Month: May 2016

The King of Pop vs. The Purple Prince

By: Sonika Gupta

A few weeks ago, I was laying in my bed doing what all 20-somethings do when they are laying in their bed at night — checking every single form of social media known to man. Making sure not to go off “schedule”, I checked Facebook first. It wasn’t a shock to see everyone paying their respect to Prince by posting statuses, he was a legend after all. I was scrolling through my newsfeed and almost went right past a picture. This was a picture of Michael Jackson in heaven, happily welcoming Prince through heaven’s gates. I paused for a minute or two — slowly proceeding to check Instagram and Tumblr, which were both loaded with similar pictures. At this point, I was sitting up in my bed, extremely confused. I just kept thinking about how odd it all was. Does nobody know that these two were rivals? Does nobody know about the feud?

The late and great Amy Winehouse once said, “You know, how you either grow up in a Michael Jackson house or a Prince house? For me it was Michael Jackson. I could never decide whether I wanted to be Michael Jackson or marry him.” (Hodgkinson, 2004)  I myself was and will always be loyal to MJ, I respect Prince, and I know that he too impacted the music and fashion industry greatly. I did listen to Prince’s music but, in my opinion, nothing he did compared to Michael. It’s strange for me to say that, I wasn’t even alive when their careers were at an all-time high. I can only imagine how many people subconsciously or purposely chose their favourite.

Michael and Prince were both born in 1958, both lived very private lifestyles and both had a very competitive nature. Prince is known for being the Prince of Funk however both produced music with the same kind of funky disco sound, especially in the 80s. Although, Prince did have a Jimi Hendrix thing going on in a lot of his music, especially when creating the Purple Rain album. In some ways, these two were very alike and being so competitive, jealousy was most likely the cause of the feuding.

It all started back in 1983, the “Godfather of Soul”, James Brown, was having one of his shows. Michael was in the audience so Brown called him up onto stage. He sang a little and then did his famous moonwalk across the stage, making fans go crazy. Michael then went to hug Brown while also whispering something into his ear. Brown then called Prince up onto the stage, who was also in the audience. Prince brought plenty of sass up there with him.  Would you expect anything less? He played the guitar and sang a bit but it’s clear that he wasn’t pleased with being put on the spot. (Boller, 2016)

There’s also the infamous game of ping-pong that made things insanely tense. Sometime in the 80s, both musicians were busy working in an LA studio when they decided to play some ping-pong together. There were some nasty words being thrown around. Prince threatened Michael, saying, “You want me to slam it?” Ultimately, MJ did end up winning the game but things ended on bad terms. (Boller, 2016)

In 1985, a number of different artists came together for the recording of Jackson’s We Are the World, for Africa. Prince chose not to be a part of it which made him look arrogant and selfish to many. (Callahan, 2016)

Lastly, two years later, one of most well-known MJ songs was released, BAD. The song had everyone asking themselves, “Who’s bad?”. Well, everyone except for one person – Prince. Michael had originally asked Prince if he wanted to do the song as a duet. Prince declined saying, “To put it better, the first line of that song is “Your butt is mine””. He asked Michael who would be singing the line to whom adding, “’Cause you sure ain’t saying that to me.” (Luling, 2016) Thus, the world missed out on what could have been one of the coolest collaborations to date.

It was an interesting rivalry which was sadly never smoothed over, not even with a makeup duet. Hopefully, these two extremely talented individuals will be able to come to terms up there in heaven. They had one more thing in common, they were both “gone too soon”.

 

Works Cited

Boller, Jay. “Hee Hee: Prince’s Failures Apparently Delighted Michael Jackson.” City Pages.       City Pages, 2 Feb. 2016. Web. 20 May 2016. <http://www.citypages.com%2Fmusic%2Fhee-hee-princes-failures-apparently-delighted-michael-jackson-8009180>.

 

Callahan, Maureen. “Prince Didn’t Want to Be on ‘We Are the World’ Because It Was Awful.” New York Post. New York Post, 24 Apr. 2016. Web. 1 May 2016. <http://nypost.com/2016/04/24/prince-was-a-visionary-genius-who-sang-to-the-freak-in-all-of-us/>.

 

Hodgkinson, Will. “Home Entertainment: Amy Winehouse.” The Guardian. Guardian News and Media, 27 Feb. 2004. Web. 1 May 2016. <http://www.theguardian.com/music/2004/feb/27/amywinehouse>.

 

Luling, Tod Van. “5 Stories You Didn’t Know About Prince.” Huffington Post. Huffington Post, 21 Apr. 2016. Web. 1 May 2016. <http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/prince-stories_us_57190feee4b0d0042da87fbe>.

The Kayaker Who Couldn’t

By: Anuraag Gupta

Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

That morning I woke up in Cabo. I thought we were in the middle of an earthquake. The ship was rocking back and forth so violently that walking in a straight line was almost impossible. You couldn’t take a step without holding on to something for balance. Going to the bathroom through all of this was a challenge to say the least. With my entire cabin, literally an earthquake simulator, I (miraculously) managed to get ready and walk – stagger really, to the dining hall for breakfast. Eventually as the ship went back into deeper waters, the staggering turned into a walk and the rocking finally subsided.

Now for some background. When I was eighteen, I went to Humber College. As a part of their Travel and Tourism program, they offered a two-week cruise to Central and South America. One of the first ports of call was Cabo San Lucas, in Mexico. Getting off the boat you could feel the heat of the sun, smell the salty sea air and see palm trees swaying in the distance. I highly recommend going if you ever get the chance, Cabo is a truly beautiful place. If you are ever lucky enough to go, a quick word of advice: if a random guy comes up to you asking if you want to see his pet tiger, DON’T DO IT. The place is beautiful but the economic realities are harsh and such baits can lead to very serious consequences.  

The activities for the first day of the trip included kayaking and snorkeling in the Gulf of California. The kayaking was the first activity of the day. The tour operator in Cabo had a bus that they chartered to take us to the beach, where the kayaks and the instructors would be.  After about a 30 minute bus ride, we got to the beach and got our paddles. When we departed I was feeling pretty good about myself. I was confident in the paddling techniques I had just learned. I was energized and excited. The water was warm and had a deep cerulean blue to it.  I felt like I was in paradise.  

When watching kayaking on TV, you think to yourself, “That looks easy”.  Let me tell you, Deb and I grossly miscalculated the amount of upper body strength needed in a tandem kayak. We started off at a good pace, then as we paddled a few feet from shore – yes just a few feet, our tired arms started to give out and all we could do was float as we watched everybody pass us in their kayaks with their judgemental stares.  

We were exhausted, we were done. We never wanted to look at a kayak ever again. We embarrassingly signaled to the instructor on the shore and they got in their own boat and came out to us. They tied a long rope to our boat, and towed us back to shore. You would think that I was feeling things like inadequacy and defeat. No! I look at this experience as a valuable opportunity and also a great life moment. Even though I didn’t finish, I can still say to people that I did (almost) kayak on the Gulf of California.

Defeated by the kayaking, the silver lining was that it put us first in the snorkeling line.

We changed into our bathing suits and the instructor gave us our mask and our breathing tube.  As I walked into the sea, I had no idea what to expect. As I got deeper and deeper, I started to see quick flashes in the water –  fish!  As I fully immersed into the water, all the fish started to show.  Fully submersed, when I opened my eyes for the first time, I was floored at how many colourful fish I was seeing, all in one glance. There were many schools of immeasurable species swimming all around me. You did not need to know what kind of fish you were looking at, the experience was more spiritual than academic.

The sight of the schools of fish was heightened by the lack of noise underwater.  Complete silence, unless you count the quiet waves above. When I surfaced, it was a night and day difference. You could hear the cawing of the seagulls, the rush of traffic, and the all the chatty people talking on the beach. When you are under the sea, all you have is the beauty of the fish and the silence and you wish you could linger a bit longer. I don’t think that I have ever experienced something so peaceful and soul satisfying.

The first stop on the cruise was really eye-opening. I did things I never imagined doing and I enjoyed every minute of it.

The Maharaja Indian Cuisine

By: Priya Agarwal

If you are looking for a place to eat,

Go to The Maharaja for a royal treat!

Dine on dishes from three different Indian states

And try the chicken biryani; it’s really great!

And if it’s spicy you desire

Choose a delicacy to set your mouth on fire!

Then cool down with smooth raita

And if you want your veggies, order paneer tikka

So here’s a glimpse of what you get here

Try it any time of year

Fear not about this one and have no doubt

Because I recommend you check it out!

 

The Maharaja Indian Cuisine is located at

4646 Heritage Hills Blvd #3, Mississauga, ON L5R 1Y3

 

A Good Month for Tesla

By: Siddharth Gupta

Tesla sold about 6.5 million shares on Thursday last week at $215 per share, which raised just under $1.4 billion to accelerate the Model 3 production ramp. The underwriters could sell another one million shares with the company receiving an additional $209 million. While earnings had not been announced,  the stock was at $237 the company should raise money. It left about $140 million on the table.

At the same time CEO Elon Musk sold 2.8 million shares, which went to pay the tax bill for the remaining 2.7 million shares he received through exercising options. Of the 2.7 million he is donating 1.2 million to charity.

It is also interesting and hopefully only a coincidence that Goldman Sachs upgraded the shares using a unique analysis on Wednesday morning to a Buy with a $250 price target since it was one of the lead underwriters.

Tesla announced after the market closed on Wednesday that the company would be selling enough shares to raise $1.4 billion (6.5 million shares) and that Musk would be exercising options and selling about half of them or 2.8 million shares to pay the taxes. Here is what the stock did the next two days.

  • Wednesday
    • Closed at $211.17
    • Dropped to about $203 right after the offering was announced in after hours trading
    • Bounced back to about $211 in the next 90 minutes
  • Thursday
    • Opened at $213.62
    • Low for the day was $207.30
    • High for the day was $216.79
    • Closed at $215.21, up $4.04 for the day
  • Friday
    • Opened at $216.99
    • Low for the day was $216.35
    • High for the day was $220.55
    • Closed at $220.28, up $5.07

For Thursday and Friday Tesla’s stock was up $9.11 or 4.3%. This was in the face of shareholders being diluted by 5%.

Tesla’s stock also increased when it sold 2.7 million shares and raised about $650 million in August 2015. The stock closed at $242.51 the day of the offering and two business days later they were at $254.99, also up 5%.

While I don’t have the numbers of other company’s secondary offerings I would think it is unusual for shares to rise strongly when they are being diluted.

Musk’s options were awarded nine years ago and were set to expire in one year. Since their exercise were not part of a 10b-5 program that should mean that there shouldn’t be any major announcements in the near future otherwise if something positive is released by the company he could be facing lawsuits over insider trading.

Tesla disclosed that it has 373, 000 Model 3 reservations, may be a bit lower than expected.

It is a bit interesting that Tesla disclosed in the filing that it has received 373, 000 Model 3 reservations as of May 15. On April 7, a week after orders were first being taken the company announced it had deposits for 325, 000 vehicles and on April 21 Musk said that “We are now almost at 400, 000 orders for the Model 3.” While Tesla has seen 8, 000 orders cancelled by potential owners and it cancelled about 4, 200 duplicate orders it does seem like orders have slowed dramatically (but not too surprising since the Model 3 is still at least two years away from satisfying the initial demand).

 

3 Must See Architectural Landmarks in Europe

By: Nupur Agrawal

Studying Architectural landmarks is one of my biggest passions. In my travels across Europe, I took a keen interest in certain landmarks that made a significant impact on my life. The wonder of distinct shapes of buildings, their size and the whole creative process of designing them interested me since middle school. It sparked my desire to study and pursue a career in architecture. It’s amazing how each building has its own story behind it and how they reflect different cultures. I love learning about human beings, their culture, differences and their interaction with architecture. My passion has led me to explore various structures across the globe, learning about people and their environments. There are three architectural landmarks amongst many that I have come across in Europe that I would highly recommend everyone to see:

1. La Sagrada Famillia, Spain: Antoni Gaudi’s unfinished church serves to be one of Spain’s top tourist sites. La Sagrada Famillia, located in Barcelona has been under construction for over 125 years. The stunning cathedral highlights Gaudi’s ability to create something innovative and artistic into one structure. It is a must see landmark as it is one of the most universal signs of identifying the city and country.

Sagrada_Familia_nave_roof_detail

(Sabadell, Catalunya, 21 February 2011)

2. St. Paul’s Cathedral, London: For more than 1, 400 years, a Cathedral dedicated to St Paul has stood at the highest point in the City. It was built between 1675 and 1710, after its predecessor was destroyed in the Great Fire of London, and services began in 1697.

st. paul's cathedral

(Smith, Peter)

3. The Eiffel Tower, France: Gustave Eiffel, a French civil engineer is credited for designing the Eiffel Tower that bears his name. The Eiffel’s company won the design for the 1889 World’s Fair in Paris. The tower was built on the Champ de Mars, located in central Paris. Today, the tower serves as an important and recognizable monument as well as an architectural wonder that draws more visitors than any other paid tourist attraction in the world. However, there were countless protests against a giant metal monument being built that overshadowed the city.

la tour eiffel II

(Hjjanisch, 3 August 2009)

 

A Case for Tuesdays…

By: Ritika Gupta

Tuesdays are the worst. Sure, people may claim that nothing can be as bad as Mondays, but I respectfully disagree. On Tuesday, you still haven’t shaken off the emotional shock of the weekend being over and the physical shock of having to be awake at some ungodly hour (basically anything before 9 a.m. for me). At least on Monday, everyone is willing to be a little lenient, recognizing that it’s always hard to get back into the swing of things following the weekend. There is no such empathy on Tuesdays. People are no longer sympathetic to your post-weekend plight and they… start expecting things from you. Yes, I know, it cannot be more horrific than that. Let me reiterate, there is nothing worse than a Tuesday.

Well… at least that’s what I thought until three years ago. Yes, I still think Tuesdays are the universe’s way of punishing me for eating the last bhatura when I knew that Didi wanted it, and yes, I still think that it’s unfair for people to expect anything from me before Thursday at 4pm. However, something positive came into my life three years ago, making my Tuesdays a little more bearable and a whole lot more meaningful. It was three years ago that I began volunteering after school every Tuesday, helping a younger student with their homework and then later playing a board game or two. Now, I’m no Mother Teresa (even though I try to be). Sometimes it was difficult for me to muster up enough motivation to get myself to the school and volunteer for the two hours. On particularly bad days, I would question why I’m volunteering in the first place. I could be putting in the same effort at a real job and making some money for the time and energy that I’ve put into it. If there’s one thing that I can tell you from my seventeen-and-a-half years as a person, then it’s this: that kind of thinking is dangerous.

I see it in myself and the people around me; a bitterly competitive nature in which every act is committed with the expectation for something in return. I personally think that it’s natural to expect some form of gratification after I put myself through the trauma of closing my Netflix after a weekend-long binge-watching session of Grey’s Anatomy. But here’s the great thing about volunteering– you do receive something in return for your time and effort. The satisfaction that I feel after a few hours of helping my community and its people is unparalleled to some of the best feelings in the world (for me those include waking up to the smell of fresh dosa or getting anything higher than a 70% in math). Volunteering is unique in the sense that no formal transaction takes place. You do not receive anything tangible in exchange for your time and energy, but you do gain something more profound. It’s difficult to describe, but after a few hours of helping a student with their homework, or helping to clean up the Mandir after a celebration, a sense of pure, untarnished contentment washes over me. The biggest moment for me occurs when I think, “wow, volunteering actually felt better than reading another Stardust magazine to find out if Ranbir and Katrina broke up.”

Volunteerism is supported by all religions and sects as there is no act more simple and natural than giving back to a community. No matter which religious text you read or don’t read, one thing remains the same: the act of giving is so much more important and fulfilling than the act of taking. In our busy, on-the-go lives, it is natural to feel over-stretched and underappreciated (basically any time my Mom asks me to unload the dishwasher), but putting aside a few hours to volunteer with the expectation of nothing in return is pertinent to the success and growth of our community and our people. Volunteering does not have to be something that is done to rack up those volunteer hours or to have something good to write on your resume. I will not lie, I too started volunteering to complete my mandatory 40 hours of community service. Soon after, however, volunteering metamorphosed into something far more important. Volunteering became my way of saying thank you and meaning it.

So there you have it. A few hours of volunteering each week made Tuesday go from being my least favourite day to my second-most favourite day of the week (let’s face it, nothing beats Friday).

About Agarwals

Maharaja Agrasen is known as icon of non-violence , messenger of Peace, Maharaja Agrasen was an embodiment of Sacrifice, Compassion, Non-Violence, Peace, Prosperity and a True Socialist. According to current calendar the birth of Maharaj Agrasen took place about 5185 years ago. King Ballabh was a Suryavamshi ( lineage from the Sun). Even when he was very young, Prince Agrasen was very well known for his compassion. He never discriminated against anyone and the subjects were very pleased with the way he conducted himself..

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