Thursday, January 30, 2014

The Star and AACTA celebrate Australian talent

Baz Luhrmann and creative partner Catherine Martin

Capping off a week of events at The Star celebrating Australian talent and innovation, celebrities of the big and small screen descended on The Star Sydney yesterday, 30 January 2014, for the 3rd Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts (AACTA) Awards Ceremony.

The lobby of The Darling Hotel welcomed guests for a pre-red carpet event, followed by a media frenzied red carpet leading to The Star Event Centre, atop The Star. The globally broadcast awards night for 1,500 guests recognised Jacki Weaver who was presented the AACTA Raymond Longford Award for her service to the Australian industry and Baz Luhrmann for the multitude of opportunities that creating his vision for The Great Gatsby provided Australians.

Other notable attendees included Cate Blanchett, Gracie Otto, Geoffrey Rush, Sam Worthington and Rachel Griffiths.

Illustrating the diversity of event spaces throughout The Star, Sky Terrace - Sydney’s newest rooftop bar hosted guests for the after party, followed by Marquee nightclub where many of the celebrity guests danced the night away.

Jacki Weaver and Geoffrey Rush attended the
AACTA Luncheon (pictured below) on
Tuesday 28 January, and the Awards Ceremony
30 January 2014, both in The Star Event Centre.
The week of events commenced with the AACTAs luncheon on Tuesday, 28 January 2014, with a red carpet arrival for 700 guests at The Star Event Centre, recognising practitioners working across television, documentary, short fiction film, short animation and feature film categories.

Damian Trewella, CEO of the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts (AACTA) commented on the flawless production and staging of last night’s awards.

“Staging an awards night such as ours is both complex and challenging, with our production needing to integrate television broadcast, a live audience and a myriad of presenters, guests and media.

"The outcome of our production must be at a high level as it is a recognition of achievement in film and television.

"Working in partnership with our broadcast team, The Star’s team showcased their professionalism through their creative use of the multitude of event spaces across The Star to suit our many varied needs.

"The staging of the AACTA Awards over the past two years at The Star have set ever higher benchmarks for the industry thanks to the quality of the venue, its incredible technical capability and staff that simply make things happen.”

Cate Blanchett walking the red carpet to
The Star Event Centre for the Awards Ceremony.
Solidifying The Star as a world class event and entertainment precinct, The Star will be the official destination partner and host venue for the AACTAs for another four years, ensuring Australia’s most prestigious screen awards stay in Sydney.

Geoff Parmenter, General Manager Communications and Corporate Affairs, The Star, expresses his delight to support this event for a further four years.

“Sydney is rightfully proud of its status as home to Australia’s vibrant creative industries and many of the country’s leading cultural organisations. You’ll see The Star looking to really highlight and showcase its role in supporting and celebrating all things that are great in Sydney. We are therefore delighted to be supporting the 3rd AACTA Awards as Destination Partner and official host venue for the next four years.”

The Darling Hotel and Astral Towers and Residences provided a luxurious base for guests to stay, ensuring that national and international attendees could be accommodated at the same location as the events right across the week.

To enquire about the multiple event spaces throughout The Star, please contact The Star Sales Team on +61 2 9657 8568 or


For more information or enquiries, visit or call 1800 700 700.

The AACTA afterparty took place at Sydney's newest rooftop bar, Sky Terrace at The Star.

Jonty Rhodes to write for Cricket Lifestyle

Jonty Rhodes is extending his talents from cricket player and coach, surfer and ambassador for South African Tourism in India, as well as an experienced corporate speaker, to include travel and lifestyle writer and blogger.

Rhodes, who was in London this month to attend the World Travel Market for meetings with Five Star PR, an Australian company of which he is on the advisory board, was also in town to promote his involvement with soon to be launched website and social media forum 'Cricket Lifestyle'.

As a true Indiaphile, Rhodes is keen to share his knowledge of the Indian culture with readers of Cricket Lifestyle.

"I'm not one to stay in my hotel. It's great to experience every facet of India from skiing helicopter skiing down the remote and uncrowded powder slopes of Gulmarg, Kashmir, through to surfing in Goa and riding a Royal Enfield 500cc into the wide open spaces around Rajasthan! I'm looking forward to visiting as much of India as possible and writing about my experiences, including recommending restaurants, hotels and activities with an adventurous edge - including myth-busting the dangers of eating street food "

An experienced traveller, Rhodes will also go global in terms of his topic areas yet as he spends almost four months a year in India, and just under six months a year in South Africa, he is looking forward to covering as many as possible of the incredible experiences that India offers to travelers as well as the awesome experiences of his home country.

Those who subscribe to cricketlifestyle before Christmas have the opportunity to win a Michael Clarke signed Spartan bat visit

Background information on Cricket Lifestyle

What is cricket lifestyle?

Cricket Lifestyle is the only website of its kind talking about cricket and lifestyle. Whilst we cover opinions about what is happening on the field, and cricketing news, we also cover where international cricketers travel, stay, eat, and drink.

Cricket lifestyle contributors include Jonty Rhodes, former South African cricketer and IPL Mumbai Indians' fielding coach; Ben Groundwater, freelance writer; Gareth Eden-Styche, author of Balls to It All; Tim the Yowie Man, Canberra columnist; Bev Hadgraft, author and former UK editor; and Max Anderson, author and former deputy editor Travel The Sunday Times UK.

Spartan Sports are supporting cricket lifestyle with giveaways of bats signed by Michael Clarke and access to their players of Michael Clarke, Chris Gayle, Matt Prior, Mitchell Johnson, Darren Bravo and Slazenger's Steve Smith.

Who cares about cricket?

Cricket is followed by more than half the population of the world. It is almost a religion in countries such as India, Australia, UK, New Zealand, South Africa. The International Cricket Council (ICC), which has its headquarters in Dubai, has 104 members: 10 Full Members that play official Test matches, 34 Associate Members, and 60 Affiliate Members.

Do cricket fans travel?

Yes and they travel a long way from UK to New Zealand, from Australia to the West Indies. This is a market who love cricket and lifestyle. They travel in groups, they travel with family, they travel with friends, they travel.

Destinations are realising what a great market the cricket fan is.

This year, Tourism New Zealand's Chief Executive Kevin Bowler, said: "In March (2013), we saw 15.8% growth out of the UK, helped by having the Barmy Army in town to watch the English cricket team. This reinforces the benefits that big sporting events offer New Zealand, and how important it is for us to maximise the value we can gain from hosting the Cricket World Cup."

Travel brands are innovative in leveraging the cricket fever in India. They have taken all possible steps to reap the most benefit from the 50-day IPL festival. For example, MakeMyTrip, India's biggest OTA has signed up as the principal sponsor for Sunrises Hyderabad, one of the nine IPL teams.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

New Golf Social Network

All Square® Mobile App Drives New Golf Social Network

Beta launch of iPhone app establishes global platform for golfers

(Palo Alto, CA – January 22, 2014) All Square®, a new social network for golfers, has launched a mobile app enabling golfers to share and compare their golf experiences worldwide.

The iPhone app, which is free to download from the App Store, allows golfers to connect with friends, upload photos and videos, post comments and receive instant notifications, all recorded on a personal timeline.

The beta launch of the iOS app – at the PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando, Florida, January 22-24, 2014 – establishes a new global platform for golfers.

Patrick Rahme, Co-Founder and CEO of All Square said, "All Square connects the power of people's love for golf on one free, accessible and engaging social media platform designed exclusively for golfers.

"Golfers love talking about the courses they've played, the latest equipment they've purchased and swing tips – and the All Square app enables them to share all of these things instantly with friends, on and off the course, wherever they are in the world."

All Square was founded by Patrick Rahme, age 26, and business partner Arthur de Rivoire, 25, after they met at the HEC University of Lausanne, Switzerland, while studying economics and business administration. Rahme, who also studied at the London School of Economics, and de Rivoire are both elite amateur golfers and regularly represent the national teams of Luxembourg and Switzerland respectively.

All Square was recently showcased at the 'Plug and Play Tech Center' in Silicon Valley, California, ahead of the app's launch.  The business accelerator specializes in growing tech startups and only select international ventures are invited to join the program, which has previously invested in and supported companies such as Google, PayPal and Dropbox.

All Square is also working closely with global golf course management company Troon® Golf on its international development and has been selected by KPMG, the global professional services firm, to join its K-Start program for entrepreneurs.

"We are currently testing different features within the app to find out which golfers find most appealing," continued Patrick Rahme. "One such feature is 'Rate my Swing' where you can instantly upload a video of your swing from your iPhone and have your friends comment and rate it.

"The directory of golf courses on the app, which complements the global interactive course map we have on the website, is also something we believe golfers will enjoy. All Square is designed to be a global platform for course reviews and ranking."  

The launch of the app will be supported by advertising on Facebook, Twitter and other social media channels.

For more information, visit: To download the app, visit the App Store.

To contact Patrick Rahme during the PGA Merchandise Show, Orlando, January 22-24, e-mail:

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Formula E - fully electric race car makes puiblic debut in Las Vegas

Formula E’s new fully-electric race car, the Spark-Renault SRT_01E, made its first ever public demonstration today (6, January), entertaining crowds with a high-speed display around the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas.

Capable of speeds in excess of 150mph, the zero emission single-seater was driven by former Formula One driver Lucas di Grassi and gave invited guests, media and onlookers their first chance to see and hear the cars that will compete in the new FIA Formula E Championship - the world’s first fully-electric racing series beginning in September.

Formula E is a new FIA championship which will compete on 10 city-centre circuits around the globe including two races in the US – Miami and Los Angeles – which take place in the spring of 2015. Ten teams, each with two drivers, will go head-to-head to create a unique and exciting racing series designed to appeal to a new generation of motorsport fan, whilst accelerating the electric vehicle market and promoting sustainability.

Unveiled in September 2013, the Formula E car has been designed and built by French-based Spark Racing Technology together with a consortium of the leading names in motorsport including Dallara (chassis), Williams (battery design), McLaren (powertrain & electronics), Renault (overall system integration) and Michelin (tyres).

The event was also held in conjunction with the International CES, a global consumer electronics and technology tradeshow, together with Qualcomm Incorporated, one of Formula E’s Founding Partners and the championship’s Technology Partner.

“Today is a very special landmark for the FIA Formula E Championship and I’m delighted to be sharing it with Qualcomm and all our partners,” said Alejandro Agag, CEO of series promotes Formula E Holdings. “Since the FIA launched Formula E just over a year ago, the progress and interest in the series has been overwhelming. When we started we had no cities, no teams, no broadcasters and no car. Now we have all these things so to be able to showcase our new car to everyone involved, and of course the fans, is a very proud moment.

“2014 is a very big year for Formula E with the championship starting in September so it’s important to be starting on such a positive note. Today will also be the first of many roadshows we have planned over the coming months as we want as many people as possible to see, and hear, what we believe is the future of motorsport.”

He added: “It’s also great for us to be debuting the car here in the US as this remains a key area for Formula E given we have two teams, two cities, broadcaster FOX Sports, a new investor with Boston Celtics owner Wyc Grousbeck and, of course, the US’s ever expanding electric vehicle market.”

“We are excited to show off the new fully-electric FIA Formula E Championship car in action on the Las Vegas Strip,” said Dr. Paul E. Jacobs, Chairman and CEO of Qualcomm Incorporated. “Qualcomm is proud to be a Founding Technology Partner of the FIA Formula E Championship and a part of a global movement towards sustainable living."

As part of the event, the Formula E car was also driven along the famous Las Vegas Strip by Lucas di Grassi under police escort, finishing at the world-famous Caesars Palace Hotel and Casino. "Caesars Palace has been passionate about auto sports since its early days when it hosted the Caesars Palace Grand Prix,” said Tariq Shaukat, Caesars Entertainment's Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer. “We are proud to keep at the leading edge of the auto sports industry and technology innovation by partnering as the exclusive casino sponsor with the first-of-its-kind Formula E racing car. This partnership complements our ongoing global environmental efforts and supports the company's focus of leveraging technology to enhance the overall guest experience at our many entertainment destinations worldwide."

It will now be displayed on Qualcomm’s stand (Central Hall, #8252) for the remainder of the CES Show where the leader in mobile space will be showcasing its Qualcomm Halo™ Wireless Electric Vehicle Charging (WEVC) – a revolutionary new technology that will be fitted to the championship’s safety cars.

Monday, January 6, 2014

German Chancellor Angela Merkel injured in skiing accident in Swiss Alps

German Chancellor Angela Merkel prepares to go skiing (file image/Daily Mail UK)
German Chancellor Angela Merkel was injured in a skiing accident in the Swiss Alps, her spokesman said Monday. The German leader suffered a fractured pelvis while cross-country skiing in the Engadin valley, Steffen Seibert said. "She has fallen while cross-country skiing,” Seibert said. “We assume she was travelling at a low speed.” The injury resulted in the chancellor cancelling all appointments and travel for the next three weeks, he said.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

World's tallest girl (2.06m) and her 1.5m boyfriend

A stunning 19-year-old Brazilian teen is looked up to by just about everyone around her.

Standing at an amazing 6ft 9 in, she is the tallest girl there and has created a minor sensation with a her 1.5m boyfriend.

Elisany Silva (Elizane Cruz Silva, Silva da Cruz Elizane) is a beautiful Brazilian girl who was born September 27, 1995 and has a height of 206 cm (6’9”) tall.

The youngster, from Salinopolis in Brazil, has a form of gigantism because of a tumour on her pituitary gland, which regulates growth. Doctors have since removed the tumour.

She now ranks among the world’s tallest youth.

Being so tall isn’t easy, but it helped her to find a job.

She will debut on the catwalk ending the designer’s show in Belem, dressed as a bride.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Cuba allowing new car imports

Cuba is set to allow new car imports this week, effectively ending a decades-old ban.The communist island's authorities announced late Wednesday that new rules were in place for the free import of new and used cars, after Cuba lifted the ban last month. Imported cars can be sold at market prices starting Friday, without need for special permission. ntil now, Cubans and foreigners living on the island needed special permission, and a booming black market had long developed for such authorizations, which the government often granted to its employees or to doctors. hortly after the 1959 revolution, Cuba largely banned the sale of cars. Since October 2011, private individuals are again allowed to buy and sell cars, which until then was only the case for cars built before 1959. Havana is popular among visitors for its streetscapes marked by old US models and Soviet-style cars.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Schumacher stable, but still in critical condition after ski accident

Michael Schumacher during skiing (
Formula One legend Michael Schumacher is in stable but still critical condition after head injuries sustained in a skiing accident, his manager Sabine Kehm said Wednesday. "Michael's condition has been stable throughout the night," Kehm told reporters outside Grenoble's university hospital. "There have been no significant changes. It is good news, but only for the moment. The situation remains critical." Kehm said the record-holding F1 champion, who turns 45 on Friday, "has been carefully supervised throughout the night" and that his family remains with him.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Streetbeat Magazine - Australian music and gig guide - 1982

Way back in the very early '80s, a weird little booklet started appearing on the tables of pubs and in record and music stores. Streetbeat was first and foremost a free gig guide, band listings and then later record and movie reviews with an indie twist. The brainchild of the late Steve Rondo, something of a renegade rock promoter who fled Sydney for the quiet streets of Adelaide, Streetbeat was styled on the defunct TAGG - the alternative gig guide once edited by Stuart Coupe.

It grew from a rough backroom cut-and-paste project (when cut and paste meant scissors and Clag glue) to a half respectable publication designed by a young and obviously talented illustrator, Rocco Fazzari. Fledgling journalist and would-be rock band manager, Rod Eime, took up most of the editing and writing duties while Rondo hustled the advertising. Before Streetbeat's demise in late 1982, there were both Adelaide and Sydney fortnightly issues.

If nothing else, Streetbeat served as a record of active Sydney and Adelaide bands and stunned the public with Fazzari's outlandish cover designs. Fazzari went on to Fairfax and became one of the country's most celebrated cartoonists and illustrators, while Eime writes occasional travel for the Sunday papers and glossy magazines.

Below are some random pages:

Sydney No.8 17-30 September 1982

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