Doctor Who – A Town called Mercy

The latest exciting Doctor Who episode “A Town Called Mercy” was filmed at the Desert Of Tabernas in Almeria, Spain, which also provided the location for A Fistful Of Dollars, and For A Few Dollars More, and sees The Doctor (Matt Smith) Amy (Karen Gillan) and Rory (Arthur Darvill) arrive in in a Wild West town called Mercy which is being terrorised by a Cyborg Gunslinger, who is clobbering anybody who is trying to get in or out of the town. (He reminds me of a Sheriff version of Robocop crossed with Yul Brynner in Westworld

The Doctor also meets an alien Doctor named Kahler Jex ( Adrian Scarborough)  who has a disturbing secret and is hiding out in the town, trying to make ammends. So The Doctor sets out to find out What the Gunslinger wants and finds himself faced with a difficult dilemma. The episode also featured Ben Browder from Farscape and Stargate SG1 & next weeks episode is called The Power Of Three.

Tribute to English Novelist Agatha Christie

British crime novelist Dame Agatha Christie, DBE was born 15th September 1890 . She also wrote short stories, and plays and romances under the name Mary Westmacott, but she is best remembered for her 66 detective novels and more than 15 short story collections, most of which revolve around the investigations of such characters as Hercule Poirot, Miss Jane Marple and Tommy and Tuppence.

Born to a wealthy upper middle-class family in Torquay, Devon, Christie served in a hospital during the First World War before settling into married life with her first child in London. Although initially unsuccessfull at getting her work published, in 1920, The Bodley Head press published her novel The Mysterious Affair at Styles, featuring the character of Poirot. This launched her literary career. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, Christie is the best-selling novelist of all time. Her novels have sold roughly four billion copies, and her estate claims that her works rank third, after those of William Shakespeare and the Bible, as the world’s most widelypublished books. According to Index Translationum, Christie is the most translated individual author, and her books have been translated into at least 103 languages. And Then There Were None is Christie’s best-selling novel with 100 million sales to date, making it the world’s best-selling mystery ever, and one of the best-selling books of all time.

In 1971, she was made a Dame by Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace. Christie’s stage play The Mousetrap holds the record for the longest initial run: it opened at the Ambassadors Theatre in London on 25 November 1952 and as of 2012 is still running after more than 24,600 performances. In 1955, Christie was the first recipient of the Mystery Writers of America’s highest honour, the Grand Master Award, and in the same year Witness for the Prosecution was given an Edgar Award by the MWA for Best Play. Many of her books and short stories have been filmed, and many have been adapted for television, radio, video games and comics.

Among her best known novels are: And then there were none, Final Cases, Poirot and the Regatta, Mystery, The Thirteen Problems, Crooked House, The Murder at the Vicarage/Body in the Library/The Moving Finger, The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, Five Little pigs, Murder on the Orient Express, Towards Zero, Death on the Nile, A Murder is Announced, Problem at Pollensa Bay, Sleeping Murder, 4.50 From Paddington, Pocket Full of Rye, Endless Night, The Clocks, The ABC Murders.Ordeal By Innocence, Appointment with Death, Cat Among the Pigeons, Endless Night, Evil Under the Sun, Why Didn’t they ask Evans, Towards Zero, Passenger to Frankfurt

Tribute to Richard Wright (Pink Floyd)

Richard Wright, the keyboard player for progressive Rock Band Pink Floyd sadly passed away on 15th September 2008. Pink Floyd were founded in 1965 and originally consisted of students Roger Waters, Nick Mason,Richard Wright, and Syd Barrett. They first became popular playing in London’s underground music scene in the late 1960s. Under Barrett’s leadership they released two charting singles, “Arnold Layne” and “See Emily Play”, and a successful début album, The Piper at the Gates of Dawn .

In 1968 Syd Barratt departed from the group due to his deteriorating mental health & Gilmour joined Pink Floyd as the fifth member several months prior to this. Following the loss of their principal songwriter, Pink Floyd bassist and vocalist Roger Waters became the band’s lyricist and conceptual leader, with Gilmour assuming lead guitar, taking on most of the band’s music composition, and sharing lead vocals. With this line-up Pink Floyd achieved worldwide critical and commercial success with their progressive and psychedelic rock music, which used philosophical lyrics, sonic experimentation, innovative album art, and elaborate live shows. and release of many concept albums such as The Dark Side of the Moon, Wish You Were Here, Animals and The Wall.

Pink Floyd ranked number 51 on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of “The 100 Greatest Artists of All Time”, with David Gilmour ranking 14th in the greatest guitarists list. Largely due to the success of their albums the band was ranked No. 3 in Colin Larkin’s the ‘Top 50 Artists Of All Time’. Numerous artists have been influenced by Pink Floyd’s work: David Bowie has called Syd Barrett a major inspiration, The Edge (U2) also bought his first delay pedal after hearing the opening to Animals; and the Pet Shop Boys paid homage to The Wall during a performance in Boston; Marillion guitarist Steve Rothery has also cited Wish You Were Here as a major inspiration; and many other bands, including the Foo Fighters, Dream Theater, My Chemical Romance, Porcupine Tree, The Mars Volta, The La’s, Queen, Oasis, Iron Maiden, Stone Temple Pilots, Coheed and Cambria, Tool, Queensryche, 30 Seconds to Mars, Scissor Sisters, Rush, Radiohead, Gorillaz, Mudvayne, Nine Inch Nails, Korn, Primus and the Smashing Pumpkins, have all been influenced by them.

Pink Floyd have also been nominated for and won multiple technical awards including “Best Engineered Non-Classical Album” Grammy in 1980 for The Wall and BAFTAs award for ‘Best Original Song’ (awarded to Waters) and ‘Best Sound’ in 1982 for the The Wall film. A Grammy came to them in 1995 for “Rock Instrumental Performance” on “Marooned”. In 2008 Pink Floyd were awarded the Polar Music Prize for their contribution to contemporary music; Waters and Mason accepted the prize from King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden. They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on 17 January 1996, the UK Music Hall of Fame on 16 November 2005 and the Hit Parade Hall of Fame in 2010, and were also inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996.  They have continued to enjoy worldwide success and are one of the most commercially successful and influential rock music groups of all time.

Tribute to Johnny Ramone

The Guitarist and one of the founding members of one of the worlds most influential Punk Rock Band The Ramones , Johnny Ramone AKA John William Cummings, tragically died from Prostate Cancer in September 15th 2004. Formed in the New York City neighborhood of Forest Hills, Queens, in 1974, The Ramones are often cited as the first punk rock group, and despite achieving only limited commercial success, the band was a major influence on the punk rock movement both in the United States and the United Kingdom.   All of the band members adopted pseudonyms ending with the surname “Ramone”, though none of them were related. They performed 2,263 concerts, touring virtually nonstop for 22 years. In 1996, after a tour with the Lollapalooza music festival, the band played a farewell concert and disbanded. Little more than eight years after the breakup, the band’s three founding members—lead singer Joey Ramone, guitarist Johnny Ramone, and bassist Dee Dee Ramone—had died.

Their only record with enough U.S. sales to be certified gold was the compilation album Ramones Mania. However, recognition of the band’s importance built over the years, and they are now cited in many assessments of all-time great rock music, such as the Rolling Stone list of the 50 Greatest Artists of All Time and VH1′s 100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock. In 2002, the Ramones were ranked the second-greatest band of all time by Spin magazine, trailing only The Beatles. On March 18, 2002, the Ramones—including the three founders and drummers Tommy and Marky Ramone—were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In 2011, the group was awarded a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.

Tribute to Ettore Bugatti

World renowned automobile designer and manufacturer Ettore Bugatti  was Born 15 September 1881, in Milan. Before founding his eponymous automobile manufacturing company Automobiles E. Bugatti, Ettore Bugatti designed a number of engines and vehicles for others. Prinetti & Stucchi produced his 1898 Type 1. From 1902 through 1904, Dietrich built his Type 3/4 and Type 5/6/7 under the Dietrich-Bugatti marque. In 1907, Bugatti became an employee of Deutz Gasmotoren Fabrik, where he designed the Type 8/9. Bugatti developed the Type 2 in 1900 and 1901, respectively. He developed the Type 5 in 1903. While employed at Deutz, Bugatti built the Type 10 in the basement of his home. In 1913, Bugatti designed a small car for Peugeot, the Type 19 Bébé.

Although born in Italy, Bugatti established his eponymous automobile company, Automobiles E. Bugatti, in the town of Molsheim in the Alsace region of France in 1909 where they manufactured many gorgeous looking high-performance automobiles which were well known for the beauty of their designs Ettore Bugatti was from a family of artists and considered himself to be both an artist and constructor) and for the large number of races that they have won.

The company was known both for the level of detail of its engineering in its automobiles, and for the artistic way in which the designs were executed, given the artistic nature of Ettore’s family (his father, Carlo Bugatti (1856–1940), was an important Art Nouveau furniture and jewelry designer). The company also enjoyed great success in early Grand Prix motor racing, winning the first ever Monaco Grand Prix. The company’s success culminated with driver Jean-Pierre Wimille winning the 24 hours of Le Mans twice (in 1937 with Robert Benoist and 1939 with Pierre Veyron). Famous Bugattis include the Type 35 Grand Prix cars, the Type 41 “Royale”, the Type 57 “Atlantic” and the Type 55 sports car.

Bugatti’s cars noticeably focused on design. Engine blocks were hand scraped to ensure that the surfaces were so flat that gaskets were not required for sealing, many of the exposed surfaces of the engine compartment featured Guilloché (engine turned) finishes on them, and safety wires had been threaded through almost every fastener in intricately laced patterns. Rather than bolt the springs to the axles as most manufacturers did, Bugatti’s axles were forged such that the spring passed though a carefully sized opening in the axle, a much more elegant solution requiring fewer parts. He famously described his arch competitor Bentley’s cars as “the world’s fastest lorries” for focusing on durability. According to Bugatti, “weight was the enemy”. Bugatti was known for the advanced engineering of its premium road cars and its success in early Grand Prix motor racing. A Bugatti was driven to victory in the first Monaco Grand Prix. Tragically Ettore Bugatti’s son, Jean Bugatti, was killed on 11 August 1939 at the age of 30 while testing a Bugatti Type 57 tank-bodied race car near the Molsheim factory.

After that, the company’s fortunes began to decline. World War II ruined the factory in Molsheim, and the company lost control of the property. During the war, Bugatti had planned to build a new factory at Levallois in Paris and designed a series of new cars. Sadly though he passed away on  21 August in 1947, and was buried in the Bugatti family plot at the municipal cemetery in Dorlisheim near Molsheim. His demise proved to be the end for the marque, and the death of his son Jean Bugatti in 1939 ensured there wasn’t a successor to lead the factory.  by the 1950s The company was struggling financially, and released one last model , before eventually being purchased for its airplane parts business in the 1960s. No more than about 8000 cars were made.

The company attempted a comeback under Roland Bugatti in the mid-1950s with the mid-engined Type 251 race car. Designed with help from Gioacchino Colombo, the car failed to perform to expectations and the company’s attempts at automobile production were halted. In the 1960s, Virgil Exner designed a Bugatti as part of his “Revival Cars” project. A show version of this car was actually built by Ghia using the last Bugatti Type 101 chassis, and was shown at the 1965 Turin Motor Show. Finance was not forthcoming, and Exner then turned his attention to a revival of Stutz.

Italian entrepreneur Romano Artioli acquired the Bugatti brand in 1987, and established Bugatti Automobili SpA. Bugatti commissioned architect Giampaolo Benedini to design the factory which was built in Campogalliano, Italy.By 1989 the plans for the new Bugatti revival were presented by Paolo Stanzani and Marcello Gandini, designers of the Lamborghini Miura and Lamborghini Countach. Bugatti called their first production vehicle the Bugatti EB110 GT. Bugatti advertised the EB110 as the most technically advanced sports car ever produced.Famed racing car designer Mauro Forghieri served as Bugatti’s technical director from 1992 through 1994. It was around this time that the newly revived Bugatti presented a prototype large saloon called the EB112 in 1993. Perhaps the most famous Bugatti EB110 owner was seven-time Formula One World Championracing driver Michael Schumacher who purchased an EB110 in 1994. Sadly though By the time the EB110 came on the market, the North American and European economies were in recession. Poor economic conditions forced the company to fail and operations ceased in September 1995.

The Bugatti brand was then acquired by Volkswagen AG in 1998, and Giorgetto Giugiaro of ItalDesign was commissioned to produce Bugatti’s first concept vehicle, the EB118, a coupé that debuted at the 1998 Paris Auto Show. The EB118 concept featured a 408 kilowatts (555 PS; 547 bhp), W-18 engine, which is widely considered to be the first W-configuration engine in any passenger vehicle. After its Paris debut, the EB118 concept was shown again in 1999 at the Geneva Auto Show and the Tokyo Motor Show. Bugatti introduced its next concepts, the EB 218 at the 1999 Geneva Motor Show and the 18/3 Chiron at the 1999 Frankfurt Motor Show (IAA). Bugatti Automobiles S.A.S. began assembling its first regular-production vehicle, the splendidly awesome Bugatti Veyron EB 16.4 in September, 2005 at the Bugatti Molsheim, France assembly “studio”, and the even quicker Bugatti Veyron Supersport currently holds the record for the Worlds Fastest Street Legal Production Car after being clocked doing 431.072 km/h (267.856 mph). The Veyron was also named Car of the Decade (2000–2009) by the BBC television programme Top Gear and The standard Veyron won Top Gear’s Best Car Driven All Year award in 2005. Bugatti also has a concept for a Luxury Grand Tourer, named the Bugatti 16C Galibier in the pipe-line too.