Om Namah Shivaya

Om Namah Shivaya

I'll be grateful if you...

Aug 8, 2010

RECOMMENDATIONS: Music, Books and Films

Valya Mladenova Balkanska (BulgarianВаля Младенова Балканска) (born 8 January 1942) is a Bulgarian folk music singer from theRhodope Mountains known for singing the song (Click on the song name to listen to it)  "Izlel e Delyu Haydutin", part of the Voyager Golden Record selection of music included in the two Voyager spacecraft launched in 1977.
Born in a hamlet near the village of ArdaSmolyan Province, Balkanska has been singing Rhodopean folk songs since her early childhood. She has been performing her reportoire of over 300 songs in Bulgaria and abroad. Balkanska is most famous for "Izlel je Delyo hajdutin", which she recorded in 1968 accompanied by the bagpipe (gaida) players Lazar Kanevski and Stephan Zahmanov.
Balkanska has been working with the Rodopa State Ensemble for Folk Songs and Dances from Smolyan, of which she is a soloist, since 1960. Her album Glas ot vechnostta (Voice from the Eternity), released in 2004, is a compilation of her best known songs, including "A bre yunache ludo i mlado", "Goro le goro zelena", and "Maychinko stara maychinko".
Click here to listen to Nevena singing the song
In 2002, Balkanska was awarded the Stara Planina Orden (the highest Bulgarian award). She was honoured with her own star plate on the Bulgarian Walk of Fame in Sofia in December 2005.
Listen to the song by Nevena 20 year old girl from Bulgaria who won the Euro Music Idol award for singing the song. Its beautiful renditions too. 


Liar's Poker is a non-fiction, semi-autobiographical book by Michael Lewis describing the author's experiences as a bond salesman on Wall Street during the late 1980s. First published in 1989, it is considered one of the books that define Wall Street during the 1980s, along withBryan Burrough and John Helyar's Barbarians at the Gate: The Fall of RJR Nabisco, and the fictional The Bonfire of the Vanities by Tom Wolfe. The book captures an important period in the history of Wall Street. Two important figures in that history feature prominently in the text, the head of Salomon Brothers' mortgage department Lewis Ranieri and the firm's CEO John Gutfreund.
The book's name is taken from liar's poker, a high-stakes gambling game popular with the bond traders in the book.

Liar's Poker follows two different story threads, though not necessarily in chronological order.
The first thread is autobiographical, and follows Lewis through his college education and his hiring by Salomon Brothers (now a subsidiary ofCitigroup) in 1984. This part of the book gives a first-person account of how bond traders and salesmen truly work, their personalities, and theirculture. The book captures well an important period in the history of Wall Street. Important figures in that history feature prominently in the text,John MeriwetherLewis Ranieri, head of mortgage department and firm CEO John Gutfreund.
The second thread is a sort of history of Salomon Brothers and overview of Wall Street in general, especially how the firm single-handedly created a market for mortgage bonds and made the firm wealthy, only to be outdone by Michael Milken and his junk bonds. This thread is less dependent on Lewis' personal experience and features quotes apparently drawn from interviews with various relevant figures.
Lewis jumps back and forth between these two threads in the book.
Agora is a 2009 Spanish historical drama film directed by Alejandro Amenábar and written by Amenábar and Mateo GilAgora was screened out of competition at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival in May, and opened in Spain on October 9, 2009 becoming the highest grossing film of the year for that country. Although the film had difficulty finding distribution, it was released country by country throughout late 2009 and early 2010. The film received a 57% overall approval rating from Rotten TomatoesAgora won seven Goya Awardsin Spain, including Best Original Screenplay.
The biopic starsRachel Weisz as Hypatia, a female mathematician, philosopher and astronomer in 4th century CE Roman Egypt who investigates the flaws of the geocentric Ptolemaic system and the heliocentric model that challenges it. Surrounded by religious turmoil and social unrest, Hypatia struggles to save the knowledge of classical antiquity from destruction. Max Minghella co-stars as Davus, Hypatia's slave, and Oscar Isaacas Hypatia's student Orestesprefect of Alexandria.
The story uses historical fiction to highlight the relationship between religion and science amidst the decline of Greco-Roman polytheismand the Christianization of the Roman empire. The title of the film takes its name from the agora, a gathering place in ancient Greece, similar to the Roman forum. The film was produced by Fernando Bovaira and shot on the island of Malta from March to June of 2008. Justin Pollard, co-author of The Rise and Fall of Alexandria (2007), was the historical advisor for the film.
Om Namah Shivaya

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