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The 61st Golden Globe Awards

By Gokhra

I haven't yet watched any of the Rings movies but from what I have heard it came as no wonder to see that it was the biggest winner at this years Golden Globe Awards Ceremony. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King won the Best Motion Picture Drama of 2003. In fact, the trilogy led all motion pictures at the 61st Annual Golden Globe Awards Sunday night with four wins in four nominations.

Lost in Translation was another winner. The film's sardonic star, Bill Murray, collected his trophy for Best Actor in Comedy award. He joked that he had fired his agents and representatives and was at a loss for dedications during his acceptance speech. As for funny ladies, screen veteran Diane Keaton took home the gold for Something's Gotta Give, a romantic comedy she hailed for portraying "love at any age."

Monster's Charlize Theron won a Golden Globe award for best actress in a film drama portraying a prostitute and serial killer in Monster. She showed up Sunday minus the weight, bad skin and feathered bangs and thanked writer-director Patty Jenkins for hiring her. "There's only so much you can do, but if somebody doesn't give you a chance there is nothing you can do."

Mystic costar and Best Supporting Actor winner Tim Robbins was on hand to receive his statuette, the first trophy of the evening. "The good thing about this coming early is that I get to drink now."

It was all déja vu for buxom beauty Renée Zellweger, who collected the award for Best Supporting Actress for her role as plucky Ada in Cold Mountain. It was a third straight Globe win. She previously won Best Actress/Musical or Comedy for 2001's Bridget Jones' Diary and 2002's Chicago.

Of the small screen matters Sex and the City managed only one win out of five nominations. Sadly for all you Friends fans, it received no awards out of the two nominations. The same went for Monk(my personal favorite), The West Wing, Normal and Soldier's Girl which had three nominations apiece. Instead, the glory went to HBO's Angels in America and BBC America's The Office.

Other TV shows included 24 which won Best Drama and is still being shown on AXN. Thankfully this time the speeches were all nice and sweet meaning they were short. No one rushed on stage trailing what would seem like toilet paper but is actually a list of people to thank. Nope, this time everyone came with their neat little notepads except for Michael Douglas who has received a prestigious lifetime achievement award from the organisers of the Golden Globes. His father Kirk won the same award back in 1968. It's the first time in Globes history that a father and son have won the award.

Douglas, accompanied by Catherine Zeta-Jones and his mother Diana, paid tribute to his famous father "for his stamina, for his endurance and for his great sense of material."

Jim Carrey wrapped up the show with the close-to-ending presentation sporting a new hairdo which is more of a hair-don't. The funny man makes good with his new bald head.

The Globes ceremony will lead to the Oscar nominations and finally all this will be over on February 29.

The list of winners for the Golden Globes 2004.
Best dramatic film: The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
Best dramatic actress: Charlize Theron (Monster)
Best dramatic actor: Sean Penn (Mystic River)
Best director: Peter Jackson (The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King)
Best screenplay: Sofia Coppola (Lost in Translation)
Best actress musical or comedy: Diane Keaton (Something's Gotta Give)
Best musical or comedy film: Lost in Translation
Best actor in musical or comedy: Bill Murray (Lost in Translation)
Best foreign language film: Osama (Afghanistan)
Best supporting actress: Renee Zellweger (Cold Mountain)
Best supporting actor: Tim Robbins (Mystic River)
Best original score - motion picture: Howard Shore (The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King)
Best original song - motion picture: Into the West (The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King)
Cecil B DeMille award: Michael Douglas
Best TV drama: 24
Best TV drama actress: Frances Conroy (Six Feet Under)
Best TV drama actor: Anthony LaPaglia (Without a Trace)
Best TV musical or comedy series: The Office
Best TV actress in musical or comedy series: Sarah Jessica Parker (Sex and the City)
Best TV actor in musical or comedy series: Ricky Gervais (The Office)
Best mini-series or TV movie: Angels in America
Best actress in a mini-series or TV movie: Meryl Streep (Angels in America)
Best actor in a mini-series or TV movie: Al Pacino (Angels in America)
Best supporting actress in a series, mini-series or TV movie: Mary Louise Parker (Angels in America)
Best supporting actor in a series, mini-series or TV movie: Jeffrey Wright (Angels in America)

The Oscar Race

By Jamil Khan

The Oscar race 2004 began with a cold-shoulder reception for "Cold Mountain". "Cold Mountain" has been snubbed from DGA- Directors Guild Awards and WGA- Writers Guild Awards. Previous Oscar and DGA winner (for 1997's "The English Patient"), Anthony Minghella has been snubbed from nominations this year.

Notably a bigger upset was Hollywood queen, Nicole Kidman. She's been nominated for Oscars for the past two years (nominated in "Moulin Rouge") and walked away with the statuette in 2003 for her heavy drama in "The Hours". The Screen Actors Guild Awards- SAG and BAFTA- the British Academy- equivalent of the Oscars in Britain and the Oscars, left Nicole Kidman high and dry by denying her a nomination which is quite an upset in Hollywood, considering the Oscar race has just began. She did manage to get a nomination for "Cold Mountain" in Golden Globes. The Golden Globes nominated Kidman for a third year in a row (the 4th nomination from the Hollywood Foreign Press in three years).

Other record breaking awards news comes from Sofia Coppola, the famed daughter of Francis Ford Coppola. She is only the third woman in the history of the Academy to be nominated in the Best Director category and the first American to do so. Her victory was also evident at the 61st Golden Globes where Coppola picked up favourite comedy or musical honours in directing and original screenplay for her Tokyo small budget film, "Lost in Translation". The film's lead actor, comedian Bill Murray bagged the best actor in a comedy or musical from the Hollywood foreign press on Sunday.

In the Best Actor Oscar race is Jude Law in "Cold Mountain", Sean Penn in the critically hailed "Mystic River", Johnny Depp in "Pirates of The Caribbean; The Curse of the Black Pearl" and Bill Murray in "Lost in Translation". Both "Mystic River" and "Lost in Translation" are up for Best Picture along "LOTR: The Return of the King", "Master and Commander: Far Side of the World" and horse drama "Seabiscuit". Best director list includes Sofia Coppola, Clint Eastwood, (the only Americans) Peter Weir, Peter Jackson and a big surprise Fernando Meirelles for "City of God".

This year's acting nominees in various Award shows have an interesting crop of actors. Ranging from Charlize Theron in "Monster" to Johnny Depp in "Pirates of The Caribbean; The Curse of the Black Pearl" both have nominated for an Oscar in lead this year respectively.

Supporting acting crop of nominees this year includes a shoo-in for last year's "Chicago" actress Renee Zellweger (nominated in the best actress Oscar for "Chicago" and "Bridget Jones Diary"). Zellweger stars alongside Kidman and Law in the civil war epic, "Cold Mountain". Zellweger won the Golden Globe for her role as Ruby and is up for an Oscar this year with Holly Hunter, "Thirteen" and Marcia Gay Harden in "Mystic River". Zellweger is easily the favourite among critics and fans alike in the best supporting actress category.

Supporting actors in Oscar race 2004 is previous Oscar winner Benicio Del Toro for "21 Grams", favourite Tim Robbins in "Mystic River" and Ken Watanabe in "The Last Samurai".

Other top-notch contenders that failed to garner nominations include "The Last Samurai star, Tom Cruise in the Best Actor category. I once met him during a film premiere along his sweet heart, Penelope Cruz and director Cameron Crowe and the word that pops to mind is megastar. Another impressive actress overlooked by the Academy is Uma Thurman. Thurman did a kick ass job in Quentin Tarrantino's awesome "Kill Bill Vol.1".

The Best Actress is narrowed down to Keisha Castle the youngest nominee ever in this category (only 13), Diane Keaton for romantic comedy "Something's Gotta Give", Samantha Morton a surprise nominee, already a favourite- Charlize Theron "Monster" and Australian actress Naomi Watts "21 Grams".

With this I leave you my Oscar picks 2004!

*THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE RETURN OF THE KING Overly hyped by fans and critics alike, I think it will win.
LOST IN TRANSLATION Critics' favourite and mine personally but in a tight race it may lose out.
MASTER AND COMMANDER: THE FAR SIDE OF THE WORLD There should be a good Oscar campaign for this drama but it will also narrowly lose.
MYSTIC RIVER Deserves a statuette, but is unlikely to get it.
SEABISCUIT This is a dark contender among other favourite's and Academy voters.

CITY OF GOD This nomination is a surprise

*LOST IN TRANSLATION My personal favourite and Coppola could cause quite an upset by winning

MASTER AND COMMANDER: THE FAR SIDE OF THE WORLD The nomination it self is an award here for director Peter Weir.
MYSTIC RIVER Clint Eastwood has won before and I think Academy voters will award this film with other technical awards and for Tim Robbins in the best supporting actor category.

Ben Kingsley - HOUSE OF SAND AND FOG Will most likely be overlooked by Academy voters
Jude Law - COLD MOUNTAIN Top contender since Nicole Kidman's absence will be noted
Bill Murray - LOST IN TRANSLATION The best among the best but will the Academy favour comedy over drama? History proves anything but that.
Sean Penn - MYSTIC RIVER The critics' favourite but Penn does not do well with campaign and publicity. He has been nominated four times.

Alec Baldwin - THE COOLER Will probably be over looked.
Benicio Del Toro - 21 GRAMS Has won before and this nomination comes as a surprise to too many.
Djimon Hounsou - IN AMERICA The nomination itself is an award here for Hounsou.
*Tim Robbins - MYSTIC RIVER I think he has this award. The Globes gave him the award and this film is a serious drama.
Ken Watanabe - THE LAST SAMURAI Long shot.

Keisha Castle-Hughes - WHALE RIDER Too young to win and this is a very huge surprise, the nomination.
Diane Keaton - SOMETHING'S GOTTA GIVE Second top contender, Keaton gives the performance of a lifetime.
Samantha Morton - IN AMERICA This film is just good enough for nominations, I don't see it walking away with any awards this season.
*Charlize Theron - MONSTER The world's favorite Charlize is this close from touching Oscar gold.
Naomi Watts - 21 GRAMS Good to see Naomi Watts nominated for her previous snubs in Mulholland Dr. and The Ring.

Shohreh Aghdashloo - HOUSE OF SAND AND FOG This is a good film but votes will most likely go elsewhere.
Patricia Clarkson - PIECES OF APRIL Good nomination but just not good enough.
Marcia Gay Harden - MYSTIC RIVER She has won before but this time the Academy will definitely reward Zellweger.
Holly Hunter - THIRTEEN Very young nominee and this is just a nomination no award.
*Renée Zellweger - COLD MOUNTAIN This is the year Renee will get the Oscar.
The one thing as big as the Oscars on Oscar night is

Oscar Fashion:
Halle Berry won the Best Actress Oscar two years ago in 2002 and she did it with style. Halle Berry, a former beauty pageant winner (finalist at the 1986 Miss World) is always a stunner on the red carpet. She wore a burgundy Elie Saab showstopper!
The year before, Box office queen Julia Roberts wore an elegant black ensemble done by Armani.
Last year's best actress wore Jean- Paul Gaultier. Kidman was classic beauty in the black haute couture creation by Gaultier.
Oscar winner and classic beauty Catherine-Zeta Jones wore Versace while pregnant and carried herself with grace in Versace creation.
Stars will be offered dress fittings to free accessories by designers who want their fashion on the red carpet of the Oscars. Many Hollywood actors on the red carpet favour Versace.
Men like to show wearing Ermenegildo Zegna on the red carpet. Hollywood men especially like Armani. My personal choice this year is Ungaro. I personally own an Ungaro and it is very trendy this year. What will the stars wear to this year's Oscars? Who will win? As they say in Hollywood how good one looks is on par with one's worth. The bar rises each year with new fashion; one's look reflects their status in Hollywood red carpet.

Photo caption: Best actress nominees (from top): Charlize Theron, Naomi Watts and Keisha Castle-Hughes & Best actor nominees: Jude Law, Ben Kingsley and Johnny Depp

The Mars Rover Project: Yet Another Space Age Revolution

By Mridul

The successful landing of the Spirit is one of the most discussed topics now. Being the biggest expeditions to Mars since the Path Finder, the Mars Rover project has just placed another milestone in space exploration history. The first craft of the project named Spirit landed on the red planet with the right side up on the 4th of January and the second craft

Opportunity landed shortly after midnight Eastern Time on Sunday, January 25th at a landing site opposite to that of Spirit.

The mars exploration rover started its journey on June 10, 2003 on a Delta II rocket from Cape Canaveral, Florida. It reached Mars after a seven month journey. The landing technique was similar to that of the path finder, speeding through the red atmosphere and deploying airbags to absorb the shock. However the rover has been slightly damaged as all the airbags did not work as planned. After landing the rover, Spirit was let out to wander around the dusty surface. The second rover which contains Opportunity started right after the first one; its landing methods are identical to the first one's. Opportunity is also travelling on a Delta II rocket. Both of the rovers bear a sophisticated set of instruments - the Athena Science Payload - that will allow it to search for evidence of liquid water in the planet's past and discover necessary information about the planets geography.

Spirit is a six wheeled robot vehicle with a sophisticated set of instruments. It weighs about 180 kilograms and can travel about a 100 meters per Martian day or sol (which is about half an hour longer than an Earth day). Both of the Mars Exploration Rovers run with a 32-bit Rad 6000 microprocessor, a radiation-hardened version of the PowerPC chip used in some models of Macintosh computers, operating at a speed of 20 million

instructions per second. Onboard memory includes 128 megabytes of random access memory, augmented by 256 megabytes of flash memory and smaller amounts of other non-volatile memory, which allows the system to retain data even without power. The rover uses 1 mega pixel cameras for imaging. It takes multiple shots from different perspectives and uses it to create an actual 3D view. The ground team at JPL uses a Java made computer program named Maestro to manoeuvre the vehicles. There is also a public version of Maestro which allows typical users to go on simulated Mars drives with

terrain built using the information sent by the rovers. It's like playing a video game but the only difference is that the terrain is the actual Martian terrain. You can get the software from "http://mars.telascience.org". I wasn't able to test it as it is a 100MB beast which would take days for me to download (on my slow dial up connection), but those of you who are blessed with broadband (or radio link perhaps) might give a try.

The objectives of this project include testing of the Martian soil, checking the truth of the hypothesis about the existence of water or possible life on Mars, examining the Mars geography and atmosphere etc. NASA's $820 million dual Mars Exploration Rover project is already considered a success by the people at NASA and JPL (Jet Propulsion Laboratory). This is in spite of the fact that Spirit has not been able to send any of the expected scientific information yet and is not hoped to be able to do so anytime this week. Shortly before noon 23rd of January Spirit sent over a relay of data via the Mars Odyssey orbiter. It sent 73 megabits at a rate of 128 kilobits per second. The transmission included power subsystem engineering data but no science data. It also included several frames of fill data, which is an intentionally sent array of random numbers that contain no real data. The rovers might give the scientists some hints about the fate of the lost Beagle.

Our knowledge regarding the red planet will be incremented greatly by this project. It is certainly a great way to start a new era where science fictions turn into reality. If the improvements in this section continue, the day when we can go on pleasure trips to other planets might not be very far off. If you're planning to buy some outer space real estate this just might be a good time to start saving.



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