Emily Bronte

WH-EBBest remembered for her classic novel, Wuthering Heights, the English novelist Emily Brontë sadly passed away on 19th December 1848 from tuberculosis .Born 30th july 1818 in Thornton, near Bradford in Yorkshire, Emily was the third eldest of the four surviving Brontë siblings and the younger sister of Charlotte Brontë, and published under the pen name Ellis Bell. when Emily was three years old, the older sisters Maria, Elizabeth and Charlotte were sent to the Clergy Daughters’ School at Cowan Bridge, an experience later described by Charlotte in Jane Eyre. When a typhus epidemic swept the school, Emily was removed along with Charlotte and Elizabeth, who sadly died soon after their return home. From then on The three remaining sisters and their brother Patrick Branwell were educated at home by their father and aunt Elizabeth Branwell, their mother’s sister. In their leisure time the children created a number of fantasy worlds, which were featured in stories they wrote and enacted about the imaginary adventures of their toy soldiers along with the Duke of Wellingtonand his sons, Charles and Arthur Wellesley.When Emily was 13, she and Anne began a story about Gondal, a large island in the North Pacific. Sadly most of their writings on Gondal were not preserved, although Some “diary papers” of Emily’s have survived in which she describes current events in Gondal.

At seventeen, Emily attended the Roe Head girls’ school, where Charlotte was a teacher & stayed three months before returning home. At this time, the girls’ objective was to obtain sufficient education to open a small school of their own. In September 1838 Emily became a teacher at Law Hill School in Halifax, Unfortunately the stress of the 17-hour work day took it’s toll and she returned home in April 1839 staying at home & teaching Sunday school. In 1842, Emily accompanied Charlotte to Brussels, where they attended a girls’ academy in order to perfect their French and German before opening their school. In 1844, Emily began recopying all the poems she had written neatly into two notebooks & In the autumn of 1845, Charlotte discovered the notebooks and insisted that the poems be published, then Anne revealed she had been writing poems in secret and In 1846, the sisters’ poems were published in one volume as Poems by Currer, Ellis, and Acton Bell ( these being the pseudonyms they had adopted for publication).

ln 1847, Emily published her novel, Wuthering Heights, and Although it met with mixed reviews and controversy when it first appeared,it is considered a classic of English literature today. The Novel takes place at a Yorkshire manor & centres on the all-encompassing, passionate, but ultimately doomed love between Catherine Earnshaw and Heathcliff, and how this unresolved passion eventually destroys them and the peopLe around them.Emily Brontë sadly passed away on 19th December from tuberculosis and is interred in the Church of St. Michael and All Angels family vault, Haworth, West Yorkshire . However the novel Wuthering Heights together with her sister charlotte Brontë’s noval Jane Eyre both represent classic examples of English Literature and both novels have been adapted tor television and film numerous times As Well as musicals, ballets and operas.

WUTHERING HEIGHTS http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Xsq8LLQRI6w


Steven Spielberg

American film director, screenwriter, producer, video game designer, and studio entrepreneur Steven Spielberg was Born in Cincinnati, Ohio, on 18th December 1946. During his teens, Spielberg made amateur 8 mm “adventure” films with his friends. He charged admission to his home films while his sister sold popcorn. In 1958, he became a Boy Scout, and gained a photography merit badge by making a nine-minute 8 mm film entitled The Last Gunfight and won a prize for a 40-minute war film he titled Escape to Nowhere which was based on a battle in east Africa. In 1963, Spielberg wrote and directed his first independent film, a 140-minute science fiction adventure called Firelight, which was shown in his local cinema . He also made several WWII films inspired by his father’s war stories. During the 1960s He became a student at California State University, Long Beach & also worked at Universal Studios as an unpaid, seven-day-a-week intern and guest of the editing department, and made his first short film for theatrical release, the 26-minute Amblin’. Spielberg became the youngest director ever to be signed for a long-term deal with a major Hollywood studio (Universal). He dropped out of Long Beach State in 1969 to take up the television director contract at Universal Studios and began his career as a professional director.

His first professional TV job was a 1969 pilot episode of Night Gallery starring Joan Crawford. He also directed an episode of Marcus Welby, M.D. & an episode of The Name of the Game called “L.A. 2017″. Universal Studios then signed Spielberg to do four TV films. The first , Duel, was about a psychotic Peterbilt 281 tanker truck driver who chases a terrified driver (Dennis Weaver) and tries to run him off the road. Next he made the TV film “Something Evil” which capitalize on the popularity of The Exorcist. Spielberg’s debut feature film was The Sugarland Express, about a married couple who are chased by police as they try to regain custody of their baby. Next Spielberg directed Jaws, a thriller-horror film Starring Richard Dreyfus and based on the Peter Benchley novel about an enormous killer shark. It was an enormous success, winning three Academy Awards and grossing more than $470 million worldwide, it was also nominated for Best Picture. Spielberg and actor Richard Dreyfuss then worked on Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977). which gave Spielberg his first Best Director nomination from the Academy & won Oscars in two categories. His next film, 1941, was a big-budgeted World War II farce. Next, Spielberg teamed with Star Wars creator and friend George Lucas on an action adventure film, Raiders of the Lost Ark, which received numerous Oscar nominations.

A year later, Spielberg made E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, about a young boy and the alien he befriends. Itl went on to become the top-grossing film of all time & was also nominated for nine Academy Awards including Best Picture and Best Director. Between 1982 and 1985, Spielberg produced three high-grossing films: Poltergeist, a big-screen adaptation of The Twilight Zone (for which he directed the segment “Kick The Can”), and The Goonies. His next directorial feature was the Raiders prequel Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. In 1985, Spielberg released The Color Purple, an adaptation of Alice Walker’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel of the same name, the film was a box office smash and received eleven Academy Award nominations.Next Spielberg shot an adaptation of J. G. Ballard’s autobiographical novel Empire of the Sun, starring John Malkovich and a young Christian Bale, which was nominated for several Oscars.After two forays into more serious dramatic films, Spielberg then directed the third Indiana Jones film, 1989′s Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. In 1991, Spielberg directed Hook,starring Robin Williams and in 1993 Spielberg directed a film version of Michael Crichton’s novel Jurassic Park, about a theme park with genetically engineered dinosaurs.

Spielberg’s next film, Schindler’s List, was based on the true story of Oskar Schindler, a man who risked his life to save 1,100 Jews from the Holocaust & earned Spielberg his first Academy Award for Best Director (it also won Best Picture) & was a huge success at the box office and the American Film Institute listed it among the 10 Greatest American Films ever Made.In 1997, he directed The Lost World: Jurassic Park.His next film, Amistad, was based on a true story (like Schindler’s List), specifically about an African slave rebellion. In 1998 he released the World War II film Saving Private Ryan, which was a huge box office success.In 2001, Spielberg filmed fellow director and friend Stanley Kubrick’s final project, A.I. Artificial Intelligence. Next Spielberg and Tom Cruise collaborated in the futuristic neo-noir Minority Report, based upon the science fiction short story written by Philip K. Dick.Spielberg’s next film Catch Me If You Can was about the daring adventures of a youthful con artist (played by Leonardo DiCaprio) & earned Christopher Walken an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor.

Spielberg collaborated with Tom Hanks again as well as Catherine Zeta-Jones and Stanley Tucci in 2004′s The Terminal. In 2005, Spielberg directed a modern adaptation of War of the Worlds based on the H. G. Wells book of the same name which starred Tom Cruise and Dakota Fanning. Spielberg’s next film Munich, was about the events following the Massacre of Israeli athletes at the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich. It received five Academy Awards nominations & was Spielberg’s sixth Best Director nomination and fifth Best Picture nomination. Spielberg next film was Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. Next Spielberg shot a film based on The Adventures of Tintin & followed that with War Horse, based on the novel by Michael Morpurgo, which was nominated for six Academy Awards including Best Picture. Spielberg’s next film the historical drama film Lincoln, starring Daniel Day-Lewis as United States President Abraham Lincoln and Sally Field as Mary Todd Lincoln Was Based on Doris Kearns Goodwin’s bestseller Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln, and covered the final four months of Lincoln’s life

George Jackson Churchward

3440_CityofTruro7George Jackson Churchward CBE Was Chief Mechanical Engineer of the Great Western Railway (GWR) in the United KingdoM from 1902 to 1922. Churchward was born 31 January 1857 In Stoke Gabriel, Devon, where his ancestors had been squires since 1457, and was educated at Totnes Grammar School. He apprenticed in the Newton Abbot works of the South Devon Railway and under Joseph Armstrong in the GWR’sSwindon Works. At Swindon he rose from draughtsman through several positions, including Carriage Works Manager, and in 1897 was appointed Chief Assistant to William Dean. After 5 years as Chief Assistant, he succeeded Dean as Locomotive Superintendent.In 1900 he became the first mayor of Swindon.

During the 19th and early 20th century, railway companies were fiercely competitive. Speed meant revenue and speed was dependent on engineering. Churchward delivered to the GWR from Swindon a series of class-leading and innovative locomotives. Arguably, from the early 1900s to the 1920s the Great Western’s 2-cylinder and 4-cylinder 4-6-0 designs were substantially superior to any class of locomotive of the other British railway companies. On one occasion, the GWR’s directors confronted Churchward, and demanded to know why the London and North Western Railway were able to build three 4-6-0 locomotives for the price of two of Churchward’s “Stars”. Churchward allegedly gave a terse response: “Because one of mine could pull two of their bloody things backwards! The first class of locomotives with which Churchward won success and worldwide recognition was the 4-4-0 ‘City’ class, which soon became one of the most famous class locomotives in the world at the time. One of them, City of Truro, became the first engine in the world to haul a train at 100 miles per hour in 1904 (although unauthenticated). He went on to build the ‘County’ class and the ‘Star’ clasS Ch

Churchward preferred locomotives without trailing wheels, to maximise adhesion on the South Devon banks of Dainton, Rattery and Hemerdon on the West of England mainline to Plymouth, then the Great Western’s most important route. Due to the weight and dimensional restrictions required to pass over all the GWR’s lines, he designed narrow fireboxes, but with good circulation. Combining high boiler pressures with superheating made efficient use of the high calorific-value steam coal from the mines in South Wales. Other refinements included feed-water distribution trays beneath the top-fitted clack boxes to minimise boiler stress and large bearing surfaces to reduce wear.Churchward also made advancements in carriage design. He introduced the GWR’s first steel-roofed coaches. Churchward is credited with introducing to Britain several refinements from American and French steam locomotive practice. Among these were the tapered boiler and the casting of cylinders and saddles together, in halves. His choice of outside cylinders for express locomotives was also not standard in Britain for that time. Many elements of British practice were retained, of course. His locomotives for the most part used British plate frames, and the crew was accommodated in typical British fashion. The selection of a domeless boiler was more common to Britain than to the US.

Churchward retired In 1922 although he continued to live in a GWR-owned house near to the line at Swindon, and he retained his interest in the company’s affairs and C. B. Collett inherited his legacy of excellent, standardised designs.He never married. On 19 December 1933, now with poor eyesight and hard of hearing, he was inspecting a defectively-bedded sleeper on the down, through line when he was struck and killed by a Paddington to Fishguard express, pulled by No. 4085 ‘Berkeley Castle’. The locomotive was of the GWR Castle class, a successful design by Charles Collett derived from Churchward’s “Star” class.He is buried at Christ Church in Old Town, Swindon. These designs influenced British locomotive practice to the end of steam. Major classes built by the LMS and even British Railways 50 years later are clearly developments of Churchward’s basic designs. The LMS Stanier Class 5 4-6-0 and the BR standard class 5 are both derived from his Saint class early examples of which date to 1902.Churchward’s name is used for Stoke Gabriel FC’s home ground.BR Western Region class 47 locomotive no. D1664 (later 47079) was named George Jackson Churchward upon delivery in February 1965. It was renamed G. J. Churchward in March 1979 although the name was removed in October 1987.

Keith Richards (Rolling Stones)

sg-rsKeith Richards Guitarist with Rock band The Rolling Stones was born December 18th 1943. The Rolling Stones were formed in London in 1962 When Keith Richards and Mick Jagger who were childhood friends and classmates, discovered that they shared a common intereest in the music of Chuck Berry and Muddy Waters. leading to the formation of a band with Dick Taylor (later of Pretty Things). R.ichards, Taylor, and Jagger found Brian Jones as he sat in playing slide guitar with Alexis Korner’s R&B band, Blues Incorporated,which also had two other future members of the Rolling Stones: Ian Stewart and Charlie WattsOn 12 July 1962 the band played their first gig at the Marquee Club billed as “The Rollin’ Stones”.The line-up was Jagger, Richards and Jones, along with Stewart on piano, and Taylor on bass. Bassist Bill Wyman joined in December 1962 and drummer Charlie Watts the following January 1963 to form the band’s long-standing rhythm section. Their first single, was a cover of Chuck Berry’s “Come On” and their second single, was “I Wanna Be Your Man”, Their third single, Buddy Holly’s “Not Fade Away”. The band’s second UK LP – The Rolling Stones No. 2, yielded the singles “The Last Time”, “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” and “Get Off of My Cloud”. The third album “Aftermath” was released in 1966, contained the singles “Paint It Black”, the ballad “Lady Jane” “Have You Seen Your Mother, Baby, Standing In The Shadow?” “Goin’ Home” and “Under My Thumb”. 1967 saw the release of “Between the Buttons”, which included the double A-side single “Let’s Spend the Night Together” and “Ruby Tuesday”, and the release of the Satanic Majesties Request LP. the next album, Beggars Banquet was an eclectic mix of country and blues-inspired tunes,featuring the singles “Street Fighting Man” “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” and “Sympathy for the Devil.

BRIDGES TO BAYLON http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=SbnZevEXzCY

GRRR http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=fqScg-85Zdg

lib-rsThe Stones next album Let It Bleed featured the song “Gimmie Shelter”, “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” “Midnight Rambler” and “Love in Vain”. The next album Sticky Finger was released in 1971.and featured an elaborate cover design by Andy Warhol, and contains the hits, “Brown Sugar”, and “Wild Horses”. The Stones classic double album, Exile on Main St. was released in May 1972. their follow-up album Goats Head Soup, featured the hit “Angie”. Their next album was 1974′s It’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll.Some Girls, which included the hit single “Miss You”, the country ballad “Far Away Eyes”, “Beast of Burden”, and “Shattered”. The band released their next albums Emotional Rescue and Tattoo You in 1980 which featured the single “Start Me Up”. in 1982 the Rolling Stones toured Europe to commemorate their 20th anniversary and released their next album Undercover in late 1983. In 1986′s the album Dirty Work was released,which contained the song “Harlem Shuffle”.The next album “Steel Wheels” included the singles “Mixed Emotions”, “Rock and a Hard Place”, “Almost Hear You Sigh” and “Continental Drift”.

Their next studio album 1994′s Voodoo Lounge,went double platinum in the US. and went on to win the 1995 Grammy Award for Best Rock Album.The Rolling Stones ended the 1990s with the album Bridges to Babylon which was released in 1997. In 2002, the band released Forty Licks, a greatest hits double album, to mark their forty years as a band. On 12th November 2012 The Rolling Stones released the album Grrrr to celebrate their 50th anniversary and have also made a documentary called Crossfire Hurricane.The Rolling Stones are one of the of the most commercially successful and critically acclaimed acts in the history of popular music and In early 1989, the Rolling Stones, including Mick Taylor, Ronnie Wood and Ian Stewart (posthumously), were inducted into the American Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Q magazine also named them one of the “50 Bands To See Before You Die”, and popular consensus has accorded them the title of the “World’s Greatest Rock and Roll Band.” Rolling Stone magazine ranked them 4th on their “100 Greatest Artists of All Time” list.

International Migrants Day

lnternational Migrants Day is an international day observed on December 18 which was appointed by the General Assembly of United Nations on December 4, 2000 to take into account the large and increasing number of migrants in the world. On December 18, 1990, the General Assembly adopted the international convention on the protection of the rights of migrant workers and members of their families day is observed in many countries, intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations through the dissemination of information on human rights and fundamental political freedoms of migrants, and through sharing of experiences and the design of actions to ensure the protection of migrants.

In 1997, Filipino and other Asian migrant organizations began celebrating and promoting December 18 as the International Day of Solidarity with Migrants. This date was chosen because it was on December 18, 1990 that the UN adopted the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of all Migrants Workers and Members of Their Families.Building on this initiative, December 18 with support from Migrant Rights International and the Steering Committee for the Global Campaign for Ratification of the International Convention on Migrants’ Rights and many other organizations – began late 1999 campaigning online for the official UN designation of an International Migrant’s Day, which was finally proclaimed on December 4, 2000.

The (UN) proclamation of the International Migrants’ Day is an important step, offering a rallying point for everyone across the world who is concerned with the protection of migrants. The UN invited all UN member states, intergovernmental and non-governmental organisations to observe this day by disseminating information on human rights and fundamental freedoms of migrants, sharing experiences, and undertaking action to ensure the protection of migrants.The International Migrants Day is seen firstly as an opportunity to recognize the contributions made by millions of migrants to the economies of their host and home countries, and secondly to promote respect for their basic human rights.

UN Arabic Language Day

UN Arabic Language Day is observed annually on 18th December.The event was established by the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in 2010 “to celebrate multilingualism and cultural diversity as well as to promote equal use of all six of its official working languages throughout the organization”. December 18 was chosen as the date for the Arabic language as it is “the day in 1973 when the General Assembly approved Arabic as an official UN language.

Taghreedat is a regional and international Arabic digital content community building initiative. With currently a community of over 2,500 Arab volunteers residing in 31 countries around the world, of which are 20 Arab countries, Taghreedat is aimed at building an active Arabic digital content creation community that contributes directly and significantly to increasing the quality and quantity of Arabic content on the web, through the implementation of the concept of crowd-sourcing to increase Arab users’ contribution to enriching Arabic content on the web through both original content projects, as well as projects geared towards localization and Arabization.

Taghreedat was started Starting on May 31, 2011 on Twitter, as a call to action to increase the quality and quantity of Arabic e-content on Twitter via the hashtag #letstweetinarabic, Taghreedat has created a community of Arabic digital content enthusiasts from all parts of the Arab world, through its account on Twitter: @Taghreedat, which currently has over 100,000 followers. Taghreedat has worked with a number of international and regional stakeholders, among which are San Francisco-based organizations and companies including: Twitter, The Wikimedia Foundation and Storify, in addition to New-York-based TED and Abu Dhabi based twofour54 – the supporting organization which currently funds this initiative.

An Officer and a Spy by Robert Harris

imageHaving read Fatherland, The Fear Index, The Ghost, Archangel, Lustrum and Pompeii by English writer and Journalist Robert Harris, I would like to read his latest Exciting historical Espionage spy Thriller An Officer and a Spys, which won the Walter Scott Prize (2014),and the American Library in Paris Book Award (2014).

It tells the true story the Dreyfus Affair and in particular of French officer Georges Picquart who Upon being promoted to run the Statistical Section, the top secret headquarters of French military intelligence, begins to discover that the evidence used to convict Alfred Dreyfus of espionage, which resulted in his imprisonment for life on Devil’s Island, is flimsy at best.

So he investigates further, and discovers that the military and the government doctored much of the evidence. So he endeavours to expose the truth about the doctored evidence which sent Alfred Dreyfus to Devil’s Island. However the spy who actually passed the information to Dreyfus, in the first place, is, in fact, still operating. Despite being Warned off the investigation by his superiors, Picquart persists, risking his career and his life to free an innocent man from unjust imprisonment and to stop a spy operating within the military who has gone unpunished.