November 24, 2008


is a 2008 American Western film based on the 2005 novel of the same name by crime writer Robert B. Parker. The film is directed by Ed Harris and is co-written by Harris and Robert Knott. Appaloosa stars Harris alongside Viggo Mortensen. The film premiered in the 2008 Toronto International Film Festival, was released in select cities on September 19, 2008 and expanded into wide-release on October 3, 2008.


Based on the 2005 Western novel by Robert B. Parker, Appaloosa is centered around lawman Virgil Cole (Ed Harris) and his deputy Everett Hitch (Viggo Mortensen), two friends who are hired to defend a lawless 1880s town from a murderous rancher (Jeremy Irons). Their efforts are disrupted and friendship tested by the arrival of a woman (Renée Zellweger).

The movie shares many narrative similarities with the 1959 Western Warlock, directed by Edward Dmytryk and starring Henry Fonda, Anthony Quinn and Richard Widmark. There is also another Western named The Appaloosa with Marlon Brando, but it shares no relation with Harris' film.


Bob Harris, Ed Harris's father, has a small role, as Judge Callison.


Appaloosa marks Ed Harris's second outing as director, following the 2000 biopic Pollock, in which he also starred; Harris co-wrote and co-produced Appaloosa along with Robert Knott.[1] The budget for Appaloosa was $20 million[2] and filming took place from October 1, 2007 to November 24, 2007 in Sante Fe, New Mexico and Austin, Texas.[3] Harris was drawn to Robert B. Parker's bestselling novel because it was constructed like a classic Western, but included crime themes still relevant to contemporary society. He purchased the rights to the novel and hired Parker to adapt his book into a screenplay.[4] Harris, who also stars as Virgil Cole, wanted to make the film in the old-fashioned style of such films as 3:10 to Yuma, My Darling Clementine and The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, rather than a revisionist approach. Harris also acknowledged the challenge of making a successful Western movie, saying, "You can count on one hand, or maybe half a hand, the number of Westerns that were box office successes in the recent past."[5] Production of Appaloosa slowed when New Line Cinema and producers became concerned with the box office prospects of a Western during a season with such anticipated blockbusters as The Dark Knight. Diane Lane originally signed on to play Allie French, but left the project when the film stalled. The movie got back on track due to the success of the Deadwood series on HBO and the film remake of 3:10 to Yuma. Renée Zellweger was signed to replace Lane.[4]

Harris enjoyed working with Viggo Mortensen in A History of Violence and had him in mind for the part of Everett Hitch. While publicizing A History of Violence at the Toronto Film Festival, Harris handed Mortensen a copy of the novel and asking him to read it and consider playing the part. Harris said it was "a totally awkward proposition, handing another actor a book like that,"[5] but Mortensen agreed to take the part after responding well to the character and the relationship dynamic between the two characters.[5] Harris said he wanted to make the film because he was drawn to the "unspoken comradeship"[5] of Virgil Cole and Everett Hitch. "Though they've been hanging out for years, they're not too intimate, but they know each other. Aside from in sports, or being a cop, I can't think of any other situation where a friendship like that is called for."[5] Mortensen felt similarly, saying, "I like to ride horses, and I like Westerns, but there are a lot of bad ones. What set this one apart is just how the characters are a little more guarded."[5] Mortensen studied Frederic Remington drawings and other images of the American Old West to get into character and master the proper way to stand during a gunfight.[6]


Early reviews of Appaloosa from the 2008 Toronto International Film Festival were lukewarm. Brad Frenette of the National Post said "the film feels double its 114 minute running time, but Appaloosa redeems itself through unexpected moments of levity, Harris's steady direction and the god amongst men, Lance Henriksen."[7] Frenette also said Renee Zellweger is "mostly a bust"[7] and Viggo Mortensen "oozes cool."[7] Popjournalism reviewer Sarah Gopaul said Harris and Mortensen spend too much time talking and discussing their feelings, which she said made the film too light for the gritty Western genre. Gopaul said Ed Harris and Viggo Mortensen delivered decent performances and that Renee Zellweger's character has more depth than the traditional romantic interest in a Western.[8] The New Yorker’s David Denby called it “a well-made, satisfying, traditionalist Western with some odd quirks and turns.”[9]

Source: Wikipedia


I had no idea,
What happened to you,
But I'd had a bad day,
And was already feeling blue.
I opened the door,
And I wished to God I'd not,
Because on the other side,
Was a pain I'd almost forgot.
I stepped inside,
I didn't know it yet,
But inside my own home,
Was pain life wouldn't let me forget.

She told me the news,
I didn't know what to think,
I shrugged as if it didn't hurt,
But I felt my heart sink.
I went up to my room,
And he followed me inside,
He gave me the card,
And I started to cry.
I opened it up,
I had my pen at the ready,
There was a lump in my throat and I couldn't hold my pen steady.

What was I to write?
To my dearest grandpa?
He was barely hanging on,
So near yet so far.
I saw a vision of him,
That caused a heavy strain,
I didn't quite understand,
What had happened to his brain.

A stroke.

Said the nurse,
He cannot talk, read or write,
Yet he can understand me,
When I ask if he's alright.
I can't remember what I wrote,
When I handed him the card,
But when it was read to him,
He cried and it was hard.

He's talking fine today,
And when I ask he will reply,
But the scariest thing about it all,
Is that I never said goodbye.

From Visit this web, it's so interesting!

A Walt Whitman Poem

Walt Whitman was born on May 31, 1819, on the West Hills of Long Island, New York. His mother, Louisa Van Velsor, of Dutch descent and Quaker faith, whom he adored, was barely literate. She never read his poetry, but gave him unconditional love. His father of English lineage, was a carpenter and builder of houses, and a stern disciplinarian. His main claim to fame was his friendship with Tom Paine, whose pamphlet Common Sense (1776), urging the colonists to throw off English domination was in his sparse library. It is doubtful that his father read any of his son's poetry, or would have understood it if he had. The senior Walt was too burdened with the struggle to support his ever-growing family of nine children, four of whom were handicapped.

Young Walt, the second of nine, was withdrawn from public school at the age of eleven to help support the family. At the age of twelve he started to learn the printer's trade, and fell in love with the written and printed word. He was mainly self-taught. He read voraciously, and became acquainted with Homer, Dante, Shakespeare and Scott early in life. He knew the Bible thoroughly, and as a God-intoxicated poet, desired to inaugurate a religion uniting all of humanity in bonds of friendship.

In 1836, at the age of 17, he began his career as an innovative teacher in the one-room school houses of Long Island. He permitted his students to call him by his first name, and devised learning games for them in arithmetic and spelling. He continued to teach school until 1841, when he turned to journalism as a full-time career. He soon became editor for a number of Brooklyn and New York papers. From 1846 to 1847 Whitman was the editor of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle. Whitman went to New Orleans in 1848, where he was editor for a brief time of the "New Orleans Crescent". In that city he had become fascinated with the French language. Many of his poems contain words of French derivation. It was in New Orleans that he experienced at first hand the viciousness of slavery in the slave markets of that city.

On his return to Brooklyn in the fall of 1848, he founded a "free soil" newspaper, the "Brooklyn Freeman". Between 1848 and 1855 he developed the style of poetry that so astonished Ralph Waldo Emerson. When the poet's Leaves Of Grass reached him as a gift in July, 1855, the Dean of American Letters thanked him for "the wonderful gift" and said that he rubbed his eyes a little "to see if the sunbeam was no illusion." Walt Whitman had been unknown to Emerson prior to that occasion. The "sunbeam" that illuminated a great deal of Whitman's poetry was Music. It was one of the major sources of his inspiration. Many of his four hundred poems contain musical terms, names of instruments, and names of composers. He insisted that music was "greater than wealth, greater than buildings, ships, religions, paintings." In his final essay written one year before his death in 1891, he sums up his struggles of thirty years to write Leaves of Grass. The opening paragraph of his self-evaluation "A Backward Glance O'er Travel'd Road," begins with his reminiscences of "the best of songs heard." His concluding comments again return to thoughts about music, saying that "the strongest and sweetest songs remain yet to be sung."

"When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloomed" and "O Captain! My Captain!" (1866) are two of his more famous poems. A poet who was ardently singing on life and himself, Whitman is today claimed as one of the few truly great American men of letters.

A woman waits for me

A WOMAN waits for me--she contains all, nothing is lacking,
Yet all were lacking, if sex were lacking, or if the moisture of the
right man were lacking.

Sex contains all,
Bodies, Souls, meanings, proofs, purities, delicacies, results,
Songs, commands, health, pride, the maternal mystery, the seminal
All hopes, benefactions, bestowals,
All the passions, loves, beauties, delights of the earth,
All the governments, judges, gods, follow'd persons of the earth,
These are contain'd in sex, as parts of itself, and justifications of

Without shame the man I like knows and avows the deliciousness of his
Without shame the woman I like knows and avows hers.

Now I will dismiss myself from impassive women,
I will go stay with her who waits for me, and with those women that
are warm-blooded and sufficient for me;
I see that they understand me, and do not deny me;
I see that they are worthy of me--I will be the robust husband of
those women.

They are not one jot less than I am,
They are tann'd in the face by shining suns and blowing winds,
Their flesh has the old divine suppleness and strength,
They know how to swim, row, ride, wrestle, shoot, run, strike,
retreat, advance, resist, defend themselves,
They are ultimate in their own right--they are calm, clear, well-
possess'd of themselves.

I draw you close to me, you women!
I cannot let you go, I would do you good,
I am for you, and you are for me, not only for our own sake, but for
others' sakes;
Envelop'd in you sleep greater heroes and bards,
They refuse to awake at the touch of any man but me.

It is I, you women--I make my way,
I am stern, acrid, large, undissuadable--but I love you,
I do not hurt you any more than is necessary for you,
I pour the stuff to start sons and daughters fit for These States--I
press with slow rude muscle,
I brace myself effectually--I listen to no entreaties,
I dare not withdraw till I deposit what has so long accumulated
within me.

Through you I drain the pent-up rivers of myself,
In you I wrap a thousand onward years,
On you I graft the grafts of the best-beloved of me and America,
The drops I distil upon you shall grow fierce and athletic girls, new
artists, musicians, and singers,
The babes I beget upon you are to beget babes in their turn,
I shall demand perfect men and women out of my love-spendings,
I shall expect them to interpenetrate with others, as I and you
interpenetrate now,
I shall count on the fruits of the gushing showers of them, as I
count on the fruits of the gushing showers I give now,
I shall look for loving crops from the birth, life, death,
immortality, I plant so lovingly now.

Poem from Poems of Love and More.

Chinese Democracy - Guns N' Roses

Guns n’ Roses fans expecting to be met with pyro, a giant inflatable Axl Rose — or at least Chinese Democracy blaring from the sound system — were in for a surprise when the anxiously awaited album hit Best Buy stores yesterday. At all the Manhattan outlets Rock Daily visited Sunday, you’d be hard-pressed to know it was one of the most hyped release days of the century.

Best Buy has released its share of exclusive music (notably live DVDs from the Rolling Stones and the Police), but serving as the sole distributor of Guns n’ Roses Chinese Democracy, which the retailer dubbed “the most anticipated album of all time” in its promotional materials, was a coup. Yet there were no midnight sales, and therefore no opportunities to nab video like the 1991 footage of fans lining up to buy both of the Use Your Illusion long boxes. When the doors of one downtown New York City store opened at 9 a.m., there were two customers waiting outside. Once in, it took a few minutes of searching to actually find the discs, and the promised vinyl was nowhere to be found — and neither was a cashier, for that matter.

The Chelsea location fared better with a full stand-up display, but the kids in the store were more interested in playing “Santeria” on Guitar Hero. That is, except for the one longhair who stared at the disc in his hands on his way out the door, as if it would disappear if he neglected it. As he left the store, he held it up to a passerby, laughed and said, “Crazy.”

The Midtown Manhattan store had the most purchases during Rock Daily’s visit of any of the locations, including one uniformed police officer who must have gotten over Axl’s diss on “One in a Million.” One customer flipped through every copy on the rack, either on an OCD quest for the most pristine packaging or finally coming to the conclusion of his 14-year internal struggle over whether he should buy it. He did.

With what must have been a precisely negotiated deal, it’s curious how minimally Chinese Democracy was emphasized in the Best Buy stores. In none of the four locations visited Sunday was the record playing on the house music system, and only one had any sort of stand-alone display. This isn’t to say that Chinese Democracy won’t do big numbers, especially with customers descending on the retailer en masse this week for Black Friday sales, but after a decade and a half of anticipation, Best Buy’s release of Chinese Democracy began in New York with a shrug.


Crepusculo - Twilight

Twilight is a 2008 romantic-fantasy film directed by Catherine Hardwicke and based on the novel of the same name by Stephenie Meyer. The film stars Kristen Stewart as a teenage girl who falls in love with a vampire, played by Robert Pattinson. The project was in development for approximately three years before it was put into pre-production by Summit Entertainment. The novel was adapted for the screen by Melissa Rosenberg in the autumn of 2007, shortly before the 2007–2008 Writers Guild of America strike. The film was primarily shot in Washington and Oregon during the winter and spring of 2008. Twilight was released domestically on November 21, 2008,[4] and grossed $35.7 million on its opening day.[5] The soundtrack was released on November 4, 2008.[6]


Seventeen-year-old Isabella "Bella" Swan moves to the small town of Forks, Washington, to live with her father, Charlie. There, she finds herself drawn to a mysterious classmate, Edward Cullen, who is revealed to be a 108-year-old vampire but is physically seventeen. Although Edward discourages the romance at first, they soon fall deeply in love. When the arrival of three nomadic vampires, James, Laurent, and Victoria, puts Bella's life in danger, Edward and his family, Alice, Carlisle, Esme, Jasper, Emmett and Rosalie, put their lives at stake to save her.[7]


The Cullens and the Swans

Nomadic Vampires




Stephenie Meyer's paranormal romance novel Twilight was originally optioned by Paramount Pictures' MTV Films in April 2004, but the screenplay that was subsequently developed was substantially different from its source material.[3][18] When Summit Entertainment reinvented itself as a full-service studio in April 2007, it began development of a film adaptation anew,[19] having picked up the rights from Paramount in a turnaround.[20] The company perceived the film as an opportunity to launch a franchise based on the success of Meyer's book and its sequels.[21][11] That summer, Catherine Hardwicke was hired to direct the film and Melissa Rosenberg to write the script.[22]

Rosenberg developed an outline by the end of August, and collaborated with Hardwicke on writing the screenplay during the following month. "[She] was a great sounding board and had all sorts of brilliant ideas.... I'd finish off scenes and send them to her, and get back her notes."[23] Due to the impending WGA strike, Rosenberg worked full-time to finish the screenplay before October 31.[23] In adapting the novel, she "had to condense a great deal." Some characters from the novel were not featured in the screenplay, whereas some characters were combined into others.[24] "[O]ur intent all along was to stay true to the book," Rosenberg explained, "and it has to do less with adapting it word for word and more with making sure the characters' arcs and emotional journeys are the same."[25] Hardwicke suggested the use of voice over to convey the protagonist's internal dialogue[23] – since the novel is told from Bella's point of view – and she sketched some of the storyboards during pre-production.[26]


Kristen Stewart was on the set of Adventureland when Hardwicke visited her for an informal screen test which "captivated" the director.[3] Hardwicke did not initially choose Robert Pattinson for the role of Edward Cullen, but after an audition at her home with Stewart, Hardwicke chose him.[3] Pattinson was unfamiliar with the novel series prior to his screen test but read the books later on.[27] Meyer allowed him to view a manuscript of the unfinished Midnight Sun, which chronicles the events in Twilight from Edward's point of view.[28] Fan reaction to Pattinson's casting as Edward was initially negative; Rachelle Lefèvre remarked that "[e]very woman had their own Edward [that] they had to let go of before they could open up to [him], which they did."[27] Meyer was "excited" and "ecstatic" in response to the casting of the two main characters.[29]

Peter Facinelli was not originally cast as Carlisle Cullen. "[Hardwicke] liked [him], but there was another actor that the studio was pushing for."[10] For unknown reasons, that actor was not able to play the part, and Facinelli was selected in his place.[10] Nikki Reed had previously worked with Hardwicke on thirteen (2003), which they wrote together, and Lords of Dogtown (2005). "I don't want to say it's a coincidence, because we do work well together, and we have a great history. I think we make good work, but it's more that the people that hire [Hardwicke] to direct a film of theirs [have] most likely seen her other work."[30]

Kellan Lutz was in Africa shooting the HBO miniseries Generation Kill (2008) when the auditions for the character of Emmett Cullen were conducted. The role had already been cast by the time that production ended in December 2007, but the actor who had been selected "fell through"; Lutz subsequently auditioned and was flown to Oregon, where Hardwicke personally chose him.[31] Rachelle Lefèvre was interested in pursuing a role in the film because Hardwicke was attached to the project as director; there was also "the potential to explore a character, hopefully, over three films"; and she wanted to portray a vampire.[32] "[She] thought that vampires were basically the best metaphor for human anxiety and questions about being alive."[32] Christian Serratos initially auditioned for Jessica Stanley, but she "fell totally in love with Angela" after reading the books, and successfully took advantage of a later opportunity to audition for Angela Weber.[33] The role of Jessica Stanley went to Anna Kendrick, who got the part after two mix-and-match auditions with various actors.[34]

Filming and post-production

Principal photography took 44 days,[35] after more than a week of rehearsals,[36] and completed on May 2, 2008.[37] Similar to her directorial debut thirteen, Hardwicke opted for an extensive use of hand-held cinematography to make the film "feel real".[10][38] Meyer visited the production set thrice, and was consulted on different aspects of the story;[39] she also has a brief cameo in the film.[40] Cast members who portrayed vampires avoided sunlight to make their skin pale, though makeup was also applied for that effect, and wore contact lenses: "We did the golden color because the Cullens have those golden eyes. And then, when we're hungry, we have to pop the red ones in," Facinelli explained.[10] They also participated in rehearsals with a dance choreographer and observed the physicality of different panthera to make their bodily movements more graceful.[10][41][42]

Scenes were filmed primarily in Portland, Oregon,[12] and the cast did most of their own stunt work.[43] The fight sequence between Gigandet and Pattinson's characters in a ballet studio, which was filmed during the first week of production, involved a substantial amount of wire work since the vampires in the story have superhuman strength and speed.[42] Gigandet incorporated some mixed martial arts fighting moves in this sequence, which also involved chicken and honey as substitutes for flesh.[44] Bella, the protagonist, is unconscious during these events, and since the novel is told from her point of view, such action sequences are illustrative and unique to the film.[27] Pattinson noted that maintaining one's center of gravity is difficult when doing wire work "because you have to really fight against it as well as letting it do what it needs to do."[27] Lefèvre found the experience disorienting since forward motion is out of one's control in such work.[27]

Instead of shooting at Forks High School itself, scenes taking place at the school were filmed at Kalama High School[45] and Madison High School.[46] Other scenes were also filmed in St. Helens, Oregon,[47] and Hardwicke conducted some reshooting in Pasadena, California, in August.[35][48] The studio intended to create a series of at least three films based on Meyer's books,[8] and Summit had optioned New Moon by October 2008.[49] Twilight was originally scheduled to be theatrically released in the United States on December 12, 2008, but its release date was changed to November 21 after Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince was rescheduled for an opening in July 2009.[4] Two teaser trailers, as well as some additional scenes, have been released for the film. The final trailer was released on October 9.[50][51] A 15-minute excerpt of Twilight was presented during the International Rome Film Festival in Italy.[52] The film received a rating of PG-13 from the Motion Picture Association of America for "some violence and a scene of sensuality".[53] It is rated 12A in the United Kingdom and Ireland.


Box office

Twilight grossed over $7 million in ticket sales from midnight showings alone on November 21, 2008.[54] The film is third overall on online ticket service Fandango's list of top advance ticket sales, outranked only by Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith (2005) and The Dark Knight (2008).[54] It grossed $35.9 million on its opening day, the biggest opening day gross for a non-sequel and non-summer movie.[55] For its opening weekend in the United States and Canada, Twilight accumulated $69.6 million from 3,419 theaters at an average of $20,368 per theater.[56]

Critical reception

Based on 128 reviews collected by Rotten Tomatoes as of November 24, 2008, the film has received an overall approval rating of 44%, with a weighted average score of 5.4/10.[57] In describing the critical consensus, it stated: "Having lost much of its bite transitioning to the big screen, Twilight will please its devoted fans, but do little for the uninitiated."[57] By comparison, Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, calculated an average score of 56 from the 32 reviews it collected, indicating "mixed or average" reviews.[58] Entertainment Weekly gave a positive review (B).[59]

Score and soundtrack

The score for Twilight was composed by Carter Burwell,[60][61] with the rest of the soundtrack chosen by music supervisor Alexandra Patsavas.[62] Meyer was consulted on the soundtrack, which includes music by Muse and Linkin Park, bands she listened to while writing the novels.[63][64] The original soundtrack was released on November 4 by Chop Shop Records in conjunction with Atlantic Records.[6] The soundtrack debuted at number 1 on the Billboard 200 for the chart week of November 22.[65]


On November 22, 2008, Summit Entertainment confirmed a sequel to Twilight based on the second book in the series, New Moon.[66][67][68] Rosenberg had been working on adapting the novel prior to Twilight's release.[69]

Source: Wikipedia

Ed Tapscott's Coaching Record in D.C.

As mentioned below, interim Wiz coach Ed Tapscott becomes the second straight Wiz boss with impeccable local credentials. In addition to going to high school at Sidwell, Tapscott spent eight seasons at American, amassing a 109-117 record before resigning in the spring of 1990 at the age of 36. He said at the time that he would be entering a career in sports management, which would rely both on and would "probably" not coach again.

Tapscott tried to resign after four straight losing season early in his tenure, but the offer wasn't accepted. Oddly, he ended up stepping down after his best year.

Other highlights:

* During a 1982 upset over Georgetown, a university study clocked Tapscott's heart rate at 170 beats per minute, more than double the normal rate.

* That upset was one of the highlights of the early part of Tapscott's tenure. "The Georgetown win didn't affect me as much but it helped the school in many ways," Tapscott said later. "Sometimes a major upset like that tends to make one think in terms of unrealistic expectations. But I didn't lose track of the fact you can be a hero one day and a bum the next. I was invited to speak at eight banquets following that (winning) season. Last year, I went to one. Without that one invitation, I might have gone hungry all year."

* "Tapscott was known as a coach with a conscience, who sacrificed his potential in law and earning ability for a modest coaching salary because he preferred attempting to influence players both on and off the court," wrote Sally Jenkins the day after he left Tenleytown. "He leaves frank in his assessment of the state of college basketball. 'I'm not sure we're being as honest as we can be,' he said. 'We profess to be about education and values, but I've seen that erode. I hope we can get it back.'

* A few months before he left, Tapscott won his 100th career game, with a decision over UNC Wilmington. "I feel like I'm 100," said a "dreary-eyed" Tapscott, according to The Post. "It's been a long time coming. It really wasn't something that I have focused on very much, but when you win 100, it makes you feel a little bit old."

* Tapscott's Eagles broke a seven-game losing streak during a miserable 1984 campaign with a win against Delaware. On Feb. 29. "Thank God for Feb. 29," Tapscott said. "If it weren't for leap year we might never have gotten another win."

* American opened the new Bender Arena during Tapscott's tenure, which led to an interesting night: a 56-55 win over James Madison when the Dukes missed a last-second shot.

"The festive crowd in the 5,000-seat facility nearly cost American the game," David Aldridge wrote the next day. "Twice, American was called for technical fouls after fans threw objects out onto the court. Madison made the resulting free throws. 'It's a new experience for students,' American Coach Ed Tapscott said. 'Technical fouls are not something, obviously, that we want. But I really enjoyed that kind of support. It was a lot of fun.'

* Tapscott's year-by-year record in Tenleytown:

1982-83: 20-10

1983-84: 6-22

1984-85: 9-19

1985-86: 10-18

1986-87: 13-14

1987-88: 14-14

1988-89: 17-11

1989-90: 20-9

Total record: 109-117 (.482)
Source: Washington Post

The Sims 2 Mansion and Garden Stuff Pack

Electronic Arts Inc. announced today that The Sims 2 Mansion and Garden Stuff Pack, the latest stuff pack for the critically-acclaimed PC Game The Sims 2, will hit store shelves today. The pack includes unique building elements that let you create mansions and gardens for your Sims in three all new architectural styles including Moroccan, Second Empire and Art Deco. There are a host of new architectural and landscaping items to choose from to make your Sims' mansions look more stunning than ever.

You now have the ability to re-create your Sims' homes into luxurious mansions with all-new items. You can add new character to your Sims' estates with exotic columns, stunning new archways, chic ceiling fans, sweeping grand staircases and beautifully designed windows and doors. In addition, you can completely re-invent your Sims' gardens with a colorful foundation of flower beds and shrubs including delicate irises, cheerful daylilies and bright sunflowers. Each different architectural style has a unique look and feel. You can transform your Sims' home into an imposing Moroccan palace with lush gardens. You can build estates that are classic yet bold with the glamorous "Old Hollywood" style of Art Deco or create grand manors and sculpted landscapes with the romantic and elegant Second Empire theme.

The Sims 2, The Sims 2 Special DVD Edition, The Sims 2 Holiday Edition, The Sims 2 Deluxe or The Sims 2 Double Deluxe for PC is required to play The Sims 2 Mansion and Garden Stuff Pack. For more information about The Sims 2, please go to

About The Sims

The Sims franchise celebrates an impressive over 100 million units sold since its launch in February 2000. Now translated into 22 different languages in 60 different countries, The Sims has quickly become a universal gaming and cultural phenomenon. For the latest information about The Sims and to check out the hottest creations for The Sims 2 made by our community members, please visit To stay up-to-date on The Sims 3 news and information, check out

About Electronic Arts

Electronic Arts Inc. (EA), headquartered in Redwood City, California, is the world's leading interactive entertainment software company. Founded in 1982, the Company develops, publishes, and distributes interactive software worldwide for video game systems, personal computers, cellular handsets and the Internet. Electronic Arts markets its products under four brand names: EA SPORTSTM, EATM, EA SPORTS FreestyleTM and POGOTM. In fiscal 2008, EA posted GAAP net revenue of $3.67 billion and had 27 titles that sold more than one million copies. EA's homepage and online game site is More information about EA's products and full text of press releases can be found on the Internet at


Tomb Raider Underworld

The situation first came to light on the microblogging service Twitter, after one reviewer said he had been asked by the PR company representing Eidos, the game's publisher, to hold off posting a review of the title if he gave it a mark of less than 8 out of 10.

Several other games websites picked up on the story, although the PR company at the centre of the row has denied trying to influence reviews.

According to the website videogaming247, a representative of the PR company initially said that it was "trying to manage the review scores at the request of Eidos". They also said that the US brand manager for the label had asked them to keep reviews in check "before the game is out...just to ensure that we don't put people off of buying the game, basically".

However, the PR company, Barrington Harvey later corrected its position, with one of the directors, Simon Byron, vehemently denying that his organisation had sought to influence review scores by keeping bad reviews under a longer embargo.

"Barrington Harvey is not in the position of telling reviewers what they can and cannot say," he said. "[We] have no issue with scores of below eight out of 10 being posted online. Any entirely within their rights to post whatever score they want, and no-one is under any sort of obligation to delay any review."

Tomb Raider: Underworld, was released on Friday and is available for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 consoles. The review aggregation site Meta Critic currently gives the game an average score of 76 out of 100, based on 23 reviews, while users of the website rate the game an average of 6.6 out of 10.

Underworld follows Lara Croft as she embarks on a new quest that takes her across the world, from the frozen wastelands of the Arctic to the jungles of Mexico, via the beaches of Thailand, as she seeks to unravel another ancient mystery.
Click to enlarge, it's a wallpaper!


Elf Yourself Returns for Year 3

While logic for continuing the campaign may be suspect, I guess it speaks to its undying faith that for the third year in a row, OfficeMax is rolling out Elf Yourself (complete with bigger OfficeMax logo!).

Around this time last year, Elf Yourself had spawned over 11 million self-elfers. This year there's new stuff to look forward to.

When you elf yourself, you'll have the option of buying customized merch -- ornaments, mousepads, coffee mugs. A Facebook app lets you put the elf video on your profile. Create profiles to save elves and videos. (Does that mean the URL's no longer going offline for the traditional nine or 10 months in a year?)

Onto the gaudy stuff -- because all that wasn't gaudy enough! Get your zealous bobbing face on:

o Disco Elves (gone political!)
o Country Elves
o Charleston Elves
o Classic Elves

Don't forget mom, dad or Timmy. (Make up to FIVE ELVES at a time!)


Thanksgiving Lovely Pictures