Joined: 24 September 2007
Mona Simpson's eulogy -- originally read during Jobs' memorial service on October 16 -- is a sister's celebration of a brother she knew only later in life, and a lament of losing a best friend. It weaves in words what she believed were the foundations of Jobs' genius: his humility and hard work, his love of learning and his family.
"I want to tell you a few things I learned from Steve, during three distinct periods, over the 27 years I knew him," said Simpson in her eulogy. "They're not periods of years, but of states of being. His full life. His illness. His dying."
Simpson, a writer, and Steve Jobs did not meet until they were adults. Their early family history was fragmented, but set the stage for what later became a deep-rooted friendship between two estranged siblings. After Steve Job's birth, his parents gave him up for adoption. Simpson was born later, and the parents subsequently divorced.
One day, Simpson said in her eulogy, when she was living in New York and writing her first novel, a lawyer gave her a call to inform her that her "long-lost brother" was rich and famous and wanted to contact her.
"Because we were poor and because I knew my father had emigrated from Syria, I imagined he looked like (actor) Omar Sharif," said Simpson.
"The lawyer refused to tell me my brother's name and my colleagues started a betting pool," said Simpson. "The leading candidate: John Travolta. I secretly hoped for a literary descendant of Henry James -- someone more talented than I, someone brilliant without trying," she said.
The man who came to meet her -- her brother -- was Steve Jobs.
"Even as a feminist, my whole life I'd been waiting for a man to love, who could love me. For decades, I'd thought that man would be my father. When I was 25, I met that man and he was my brother," Simpson said in the eulogy as published in the Times.
"When I met Steve, he was a guy my age in jeans, Arab- or Jewish-looking and handsomer than Omar Sharif," she said.
When they first met, Simpson said, she told her brother she had considered buying a computer but had waited.
"Steve told me it was a good thing I'd waited. He said he was going to make something that was going to be insanely beautiful," she said.
Jobs' life was not always a smooth ride, his sister said in her eulogy. He skidded through volatile times with Apple executives and eventually was ousted from the company he had founded.
"When he got kicked out of Apple, things were painful. He told me about a dinner at which 500 Silicon Valley leaders met the then-sitting president. Steve hadn't been invited," said Simpson.
"He was hurt but he still went to work ... Every single day," she said.
Simpson said Jobs was sentimental and he spent much time talking about love. He found a partner in life, Laurene Powell, whom he married in 1991, his sister said.
"His abiding love for Laurene sustained him. He believed that love happened all the time, everywhere," she wrote.
When Jobs' struggle with pancreatic cancer took a turn for the worse, he called his sister and asked her to hurry to his Palo Alto, California, home.
His tone, Simpson said, was "like someone whose luggage was already strapped onto the vehicle, who was already on the beginning of his journey, even as he was sorry, truly deeply sorry, to be leaving us."
Even as he struggled physically in his last hours, his sister said, "there was also sweet Steve's capacity for wonderment, the artist's belief in the ideal, the still more beautiful later."
"He was working at this, too. Death didn't happen to Steve, he achieved it."
With his family surrounding him, Simpson said, Jobs' last words were: "Oh wow. Oh wow. Oh wow. "
Joined: 25 March 2008
The country's top universities have been called on to come clean about an unofficial list or lists of "banned" A-level subjects that may have prevented tens of thousands of state school pupils getting on to degree courses.
Teachers suspect the Russell Group of universities – which includes Oxford and Cambridge – of rejecting outright pupils who take A-level subjects that appear on the unpublished lists.
The lists are said to contain subjects such as law, art and design, business studies, drama and theatre studies – non-traditional A-level subjects predominantly offered by comprehensives, rather than private schools.
The London School of Economics is thought to be the only top university to publish its own list of "non-preferred" subjects. Cambridge University did so until last year.
Teachers accused universities of putting comprehensive pupils at a disadvantage by refusing to publish their lists. Some claimed the lists were a filter that enabled the most prestigious universities to accept more private school pupils than state-educated ones.
Already private school pupils dominate entry to top universities and could do so more in future. A-level results published on Thursday showed that selective private schools continue to outperform comprehensives in terms of A and A* grades.
Private school pupils are three times more likely to score the highest grade than comprehensive pupils, achieving 30% of the total number of A* grades when their pupils accounted for just 14% of entries. Comprehensive schools achieve 30% of the A* grades on 43% of entries.
But even the brightest state school pupils, with a string of As and A*s, stand little chance of a place at a top university this year if they have taken one or more of the A-level subjects on the unofficial lists, the teachers said.
These students will join this year's unprecedented scramble for university places. An estimated 180,000 students are predicted to be turned away from every degree course starting this autumn because of record numbers of applications.
John Bangs, former head of education at the National Union of Teachers, said he strongly suspected that there was a single unofficial list of banned subjects. "The list is built on the assumption that these subjects are easier than others and not academic enough," he said. "This is just another sign of the Russell Group using a filter to stop people they don't want from getting into their universities. They have no concern about fairness. They should be far more transparent. If they have this list, let them publish it and show us the evidence that these subjects are easier."
Andy Gardner, of the Institute of Career Guidance, said he had confronted Russell Group universities about the alleged list in the past. "I think there is certainly an element of there being subjects that [the Russell Group] doesn't rate," Gardner, who advises state school pupils on their university choices, said. "Children in state schools are disadvantaged by this."
Mike Griffiths, headteacher of Northampton School for Boys and a council member of the Association of School and College Leaders, said he suspected universities of rejecting students who did drama A-level in particular. One of his pupils has three A*s but no place at university and he believes this may be because he took drama. "Universities need to be more honest about what criteria they are using [to select pupils]," he said. "I don't have a problem with universities having subjects that they consider to be less helpful, but they need to be upfront about it."
Geoff Lucas, secretary of the Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference, which represents headteachers of 250 independent schools, said universities must "come clean if there were unwritten rules" about so-called banned subjects. State school pupils were more likely to choose a subject in the unofficial list because independent schools mainly offer traditional subjects, Lucas said. "Students have the absolute right to see this list."
Wendy Piatt, director general of the Russell Group, said no Russell Group university barred any A-level subject.
"University websites typically include details on 'essential' and 'preferred'A-levels to help students maximise their chances of gaining entry to competitive degree courses," she said. "Most provide very clear and comprehensive information on required A-level subjects and which ones will not be considered when making admissions decisions. Students would be well advised to take very careful note of such requirements."
This week's A-level results showed that pupils were increasingly shunning so-called "soft" subjects in favour of science, economics and maths.
Joined: 18 January 2006
Joined: 03 December 2005
Joined: 24 September 2007
Shah Rukh Khan's technolgical masterpiece "RA.One", one of the most expensive films made in India, has recovered its costs by earning Rs.170 crore worldwide in the opening weekend. The superstar is congratulating his business partners on the superhero's box office success.
Eros International Media Ltd (Eros International) released the collection report stating that the film has got a record breaking opening - the highly anticipated Diwali collected of Rs. 137.25 crore (net collection Rs. 96 crore) in India and Rs. 32.75 crore overseas.
Apart from this, Shah Rukh Khan had reportedly sold the satellite rights for Rs.37 crore, the music rights for Rs.8 crore and ancillary rights for Rs.10 crore even before the film had hit the screens.
"As always, my heart doesn't crunch numbers and heroes don't count zeros...but it's nice to know how 'Ra.One' is flying," he further tweeted.
"Ga Ga ooh la la...Ra Ra Ra.One. Thrilled with response. Congratulations to my business partners."
Made at a budget of Rs.150 crore, the film, described as best in terms of technology, opened across more than 4,000 plus screens worldwide - 3,100 plus screens in India and 904 prints internationally, including 3D and has become the biggest Hindi grosser in southern market too.
"Ra. One released to packed houses across the country on Diwali day and has already created history by taking over the mantle of the biggest domestic earner so far. The film continues to be on its record breaking spree with several new achievements since its release. It has touched the highest individual collection in circuits such as Mumbai, Delhi, Punjab and Rajasthan," Nandu Ahuja, senior vice president, distribution, Eros International Media Ltd said in a statement.
"We see repeat viewings of the movie with the 3-D version being equally sought after. With the Eid holiday also coming up next week and no other major film release, we are anticipating the film to continue doing huge numbers," he added.
Speaking on the film's overseas performance, Pranab Kapadia, president, distribution, Eros International, said: "The film is enjoying a superb run across all major regions including UK, North America, Europe, Australia and the Middle East. Overseas, the film has broken SRK's own previous first weekend record established by 'My Name Is Khan' and occupies the position of biggest Indian first weekend grosser overseas as well."
Eros plans to take the film to non-traditional markets - "RA.One" is scheduled for theatrical release in the first quarter of 2012 across several territories including South Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Russia , Lebanon, Jordan, Syria and Palestine, Brazil, Spain, Italy and Greece .
Though the critics didn't give it a thumbs up, the film's visual effects and state of the art production techniques have set a new standard in the Indian film industry.
Joined: 03 December 2005
Joined: 25 March 2008
Joined: 24 September 2007
The siblings' parents work outside of their hometown, and their grandparents are farmworkers, so the girl had no choice but to take her baby brother to school.
HUNAN, China - In a photo that has touched many netizens, a 10-year-old girl in a rural town is seen cradling her baby brother to sleep.
This would not be a scene out of the ordinary except for the fact that the photo was taken in a primary school classroom where lessons were being conducted.
The photographer, Lu Qixing, who captured the touching image, said the siblings' parents work outside of their hometown, and their grandparents are farmworkers, so the girl had no choice but to take her baby brother to school.
In the photo, she was carrying the two-year-old because he was getting sleepy.
Lu added that the boy's head is abnormally large because of poor nutrition.
The image went viral after being uploaded on the Internet, and has been forwarded by many netizens on social media platforms.
Many said they were moved to tears, while some even tried to provide financial aid to the girl, reported one website.
According to the teacher of the class, the girl is in Grade Two, and situations like hers are common in Jiangshan Town, a Miao minority town.
The girl, Long Zhanghuan, said she would usually bring her brother to school around two or three times a week.
But a latest Chinese media report on Oct 31 says Zhanghuan has transferred to another primary school and is no longer able to bring her brother with her to school as it is too far away.
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