Saturday, March 24, 2007

Saturday Trivia

Bird watching in Egypt
"Although the winter in Egypt is not the peak season for birdwatching, there are almost 150 Egyptian resident species that cater to year-round birdwatching. The Egyptian habitat is very diverse, ranging from amorphous mountains, vast deserts, huge wetlands along the Mediterranean coast and the luxuriance of vegetation along the Nile basin, making Egypt a birdwatching paradise not only for its variety but also for the density of bird species. So, I decided to embark on several journeys to spot our feathered friends.
On a beautiful, warm winter morning, Ahmed Riad, one of Egypt's top ornithologists, decided to start our excursion by paying a visit to the desert birds."

Carving inspirations
Modern granite sculpting at Aswan is an annual event. Nevine El-Aref looks at some of the contributors: "Other sculptures carry a religious theme taken from ancient Egyptian rituals and also from Buddhism. The first is an "Exclusive Dance to the Sun" by Akram El-Magdoub, which follows an ancient story about Pharaoh Ramses II of the 19th Dynasty. Magdoub is a well-known architect responsible for creating distinguished buildings in Egypt and abroad. His creativity has led him to explore all fields of art. In addition to his engineering career, El-Magdoub is a poet and a writer. One of his poems and two theatrical plays were written for the Cairo Experimental Theatre, the Basic Elements and Towards a New World. In Aswan this year he explored another art field, granite sculpture."

Written in the Stars - A modern take on Aida
"Giuseppe Verdi might recognize Elton John and Tim Rice's Aida — it's still a story of love, honor and courage — but it's hard imagine what the great opera composer might think of all those Elton John tunes. . . . Set in ancient times but updated with modern dialogue and comic touches, it's the classic story of a doomed romance. Radames, commander of the Egyptian army, is engaged to the Pharaoh's daughter, Amneris, but falls in love with Aida, captive daughter of the Nubian king, who was defeated in battle.
Although based on Verdi's famous work, which was first performed in 1871, this is not that Aida. The songs run from reggae to Motown to gospel to pop. The score earned the original Broadway production a Tony Award in 2000 for Best Original Score."

Jet Li cast in Mummy III
"Today it was announced through The Hollywood Reporter that Jet Li is in fact in negotiations to play the title villanious character in The Mummy 3 for Universal. The script was written by written by Alfred Gough and Miles Millar which will be directed by Rob Cohen. Currently they are remaining very tight lipped about what the film will be about.
But they have released a few details. It is known that the action is set in China, with Li's story beginning in ancient times before moving to a post-World War II setting. It is also known that one sequence involves the famous terra-cotta warriors, the collection of 6,000 men and their horses that were originally constructed to protect the tomb of an emperor."

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