Posted in Uncategorized

‘Forgotten Voices of the Second World War’

The Telegraph newspaper also recently gave away the complete set of The Forgotten Voices series, which comprised of two 50 page glossy booklets and five audio CD’s, both based on the writings of Max Arthur the author of both ‘Forgotten Voices of the Great War’. The content also included a collection of oral histories and personal experiences provided by the soldiers, sailors, airmen and civilians of both conflicts, and the accounts by both The Servicemen & civilians are documented inside the two booklets & five CDs

The content for the five CD’s is also taken from the Imperial War Museums’ Sound Archive, and provides a remarkable history of Britain at war, These moving CDs contain dramatic audio extracts from war veterans, with an over-arching narrative linking the excerpts. The WWI CDs are narrated by Richard Bebb and the WWII CDs are narrated by Timothy West.

  • WWI – The Opening Shots
  • WWI – The Somme and Back to Ypres
  • WWI – The Struggle to Victory
  • WWII – War at Sea and in the Air
  • WWII – D-Day and Beyond
Posted in films & DVD

Sherlock Holmes audio CD’s

I am a big fan of the Sherlock Holmes novels by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, having read loads of them whilst in hospital, and after having seen a few film adaptations on Television, starring Basil Rathbone, Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing among others.  I was very pleased when I found out that From tomorrow 19th November until 25th November, the Telegraph newspaper is giving away seven free Sherlock Holmes audiobook CDs. All written by Arthur Conan Doyle and read by Derek Jacobi, the seven audio. Books in the series are

CD ONE – Silver Blaze
Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson investigate the disappearance of champion racehorse, Silver Blaze, which vanished in the middle of the night from its stables. Owner Colonel Ross is desperate to get his prize possession back and there had been some strange comings and goings the night the horse disappeared. When the horse’s trainer, John Straker, is found dead, it becomes a murder investigation.

CD TWO – The Red-Headed League
Sherlock Holmes investigates the strange case of Mr Jabez Wilson, a man with red hair, who was recently offered employment by an organization known as the Red-Headed League. Mr Wilson arrives for work one day to discover a sign on the office door stating ‘THE RED-HEADED LEAGUE IS DISSOLVED’ and the landlord denies all knowledge of who rented the office. Holmes agrees to investigate and find the men behind the Red-Headed League.

CD THREE – The Adventure of the Speckled Band
Violet Stoner dies in mysterious circumstances at the gloomy mansion of her brutish stepfather, Dr Grimesby Rylott. Violet had become engaged to be married and stood to inherit a substantial annual allowance but never survived to collect it. Now, her sister Helen has become engaged, and when the mercenary Dr Rylott orders her to start sleeping in her sister’s bedroom Helen fears that a fate similar to Violet’s will befall her. She turns to the residents of 221B Baker Street for help.

CD FOUR – A Case of Identity
Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson are visited by Miss Mary Sutherland whose fiancé, Mr Hosmer Angel, mysteriously vanished days before their wedding. Miss Sutherland reveals that Mr Angel is a quiet and secretive man and upon discovering that Miss Sutherland benefits from a substantial fund set up by her father, Holmes and Watson investigate to reveal who would profit from her fiancé’s disappearance.

CD FIVE – The Five Orange Pips
Mr John Openshaw asks Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson for their help after receiving an envelope containing five orange pips. Identical envelopes had previously been sent to his father and his uncle just before their mysterious deaths. Mr Openshaw, having inherited his father’s estate, has now received this same strange warning and arrives at Baker Street to engage Holmes’ help in solving the mystery.

CD SIX – The Adventure of the Noble Bachelor
Lord Robert St. Simon comes to Sherlock Holmes seeking aid in finding his new bride who disappeared on the day of their marriage. Lord St Simon’s wife, wealthy American Hatty Doran, attended and participated in the wedding but disappeared during the reception after becoming flustered and short tempered and has not been seen since. It is now up to Holmes to solve the mystery.

CD SEVEN – The Final Problem
Sherlock Holmes visits Doctor Watson one evening looking agitated, the knuckles of one hand burst and bleeding, and asks if he has ever heard of Professor Moriarty. Holmes reveals that Moriarty is the criminal genius behind a highly organized and extremely secret criminal force and has already made three attempts on Holmes’ life. Holmes will consider it the crowning achievement of his career if he can defeat Moriarty.

Posted in Art

French artist and physicist Daguerre born this day in 1787

French artist and physicist Louis-Jacques-Mandé Daguerre was born on this day, November 18, in 1787, he is recognized for his invention of the daguerreotype process of photography. He was born in Cormeilles-en-Parisis, Val-d’Oise, France. He apprenticed in architecture, theatre design, and panoramic painting with Pierre Prévost, the first French panorama painter. Exceedingly adept at his skill for theatrical illusion, he became a celebrated designer for the theatre and later came to invent the Diorama, which opened in Paris in July 1822.

In 1822 Joseph Nicéphore Niépce produced the world’s first permanent photograph (known as a Heliograph) after building on a discovery made by Johann Heinrich Schultz in 1724, This being: a silver carbonate or silver chloride and chalk mixture darkening under exposure to light. In 1826 The first permanent photograph was made by Joseph Nicéphore Niépce,

Daguerre partnered with Niépce three years later, beginning a four-year cooperation. The main reason for the “partnership”, as far as Daguerre was concerned, might have been connected to his already famous dioramas. Niépce was a printer and his process was based on a faster way to produce printing plates. Daguerre perhaps thought that the process developed by Niépce could help speed up his diorama creation. Niépce and Daguerre then refined this process. Daguerre first exposed silver-coated copper plates to iodine, obtaining silver iodide. Then he exposed them to light for several minutes, coated the plate with mercury vapor heated to 75° Celsius (to amalgamate the mercury with the silver) and finally fixing the image in salt water. These ideas led to the famous Daguerreotype.

Unfortunately Niépce died suddenly in 1833 and after years of experimentation Daguerre finally announced the latest perfection of the Daguerreotype in 1839, with the French Academy of Sciences announcing the process on January 7 of that year. Daguerre’s patent was acquired by the French Government, and, on August 19, 1839, the French Government announced the invention was a gift “Free to the World.” At the same time a rival named William Fox Talbot in England, was also working on his own process, known as the calotype process. Both men knew that they were working on a process that would revolutionize the art world. However Daguerre did not need to make money from the invention to live, since he had been pensioned by the French government. Meanwhile Fox Talbot spent a considerable amount of money on his process, est. £5,000 (equivalent to £378,000), and licensed the process to British photographers where it was used instead of the Daguerreotype.

Both Niépce’s son and Daguerre obtained a pension from the Government in exchange for freely sharing the details of the process. Daguerre died on July 10, 1851 of a heart attack in Bry-sur-Marne, 12 km (7 miles) from Paris. A monument marks his grave there and Daguerre’s name is also one of the 72 names inscribed on the Eiffel tower.

Posted in Science-tech

The 25 ‘worst’ web passwords/ Top tips for choosing an internet password

According to  American password management application SplashData, the word ‘Password’ has topped a list of the 25 worst web passwords people commonly use to login into sites, leaving them more vulnerable to hackers.  The second most common password is ‘123456’, another easy code for hackers to guess when trying to access people’s email or Facebook accounts. 

Other passwords to make the list,  include: ‘abc123’, ‘iloveyou’ and ‘monkey’. The full list can be seen below. Last month Facebook admitted that hackers are breaking into hundreds of thousands of Facebook accounts every day. Out of more than a billion logins to the website every 24 hours, 600,000 are impostors attempting to access users’ messages, photos and other personal information Facebook said.

The figure is the first time that the social network has revealed how it is bombarded by hackers on a daily basis. Security experts said the figure is a “big concern” and that people need to be more careful when choosing their passwords across the web. Graham Cluley, a senior technology consultant at Sophos, a computer security organisation, said it was becoming easier to hack into more users’ Facebook accounts as thirty per cent of people online are using the same passwords across all of their digital accounts – making it simpler for hackers to control a person’s entire web identity
Facebook is just one of the main target sites for hackers. Web users need to make sure that their passwords across email, banking and other digital services more complicated in order to avoid their personal information being compromised. Morgan Slain, SplashData’s chief executive urged any consumers or businesses using a password featured on the ‘worst list’ to change them immediately.
“Hackers can easily break into many accounts just by repeatedly trying common passwords,” Slain said. “Even though people are encouraged to select secure, strong passwords, many people continue to choose weak, easy-to-guess ones, placing themselves at risk from fraud and identity theft.”
Top tips for choosing an internet password:

  • Vary different types of characters in your passwords; include numbers, letters and special characters when possible.
      Choose passwords of eight characters or more. Separate short words with spaces or underscores.
  • Don’t use the same password and username combination for multiple websites. Use an online password manager to keep track of your different accounts.
    The 25 ‘worst’ internet passwords:
  • password
  • 123456
  • 12345678
  • qwerty
  • abc123
  • monkey
  • 1234567
  • letmein
  • trustno1
  • dragon
  • baseball
  • 111111
  • iloveyou
  • master
  • sunshine
  • ashley
  • bailey
  • shadow
  • 123123
  • 654321
  • superman
  • qazwsx
  • michael
  • football

Anyone using any of these should immediately change them