Sebastien Loeb

Awesome French rally driver Sébastien Loeb was born 26 February 1974. He has driven for the Citroën World Rally Team in the World Rally Championship (WRC). He is the most successful driver in WRC history, having won the world championship a record nine times in a row. He holds several other WRC records, including most points, wins and podium finishes. Originally a gymnast, Loeb switched to rallying in 1995 and won the Junior World Rally Championship in 2001. Signed by the Citroën factory team for the 2002 season, he and co-driver Daniel Elena took their debut WRC win that same year at the Rallye Deutschland. After finishing runner-up to Petter Solberg by one point in 2003, Loeb took his first drivers’ title in 2004.

Continuing with Citroën, he went on to take a record ninth consecutive world title in 2012. Loeb is a tarmac expert, having won all but three WRC rallies on that surface since 2005. Besides his success in rallying, Loeb is a three-time winner at the Race of Champions, after taking home the Henri Toivonen Memorial Trophy and the title “Champion of Champions” in 2003, 2005 and 2008. In 2004, he won the Nations’ Cup for France with Jean Alesi. In 2006, he finished second in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Loeb was named the French Sportsman of the Year in 2007 and 2009, and made knight of the Legion of Honour (Légion d’honneur) in 2009. In 2012, he won the Rallycross final in his first appearance at X Games XVIII.

Johnny Quinn (Snow Patrol)

Johnny Quinn the drummer with Snow Patrol was born 26th February 1972 Formed at the University of Dundee in 1994. Snow Patrol comprises Gary Lightbody (vocals, guitar), Jonny Quinn (drums), Nathan Connolly (guitar, backing vocals), Paul Wilson (bass guitar, backing vocals), and Tom Simpson (keyboards). Initially an indie rock band, their first three records, the EP Starfighter Pilot (1997), and the studio albums Songs for Polarbears (1998) and When It’s All Over We Still Have to Clear Up (2001), were commercially unsuccessful and were released by the independent labels Electric Honey and Jeepster respectively. The band then signed on to the major record label Polydor Records in 2002.

Snow Patrol rose to national fame with their major label debut, Final Straw, in 2003. The album was certified 5× platinum in the UK and eventually sold over 3 million copies worldwide thanks to songs like Run. Their next studio album, Eyes Open, (2006) and its hit single “Chasing Cars,” propelled the band to greater international fame. The album topped the UK Album Charts and was the best-selling British album of the year, selling over 6 million copies worldwide. In 2008, the band released their fifth studio album A Hundred Million Suns, then in 2009 their first compilation album, Up to Now and in 2011 they released their sixth studio album Fallen Empires. During the course of their career, Snow Patrol have won five Meteor Ireland Music Awards and have been nominated for three BRIT Awards. Since the release of Final Straw, the band have sold over ten million albums worldwide. Gary Lightbody is currently collaborating with Peter Buck from REM on the album The Ghost of the Mountain by Tired Pony

Victor Hugo

imageFrench poet, novelist, and dramatistVictor Marie Hugo was born 26 February 1802 in Besançon, France. Hugo’s childhood was a period of national political turmoil. Napoléon was proclaimed Emperor two years after Hugo’s birth, and the Bourbon Monarchy was restored before his eighteenth birthday. The opposing political and religious views of Hugo’s parents reflected the forces that would battle for supremacy in France throughout his life. Since Hugo’s father was an officer in the army, the family moved frequently and Hugo learned much from these travels. On a childhood family trip to Naples, Hugo saw the vast Alpine passes and the snowy peaks, the magnificently blue Mediterranean, and Rome during its festivities.ugo published his first novel the year following his marriage (Han d’Islande, 1823), and his second three years later (Bug-Jargal, 1826). Between 1829 and 1840 he would publish five more volumes of poetry (Les Orientales, 1829; Les Feuilles d’automne, 1831; Les Chants du crépuscule, 1835; Les Voix intérieures, 1837; and Les Rayons et les ombres, 1840), cementing his reputation as one of the greatest elegiac and lyric poets of his time.Like many young writers of his generation, Hugo was profoundly influenced by François-René de Chateaubriand, the famous figure in the literary movement of Romanticism and France’s preeminent literary figure during the early 19th century.

In his youth, Hugo resolved to be “Chateaubriand or nothing,” and his life would come to parallel that of his predecessor in many ways. Like Chateaubriand, Hugo would further the cause of Romanticism, become involved in politics as a champion of Republicanism, and be forced into exile due to his political stances. The precocious passion and eloquence of Hugo’s early work brought success and fame at an early age. His first collection of poetry (Odes et poésies diverses) was published in 1822, when Hugo was only twenty years old, and earned him a royal pension from Louis XVIII. Though the poems were admired for their spontaneous fervor and fluency, it was the collection that followed four years later in 1826 (Odes et Ballades) that revealed Hugo to be a great poet, a natural master of lyric and creative song.Victor Hugo’s first mature work of fiction appeared in 1829, and reflected the acute social conscience that would infuse his later work. Le Dernier jour d’un condamné (The Last Day of a Condemned Man) would have a profound influence on later writers such as Albert Camus, Charles Dickens, and Fyodor Dostoevsky. Claude Gueux, a documentary short story about a real-life murderer who had been executed in France, appeared in 1834, and was later considered by Hugo himself to be a precursor to his great work on social injustice, Les Misérables. Hugo’s first full-length novel would be the enormously successful Notre-Dame de Paris (The Hunchback of Notre-Dame), which was published in 1831 and quickly translated into other languages across Europe. One of the effects of the novel was to shame the City of Paris into restoring the much-neglected Cathedral of Notre Dame, which was attracting thousands of tourists who had read the popular novel. The book also inspired a renewed appreciation for pre-Renaissance buildings, which thereafter began to be actively preserved. Hugo also began planning a major novel about social misery and injustice as early as the 1830s, but it would take a full 17 years for Les Misérables to be realized and finally published in 1862.

imageThe Hunchback of Notre Dame begins on Epiphany (6 January), 1482, the day of the Feast of Fools in Paris, France. Quasimodo, a deformed hunchback who is the bell-ringer of Notre Dame, is introduced by his crowning as the Pope of Fools.Esmeralda, a beautiful Gypsy with a kind and generous heart, captures the hearts of many men, including those of Captain Phoebus and Pierre Gringoire, a poor street poet, but especially those of Quasimodo and his adoptive father, Claude Frollo, the Archdeacon of Notre Dame. Frollo is torn between his obsessive love and the rules of the church. He orders Quasimodo to kidnap her, but the hunchback is suddenly captured by Phoebus and his guards who save Esmeralda. Quasimodo is sentenced to be flogged and turned on the pillory for one hour, followed by another hour’s public exposure. He calls for water. Esmeralda, seeing his thirst, offers him a drink. It saves him, and she captures his heart.Esmeralda is later charged with the attempted murder of Phoebus, whom Frollo actually attempted to kill in jealousy after seeing him about to have sex with Esmeralda, and is tortured and sentenced to death by hanging. As she is being led to the gallows, Quasimodo swings down by the bell rope of Notre Dame and carries her off to the cathedral under the law of sanctuary. Frollo later informs Pierre Gringoire that the Court of Parliament has voted to remove Esmeralda’s right to sanctuary so she can no longer seek shelter in the church and will be taken from the church and killed. Clopin, a street performer, hears the news from Gringoire and rallies the Truands (criminals of Paris) to charge the cathedral and rescue Esmeralda.When Quasimodo sees the Truands, he assumes they are there to hurt Esmeralda, so he drives them off. Likewise, he thinks the King’s men want to rescue her, and tries to help them find her. She is rescued by Frollo and her phony husband Gringoire. But after yet another failed attempt to win her love, Frollo betrays Esmeralda by handing her to the troops and watches while she is being hanged.When Frollo laughs during Esmeralda’s hanging, Quasimodo pushes him from the heights of Notre Dame to his death.

Les Misérables remains Hugo’s most enduringly popular work. It is popular worldwide, and has been adapted for cinema, television and stage shows. The story begins in 1815 in Digne, as the peasant Jean Valjean, is released from Toulon prison by Inspector Javert after spending 19 years imprisoned for stealing bread. Myriel The Bishop of Digne is the only person to offer the convict food and shelter, and saves his life when he is caught stealing the bishop’s silver. Valjean Promises Bishop Myriel to start a new life elsewhere. Eight years later, Valjean has become a factory owner and mayor of Montreuil-sur-Mer. Fantine , one of his workers, is dismissed by the foreman because of her illigitimate daughter Cossette and is forced to become a prostitute. However During an argument with an abusive customer, Javert, now a police inspector in Montreuil, arrests Fantine, but Valjean takes her to a hospital and promises a dying Fantine he will care for Cosette. After a brief confrontation with Javert, Valjean flees and pays innkeeper Madame Thénardier and her dodgy husband to take Cosette in and raise her.sadly though they mistreat Cosette while indulging their own destitute daughter Éponine. Nine years later, Paris is in turmoil because Jean Maximilien Lamarque, the only man in the government who shows any sympathy for the poor, is nearing death.

So a street urchin named Gavroche, incites the prostitutes and beggars to take action, while a student revolutionary and young firebrand named Marius Pontmercy and his friend Enjolras organize a group of idealistic students to protest against the Governments treatment of the poor. While organising the protest Marius becomes friends with the Thenardiers’ daughter, Éponine, then he meets Cosette and they fall in love. Later The Thénardiers gang are prevented from robbing Valjean and Cosettes ‘s house by Javert, who does not recognise Valjean until after he escapes. Valjean refuses to tell Cosette about his past or Fantine and decides to flee Paris with Cosette. Later, Éponine laments that her love for Marius will never be reciprocated as he joins the other students who are preparing for the upcoming conflict; while Javert briefs his soldiers as he reveals his plans to spy on the students. With the June Rebellion underway, the students interrupt Lamarque’s funeral and begin their assault on the army. They build a barricade when Javert, disguised as one of the rebels, volunteers to “spy” on the government troops. When Javert lies that the government will attack the next morning, he is exposed as a spy. Éponine, mortally wounded, returns to the barricades and professes her love for Marius before her death. Valjean, searching for Marius in the barricades, saves Enjolras. Despite being allowed to execute Javert, Valjean tells the inspector that he is not in his debt. As the students reminisce for the night, Valjean prays to God to save Marius from the oncoming assault.Although most Parisians have abandoned the rebels, Enjolras resolves to fight on, however When Gavroche is killed, Enjolras and the students realize they could end up paying a heavy price if they resist and some escape into the sewers hotly pursued by Javert and his men

The shortest correspondence in history is said to have been between Hugo and his publisher Hurst and Blackett Following the publication of Les Misérables in 1862. Hugo was on vacation when. He queried the reaction to the work by sending a single-character telegram to his publisher, asking “?”. The publisher replied with a single “!” to indicate its success.After the success of Les Misérables Hugo turned away from social/political issues for his next novel, Les Travailleurs de la Mer (Toilers of the Sea), published in 1866, which depicts Man’s battle with the sea and the horrible creatures lurking beneath its depths and this spawned an unusual fad in Paris: Squids. From squid dishes and exhibitions, to squid hats and parties, Parisians became fascinated by these unusual sea creatures, which at the time were still considered by many to be mythical. Hugo returned to political and social issues in his next novel, L’Homme Qui Rit (The Man Who Laughs), which was published in 1869 and painted a critical picture of the aristocracy.His last novel, Quatre-vingt-treize (Ninety-Three), published in 1874, dealt with a subject that Hugo had previously avoided: the Reign of Terror during the French Revolution.

Victor Hugo sadly passed away 22 May 1885 but remains a popular French Romantic writer, dramatist and poet. Among His best known poems are Les Contemplations and La Légende des siècles . Outside France, his best-known works are the novels Les Misérables, 1862, and Notre-Dame de Paris, 1831 (known in English as The Hunchback of Notre-Dame). Both of which have been adapted for film and television numerous times.

BRIT Awards 2015

Over the years The BRIT awards has produced many cringe inducing moments of embarrassment and unintentional comedy, consequently there are those who don’t take it seriously. Anyway this years event, is presented by Ant McPartlin and Declen Donelly and takes place Wednesday 25th February 2015, and looks set to be just as kitch and ridiculous. This year Madonna had a bit of an unfortunate incident whilst performing her new song.

Madonna closing performance at the BRIT Awards 2015 http://youtu.be/h3f-bHdxC6I

here are theNominations

BRITISH MALE SOLO ARTIST

  • Damon Albarn Parlophone, Warner Music
  • Ed Sheeran Asylum, Warner Music
  • George Ezra Columbia, Sony Music
  • Paolo Nutini Atlantic, Warner Music
  • Sam Smith Capitol, Universal Music

BRITISH FEMALE SOLO ARTIST

Ella Henderson Syco Music, Sony Music

FKA Twigs Young Turks Recordings, XL Beggars

Jessie Ware Island/PMR, Universal Music

Lily Allen Parlophone, Warner Music

Paloma Faith RCA, Sony Music (WINNER)

BRITISH GROUP Alt-J Infectious Music, BMG Rights Clean Bandit Atlantic, Warner Music Coldplay Parlophone, Warner Music One Direction Syco Music, Sony Music Royal Blood Warner Bros, Warner Music

BRITISH BREAKTHROUGH ACT

ChVRCHES

FKA Twigs

Young Turks Recordings, XL Beggars

George Ezra Columbia, Sony Music

Royal Blood Warner Bros, Warner Music

Sam Smith

CRITICS’ CHOICE Identified by a panel made up of media critics. James Bay (Winner) Virgin EMI, Universal Music George the Poet Island, Universal Music Years & Years Polydor, Universal Music

BEST BRITISH SINGLE

  • Calvin Harris Summer Columbia, Sony Music
  • Clean Bandit ft Jess Glynne Rather Be Atlantic, Warner Music
  • Duke Dumont ft Jax Jones I Got U Blasé Boys Club/Virgin EMI, Universal Music
  • Ed Sheeran Thinking Out Loud Asylum, Warner Music
  • Ella Henderson Ghost Syco Music, Sony Music
  • George Ezra Budapest Columbia, Sony Music
  • Mark Ronson ft Bruno Mars Uptown Funk Columbia, Sony Music
  • Route 94 ft Jess Glynne My Love Rinse Recordings/Virgin EMI, Universal Music
  • Sam Smith Stay With Me Capitol, Universal Music
  • Sigma Nobody to Love 3 Beat/AATW, Universal Music

INTERNATIONAL GROUP

5 Seconds of Summer Capitol, Universal Music

The Black Keys Nonesuch, Warner Music

First Aid Kit Columbia, Sony Music

Foo Fighters Columbia, Sony Music

The War On Drugs Secretly Canadian, Secretly Group

MASTERCARD BRITISH ALBUM OF THE YEAR.

Alt-J This Is All this is yours

Ed Sheeran X

George Ezra Wanted On Voyage

Royal Blood Royal Blood

Sam Smith In The Lonely Hour

BRITISH PRODUCER OF THE YEAR In association with The MPG Awards. Identified by a panel overseen by MPG. Alison Goldfrapp & Will Gregory Flood Jake Gosling Paul Epworth

BRITISH ARTIST VIDEO OF THE YEAR

  • Calvin Harris Summer Columbia, Sony Music
  • Charli XCX Boom Clap Asylum, Warner Music
  • Duke Dumont ft Jax Jones I Got U Blasé Boys Club/Virgin EMI, Universal Music
  • Ed Sheeran Thinking Out Loud Asylum, Warner Music
  • Mark Ronson ft Bruno Mars Uptown Funk Columbia, Sony Music
  • One Direction You and I Syco Music, Sony Music
  • Rita Ora I Will Never Let You Down Columbia, Sony Music
  • Route 94 ft Jess Glynne My Love Rinse Recordings/Virgin EMI, Universal Music
  • Sam Smith Stay With Me Capitol, Universal Music
  • Sigma Nobody to Love 3 Beat/AATW, Universal Music

INTERNATIONAL MALE SOLO ARTIST Beck Virgin EMI, Universal Music Hozier Island, Universal Music Jack White XL Recordings, XL Beggars John Legend Columbia, Sony Music Pharrell Williams RCA, Sony Music

INTERNATIONAL FEMALE SOLO ARTIST

Beyoncé RCA, Sony Music

Lana Del Rey Polydor, Universal Music

Sia Monkey Puzzle/RCA, Sony Music

St Vincent Caroline, Universal Music

Taylor Swift Virgin EMI, Universal Music

George Harrison (The Beatles)

English musician, singer and songwriter George Harrison, was born 25 February 1943. He chieved international fame as the lead guitarist of the Beatles. Although John Lennon and Paul McCartney were the band’s primary songwriters, most of their albums included at least one Harrison composition, including “While My Guitar Gently Weeps”, “Here Comes the Sun” and “Something”, which became the Beatles’ second-most-covered song. Harrison’s earliest musical influences included Big Bill Broonzy, George Formby and Django Reinhardt; Chet Atkins, Chuck Berry and Ry Cooder were significant later influences. By 1965 he had begun to lead the Beatles into folk rock through his interest in the Byrds andBob Dylan, and towards Indian classical music through his use of the sitar on “Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)”. He developed an interest in the Hare Krishna movement and became an admirer of Indian culture and mysticism, introducing them to the other members of the Beatles and their Western audience by incorporating Indian instrumentation in their music. After the band’s break-up in 1970, Harrison released the triple album All Things Must Pass, from which two hit singles originated. He also organized the 1971 Concert for Bangladesh with Ravi Shankar, a precursor for later benefit concerts such as Live Aid.

Harrison was a music and film producer as well as a musician; he founded Dark Horse Records in 1974 and co-founded HandMade Films in 1978. If you watch carefully he has got a cameo in a few Monty Python films and his property was also used during the Doctor Who episodes Pyramids of Mars and Seeds of Death Harrison released several best-selling singles and albums as a solo performer, and in 1988 co-founded the platinum-selling supergroup the Traveling Wilburys. A prolific recording artist, he was featured as a guest guitarist on tracks by Badfinger, Ronnie Wood and Billy Preston, and collaborated on songs and music with Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton and Tom Petty, among others. Rolling Stone magazine ranked him number 11 in their list of the “100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time”. Harrison’s first marriage, to Pattie Boyd, ended in divorce in 1977. The following year he married Olivia Trinidad Arias, with whom he had one son, Dhani. Harrison died on 29 November 2001, aged 58, from lung cancer. He was cremated and his ashes were scattered in the Ganges and Yamuna rivers in India, in a private ceremony according to Hindu tradition. He left almost £100 million in his will.

http://youtu.be/OiuDrVvu-MU GEORGE HARRISON – BEST OF DARK HORSE

Invisible by James Patterson and David Ellis

imageI would like to read The thriller “Invisible” by James Patterson and David Ellis, which features FBI Research Analyst Emma Dockery who becomes obsessed with finding the link between hundreds of unsolved cases. She is also troubled by the death of Her sister, Marta, who died alone in a house fire eight months earlier, and refuses to believe it was accidental and becomes obsessed with home fires associated with a single fatality and she keeps having nightly recurring nightmares of an all-consuming fire.

At first Not even Emmy’s ex-boyfriend, field agent Harrison “Books” Bookman, will believe her that hundreds of kidnappings, rapes, and murders are all connected. However after analysing all 53 cases a pattern emerges and Emmy finds a piece of evidence he can’t afford to ignore -The victim is always found at the point of origin of the fire, always a bedroom, where any evidence will be destroyed and deaths appear accidental, hence no autopsy. More murders are reported by the day–and they’re all inexplicable. No motives, no murder weapons, no suspects. Could one person really be responsible for these unthinkable crimes?

So Emma Dockery and Books, begin A formal investigation to provide the FBI with substance to back her theory that an ingenious, meticulous, cold-blooded murderer is roaming freely in the states of America. The task is to capture him before the death toll climbs.

Anthony Burgess (Clockwork Orange)

clockwork-orangeEnglish Writer and Composer John Anthony Burgess Wilson, FRSL (Anthony Burgess) was Born 25 February 1917 in Harpurhey, Manchester. Burgess was predominantly seen as a comic writer, and although this was how his works were read, he claimed that his works weren’t intended to be humorous. The dystopian satire A Clockwork Orange is Burgess’s most famous novel, though he dismissed it as one of his lesser works, and it is in many ways an atypical Burgess work. It was adapted into a highly controversial 1971 film by Stanley Kubrick, which Burgess said was chiefly responsible for the popularity of the book.A Clockwork Orange is a 1962 dystopian satire portraying a future and dystopian Western society with—based on contemporary trends—a culture of extreme youth rebellion and violence: it explores the violent nature of humans, human free will to choose between good or evil, and the desolation of free will as a solution to evil. Burgess experiments with language, writing in a Russian-influenced argot called “Nadsat” used by the younger characters and the anti-hero in his first-person narration. According to Burgess, the novel was a jeu d’esprit written in just three weeks. He bemoaned the fact that the book had been taken as the source material for a 1971 film that was perceived to glorify sex and violence. In 2005, A Clockwork Orange was included on Time magazine’s list of the 100 best English-language novels written since 1923, and it was named by Modern Library and its readers as one of the 100 best English-language novels of the 20th century. The original transcipt of the book is at McMaster University. Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

Clockwork Orange is the story of Alex, a teenager living in near-future England, who leads his gang on nightly orgies of opportunistic, random “ultra-violence”. Alex’s friends (“droogs” in the novel’s Anglo-Russian slang, Nadsat) are: Dim, a slow-witted bruiser who is the gang’s muscle; Georgie, an ambitious second-in-command; and Pete, who mostly plays along as the droogs indulge their taste for ultra-violence. Characterised as a sociopath and a hardened juvenile delinquent, Alex is also intelligent and quick-witted, with sophisticated taste in music, being particularly fond of Beethoven.The novel begins with the droogs sitting in their favorite hangout before indulging in a night’s mayhem. They assault a scholar walking home from the public library, rob a store leaving the owner and his wife bloodied and unconscious, stomp a panhandling derelict, then scuffle with a rival gang. Joyriding through the countryside in a stolen car, they break into an isolated cottage and maul the young couple living there, beating the husband and raping his wife. Georgie later challenges Alex for leadership of the gang, demanding that they pull a “man-sized” job.so Alex insists on following through on Georgie’s idea to burgle the home of a wealthy old woman. however this ends in tragedy, as Alex kills the elderly woman. He is prevented from escaping by Dim, who leaves him incapacitated on the front step as the police arrive and arrest him for murder.

Sentenced to prison for murder, Alex gets a job at the Wing chapel playing religious music, and he agrees to undergo an controversial experimental behaviour-modification treatment called the Ludovico Technique, which is a form of aversion therapy in which Alex receives an injection that makes him feel sick while watching graphically violent films, eventually conditioning him to suffer crippling bouts of nausea at the mere thought of violence. Although the prison chaplain accuses the state of stripping Alex of free will, the government officials on the scene are pleased with the results and Alex is released into society.

Burgess produced numerous other novels, including the Enderby quartet, and Earthly Powers, regarded by most critics as his greatest novel.Burgess was also an accomplished musician and linguist. He composed over 250 musical works, including a first symphony around age 18, wrote a number of libretti, and translated, among other works, Cyrano de Bergerac, Oedipus the King and Carmen And 2was a well known literary critic. sadly though Burgess passed away 22 November 1993 St John’s Wood, London, England at the age of 76.2008. However The Times newspaper placed Burgess at number 17 on their list of the top 50 greatest British writers along side William Shakespeare, James Joyce, D. H. Lawrence and Ernest Hemingway