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Shravan 2020: What Are The Benefits of Somvar Sawan Vrat And Why it is so Important –

The month of Shravan, which is the fifth month as per the Hindu calendar, has started, and devotees of Lord Shiva are gearing up for it. During this month, which is considered highly auspicious, people fast and offer prayers on a Monday for their well being. The Sawan Somwar vrat involves a number of things that a follower has to stick by to gain what he or she has asked for. Also Read - Shravan 2020: Quotes, Wishes, Status Messages You Can Share to Celebrate The Month of Sawan

There are two ways by which the lunar month is marked, one is Purnima to Purnima and the other is Amavasya to Amavasya. In India, the first one is followed by the people in the northern region and the latter is followed by people in the southern part of the country. Also Read - Shravan 2020: When it Will Start And What Are The 7 Things You Should Avoid During This Period

There is a legend attached to the fasting that takes place on Monday, a story that involves the Samudra Manthan, which was the churning of the sea to extract the nectar of immortality. It is said that during that time, what also emerged from the sea was poison which Shiva swallowed to prevent it from spreading all over the universe. His consort Parvati on seeing him swallow the poison grabbed his neck to stop it from entering his body, and it resulted in Shivas throat turning blue, which in turn earned him the moniker, Neelkanth.

Devotees of Shiva dedicate the entire month to him and carry out fasts and prayers to gain his favour. They believe that fasting on a Monday will ensure they have a happy and married life or that they will get married soon. Women observe a fast on Mondays so that they will get good husbands. Many believe that if they recite the Solah Somvar Vrath, which means the 16 Fasting Mondays, they will make Shiva happy and he will bless them with prosperity and happiness.

When fasting on a Monday, devotees should abstain from eating non-vegetarian food or from drinking alcohol throughout the whole month. As per medical experts, this is good for the body as it has a detoxifying effect on the digestive system. Fasting also aids in weight loss and in rejuvenating the body and mind.

There are many who fast on a Monday and do not eat at all but drink some water. These people also stay away from food that contains onion and garlic. There are others who fast partially, meaning they will consume fruits and other vrat food like sabudana. Many follow these rituals so that Shiva grants them their wish or desire.

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Start with a Polaroid, Then Add Disinfectant. Here’s the Result – Smithsonian Magazine

In mid-March, days before Britain instituted a lockdown, I flew from my native Bermuda, where Id been documenting the islands diverse identity in a personal photo project, to my home in the London neighborhood of Bermondsey. My husband and I began to self-isolate.

Suddenly confined to our house and worried about the worsening Covid-19 outbreak, I picked up my camera and started taking Polaroid photographsof my husband, myself and our surroundings. At first, I saw capturing these quiet domestic scenes as a way to get my mind off the outside world.

In this new reality, the repetition of unfamiliar routines that were intended to keep us safedisinfecting all the groceries when we came home, washing my hands so much the skin began crackingmade me feel more anxious and frustrated.

So I started applying the chemicals that now seem to define our days to the images themselves. While the Polaroids develop, or soon after, I pour bleach, dishwashing liquid, hand sanitizer and other disinfectants onto them. Even when I take a photograph I dont want to alter, I make myself do it as part of recording the surreal time were living through.

This intervention is an effort to visualize the invisible forces that have been permeating our daily livesfrom the lethal, microscopic coronavirus to our unseen, yet acutely felt, unease.

But its also a representation of the new and unknown world that will come out of this momentperhaps we will emerge more connected and resilient than before.

Start with a Polaroid, Then Add Disinfectant. Here's the Result - Smithsonian Magazine

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The Old Guard Trailer: Immortality Can Be a Pain – /FILM

Charlize Theron leadinga team of mercenaries who all have the ability to heal quickly when injured, essentially granting them immortality? Nothing sounds better or cooler. But the latestThe Old Guard trailer is here to show the downsides of immortality. Watch the newThe Old Guard trailer below.

Immortality sounds like fun and games, but it can be a real pain, according to Therons immortal warrior Andy. The leader of a team of mercenaries with extraordinary abilities, Andy brings in the newest immortal recruit Nile (If Beale Street Could TalksKiKi Layne) and gives her the rundown of the blessings and curses of immortality. First: its painful quite literally as the mercenaries all feel the pain of the burnings, stabbings, and gunshots that they receive in their dangerous line of work. But theres the emotional pain of leaving your family behind, as Laynes Nile soon learns, as she becomes torn between her new team and her old life.

Also rounding out the team is a French soldier who foughtalongside Napoleon (Rust and BonesMatthias Schoenaerts), and two former enemies from the Crusades (Every Blessed DaysLuca MarinelliandAladdinsMarwan Kenzari). With the arrival of Nile, the group find themselves chased byChiwetel EjioforsCIA operative andHarry Mellings pharmaceutical executive bent on experimenting on the team.

Based on the comic series from writer Greg Rucka and artist Leandro Fernandez,The Old Guard is directed byGina Prince-Bythewood, from a script by Rucka. The action-packed thriller seems like another fantastic action showcase for Theron, who withMad Max: Fury Road andAtomic Blonde, has already proven that shes the great action icon for our age.

Here is the synopsis forThe Old Guard:

Led by a warrior named Andy (Charlize Theron), a covert group of tight-knit mercenaries with a mysterious inability to die have fought to protect the mortal world for centuries. But when the team is recruited to take on an emergency mission and their extraordinary abilities are suddenly exposed, its up to Andy and Nile (KiKi Layne), the newest soldier to join their ranks, to help the group eliminate the threat of those who seek to replicate and monetize their power by any means necessary. Based on the acclaimed graphic novel by Greg Rucka and directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood (LOVE & BASKETBALL, BEYOND THE LIGHTS), THE OLD GUARD is a gritty, grounded, action-packed story that shows living forever is harder than it looks.

The Old Guard debuts on Netflix onJuly 10, 2020.

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The Old Guard Trailer: Immortality Can Be a Pain - /FILM

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Charlize Theron in The Old Guard on Netflix: Film Review – Variety

Theres a thing you can always count on in blockbuster movie culture: If a popcorn genre hangs around long enough, after a while its going to merge with another popcorn genre it seemingly has nothing to do with. Thats what happened when Kingsman: Secret Service (2014) fused the setting and attitude of a James Bond thriller with the fanciful bang-bang-ballet-in-the-air action of a superhero movie.

It happens again in The Old Guard. Adapted from the 2017 graphic novel by Greg Rucka (who wrote the screenplay), the movie is about a team of crime-fighting immortals whose flesh can repair itself from bullet wounds and knife stabs like something out of an X-Men film. But theyre also a down-and-dirty crew of leather-jacketed renegades who find a way to do maximum damage with machine guns and windpipe-smashing moves like something out of a Jason Statham payback special. You could call them The I-Team (I for immortal). You could also call the film X-Men: The Expendables Edition.

The leader of this posse of ageless commandos is Andromache of Scythia, known as Andy (Charlize Theron), who we meet in Morocco, where shes wearing Ray-Bans and a black T-shirt and a sharply edged dark-brown version of a late-70s David Bowie coif. She looks like a refugee from a motorcycle commercial, which makes you think the film is going to be some convoluted exercise in numbingly abstract action iconography. But The Old Guard, if anything, goes in the opposite direction; its like an immortal-mercenary hangout movie. Chunks of the picture are logy and formulaic (it dawdles on for two hours), but the director, Gina Prince-Bythewood (making a major lane change after Love & Basketball and The Secret Life of Bees), stages the fight scenes with ripe executionary finesse, and she teases out a certain soulful quality in her cast.

According to the films theology of invincibility, each team member was killed at a certain moment in history, only to wake up and learn that from that point on they would be immortal. Andy is the oldest she cant even remember how long shes been at this and Theron, as cuttingly fierce as you want her to be (especially when shes wielding a circular medieval Asian slicing weapon), acts like someone whos bone-tired after a millennia or two of fighting evil; the dream of immortality has become her cross to bear. Matthias Schoenaerts plays Booker, who was killed fighting for Napoleon, as a melancholy loner spinning through history. And Marwan Kenzari and Luca Marinelli are Joe and Nicky, a swarthy duo who died while dueling in the Crusades and have been lovers through the centuries. Thats part of the films rousingly inclusive approach to the action genre.

The other part is the casting of KiKi Layne as Nile, a Marine who gets her throat slashed by a Taliban leader during the war in Afghanistan. One day later, shes all better, marking her as the first new member of the I-Team since 1812. Laynes performance is the most resonant in the film. She plays Nile as a surly, desperate, human-sized outsider whos distinctly unenthused about joining her new warrior colleagues in a life that never ends. Shes so not with the program, and that gives the moment she agrees to get with it a charge of actual drama.

The Old Guard is at once a conventional action thriller; an origin story thats trying, in its utilitarian Netflix way, to launch a badass franchise; and an elegiac late episode of that same franchise. Its a genre movie that, if anything, takes its characters a lot more seriously than the audience does. Floating through the years with hidden identities, Andy and her team are presented to us as stealth saviors who really, really care. Andy, explaining the game of immortality to Nile, says things like, Its not what time steals. Its what it leaves behind. (A line like that can leave the pulse of a movie behind.)

The way The Old Guard works, immortality lasts until it doesnt. The film has a passing-the-baton-to-a-representative-of-the-new-world plot that echoes Terminator: Dark Fate and Logan. The villain, Merrick, runs a pharmaceutical corporation and is played by Harry Melling (from the Harry Potter films) as if he were the evil grandson of Malcolm McLaren. His plan is to kidnap our heroes and learn the secrets of immortality by mining their flesh for its genetic secrets. Merricks middleman, Copley, is played by Chiwetel Ejiofor, an actor who never fails to surprise. Here, he goes from villain to soul-haunted collaborator to the films equivalent of a certain character with an eyepatch in a way thats entirely convincing, even as he barely moves a facial muscle. Will The Old Guard be successful enough to spawn a sequel? If it is, the challenge going forward will be to make the prospect of immortality seem like something more than a rerun.

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Charlize Theron in The Old Guard on Netflix: Film Review - Variety

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Its Negligence: Young People Hosting Coronavirus Parties, Betting On Who Gets Infected First – CBS Pittsburgh

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) Some young people have been throwing coronavirus parties, a gathering where people who have COVID-19 attend.

The goal for the guests? To win money by being the first to be infected.

Its so alarming, says Dr. Brian Lamb, a primary care internist at the Allegheny Health Network, flaunting what they feel is their immortality.

With a coronavirus infection, many young, otherwise healthy people, only have mild symptoms but some have a severe illness.

We dont know whos going to have the severe reaction, said Dr. James Deangelo of Allergy and Clinical Immunology Associates.

Thirty-eight percent of those sick enough to be hospitalized are younger than 55 years old. For people ages 20 to 44, four percent of those hospitalized die.

A young person from Penn State who died of complications from coronavirus, says Dr. Lamb. You dont want to get this disease.

The big problem with young people getting coronavirus and not having significant symptoms is they can spread it to others and not realize it.

You now have exposure at a party, you go home, you infect your sibling, your parents, grandparents, says Dr. Deangelo.

People who are actually going to get sick from it, added Dr. Lamb.

Somewhere down the line, theres a death, says Dr. Deangelo, Its negligence.

And if you get invited to this kind of party?

I would decline, and quite frankly, I would report it, Dr. Deangelo says. I do think the health department should listen if you hear about such a party taking place.

You really need to rethink your friend circle, Dr. Lamb recommends. Are these people that are making the best decisions in their lives? Are these people I want to be friends with? Are these people I want to associate with?

In Allegheny County in the last 10 days of June, seven of the people hospitalized were in their 20s and 30s.

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Its Negligence: Young People Hosting Coronavirus Parties, Betting On Who Gets Infected First - CBS Pittsburgh

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Through a Blur of Migratory Birds, Photographer Sankar Sridhar Captures the Rituals of the Yamuna River – Colossal


All images Sankar Sridhar, shared with permission

When Dehli-based photographer Sankar Sridhar visits the Yamuna River in winter, he observes hundreds of gulls, terns, and other birds as they flock to the Ganges tributary that flows through the Indian city. Despite the rivers inability to maintain a thriving ecosystem in that stretch, the avians are spurred by site fidelity as they migrate each year, a ritualistic act Sridhar recently captured in a series titled Long Live the River.

Because the tributary attracts such an influx of avians, its also a site of religiosity and legend. People travel to the water to feed the birds, an act thought to bring good karma, and disperse offerings for their loved ones whove died. My approach to documenting life along a small stretch of this river was driven by the deep connection of rivers and life and divinity in Hindu texts, mythology, and legend. The fact that the Yamuna is considered the only river with the power to grant immortality to humans seemed an irony that could not be overlooked, the photographer says.

Fifteen drains of untreated wastewater from household, municipal, and industrial sources flow into the tributary, saturating it with chemicals, pesticides, heavy metals, and garbage that eliminate aquatic life. However, Sridhar notes that in 2017, officials recorded 24 bird species residing in the rivers wetlands. This finding came as a surprise, given the greatly degraded water quality of the Yamuna, he says.

Using a low shutter speed, Sridhar captures the annual rituals through clouds of Dehlis thick smog, blurring the flying creatures as they swoop over the water. The obscured visitors mar clear shots of boats and the horizons as they appear to linger above the water in shadowy flocks. I aimed to impart a surreal touch to the images by using the boats as the fabled transport into the afterlife while flight-paths of the birds as metaphors as much for the souls of the dead as the mad chaos in our world that blinds us to the damage we do to the environment, he says. Throughout, though, the river remains a giver of life, despite having the life sucked out of her.

An avid outdoor photographer, Sridhar shares his projects focused on Himalayan landscapes and local communities on Behance and Instagram.

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Through a Blur of Migratory Birds, Photographer Sankar Sridhar Captures the Rituals of the Yamuna River - Colossal

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