U.S.
Coleman has also made some training videos. His first Training Video; The Unbelievable; The cost of Redemption; and On the Road. In these videos Coleman gives tips for more experienced weightlifters, while warning against over exertion and improper form.
When working out, Coleman prefers to use free weights rather than machines in order to maximize his flexibility and range of motion. He lifts weights six days per week.
Coleman supports the Inner City Games, an organization that California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger co-founded in 1991. He was the recipient of the 2001 Admiral in the Texas Navy Certificate Award from Texas Governor Rick Perry for outstanding achievements in bodybuilding and for the promotion of physical fitness.
On June 30, 2009 on MuscleSport Radio, Coleman stated that he would compete in the 2010 Mr. Olympia competition.[citation needed] Coleman also indicated that he would not participate in the 2009 Mr. Olympia competition for lack of preparation time. On October 10, 2009 at the Northern Territory Fitness & Bodybuilding Titles in Darwin, Australia, Coleman confirmed that he would compete in the 2010 Mr. Olympia competition, however, he did not appear at the 2010 Mr. Olympia competition.