DeLorean – Great Scot!

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On January 21st 1981 Production of the iconic DeLorean DMC-12 sports car began in Dunmurry, Northern Ireland. The DeLorean DMC-12 was manufactured by the DeLorean Motor Company for the American market in 1981-82. Featuring gull-wing doors with a fiberglass “underbody”, to which non-structural brushed stainless steel panels are affixed, the car became iconic for the appearance of a modified version as a time machine in the Back to the Future film trilogy. The first prototype appeared in October 1976, and production officially began in 1981 in Dunmurry, a suburb of south west Belfast, Northern Ireland. During its production, several features of the car were changed, such as the hood style, wheels and interior.

dmc12In October 1976, the first prototype DeLorean DMC-12 was completed by William T. Collins, chief engineer and designer (formerly chief engineer at Pontiac). The body design of the DMC-12 was a product of Giorgetto Giugiaro of Ital Design and the car was Originally, intended to have a centrally-mounted Citroën/NSU Comotor Wankel rotary engine. The engine selection was reconsidered when Comotor production ended, and the favored engine became Ford’s “Clogne V6.” Eventually the French/Swedish PRV (Peugeot-Renault-Volvo) fuel injected V6, was selected. Also the engine location moved from the mid-engined location in the prototype to a rear-engined installation in the production car. The chassis was initially planned to be produced from a new and untested manufacturing technology known as Elastic Reservoir Moulding (ERM), which would lighten the car while presumably lowering its production costs. This new technology, for which DeLorean had purchased patent rights, was eventually found to be unsuitable. So Engineering was turned over to engineer Colin Chapman, founder and owner of Lotus. Chapman replaced most of the unproven material and manufacturing techniques with those then employed by Lotus. The backbone chassis is very similar to that of the Lotus Esprit. The original Giorgetto Giugiaro body design was left mostly intact, as were the distinctive stainless steel outer skin panels and gull-wing doors. DeLorean required $175 million to develop and build the motor company. DeLorean eventually built the DMC-12 in a factory in Dunmurry, Northern Ireland, a neighborhood a few miles from Belfast city center. Construction on the factory began in October 1978, and although production of the DMC-12 was scheduled to start in 1979, engineering problems and budget overruns delayed production until early 1981.

Hollywood celebrities such as Johnny Carson and Sammy Davis Jr also invested in the firm and The DMC-12 also appears in the Back to the Future film trilogy. The PRV engines of the cars were dubbed over with recorded V8 sounds. Six DeLorean chassis were used during the production, along with one manufactured out of fiberglass for scenes where a full-size DeLorean was needed to “fly” on-screen; only three of the cars still exist, with one having been destroyed at the end of Back to the Future Part III. Universal Studios owns two of the remaining cars, and the last resides in a private collection after having been extensively restored. Sadly though all this endorsement was not enough to save the company and The DeLorean Motor Company went bankrupt in late 1982 following John DeLorean’s arrest in October of that year on drug trafficking charges. He was later found not guilty, but it was too late for the DMC-12 to remain in production. and the company went into liquidation

Approximately 9,000 DMC-12s were made before production halted in late 1982 and about 100 partially assembled DMCs on the production line were completed by Consolidated International (now known as Big Lots). The remaining parts from the factory stock, the parts from the US Warranty Parts Center, as well as parts from the original suppliers that had not yet been delivered to the factory were all shipped to Columbus, Ohio in 1983–1984. A company called KAPAC sold these parts to retail and wholesale customers via mail order. In 1997, DeLorean Motor Company of Texas acquired this inventory. Overall just 9,200 DMC-12s were produced between January 1981 and December 1982 Almost a fifth of these were produced in October 1981. About one thousand 1982 models were produced between February and May 1982, As of 2007, about 6,500 DeLorean Motor cars were believed to still exist. In 1995 Texas entrepreneur Stephen Wynne started a separate company using the “DeLorean Motor Company” name and shortly thereafter acquired the trademark on the stylized “DMC” logo as well as the remaining parts inventory of the original DeLorean Motor Company. The company, at its suburban Humble, Texas location, completes newly assembled cars from new old stock (NOS) parts, original equipment manufacturer (OEM) and reproduction parts on a “made to order” basis using existing Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)

Tribute to Jam Master Jay

Jam Master Jay. The American Disc Jockey with hip-hop group Run DMC was born 21st January 1965.   Run–D.M.C. were an American hip hop group from Hollis, Queens, New York, founded in 1981 by Joseph “Run” Simmons, Darryl “D.M.C.” McDaniels, and Jason “Jam Master Jay” Mizell. The group is widely acknowledged as one of the most influential acts in the history of hip hop culture. Run–D.M.C. was one of the most well-known hip hop acts in the 1980s who, along with LL Cool J, The Beastie Boys, and Public Enemy signified the advent of the new school of hip hop music. They were the first group in the genre to have a gold album (Run–D.M.C., 1984) and be nominated for a Grammy Award. They were the first to earn a platinum record (King of Rock, 1985), the first to earn a multiplatinum certification (Raising Hell, 1986) the first to have videos on MTV, the first to appear on American Bandstand and the cover of Rolling Stone.

The group was among the first to highlight the importance of the MC and DJ relationship. In 2004, Rolling Stone ranked them number 48 in their list of the greatest musical artists of all time. In 2007, Run–D.M.C. was named “The Greatest Hip Hop Group of All Time” by MTV.com and “Greatest Hip Hop Artist of All Time” by VH1. On April 4, 2009, rapper Eminem inducted them into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In doing so, Run–D.M.C. became only the second hip hop group in history to be inducted, after Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five. The initials “D.M.C.” are widely accepted to refer to Darryl McDaniels’ initials. In the 1985 album King of Rock’s title track, McDaniels says the initials have two meanings: “Devastating Mic Control” and “D for never dirty, MC for mostly clean.” He also makes a third reference “The ‘D’s for Doing it all of the time, the ‘M’s for the rhymes that all are Mine, The ‘C’s for Cool – cool as can be.”

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Other Birthdays for  21st January

  • Born 21st January 1924 – Benny Hill, English actor, comedian, and singer (d. 1992)
  • Born 21st January1941 – Plácido Domingo, Spanish tenor
  • Born 21st January 1942 – Edwin Starr, American singer (d. 2003)
  • Born 21st January 1950 – Billy Ocean, West Indian musician

 

Tribute to George Orwell

Considered perhaps the 20th century’s best chronicler of English culture, the English novelist and journalist George Orwell, sadly passed away on 21 January 1950. Born Eric Arthur Blair on 25 June 1903, in Motihari, Bihar, in India, His work is marked by clarity, intelligence and wit, awareness of social injustice, opposition to totalitarianism, and belief in democratic socialism.Although Orwell wrote literary criticism, poetry, fiction and polemical journalism. He is best known for the dystopian novel Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949) and the allegorical novella Animal Farm (1945), which together have sold more copies than any two books by any other 20th-century author. His book Homage to Catalonia (1938), an account of his experiences in the Spanish Civil War, is widely acclaimed, as are his numerous essays on politics, literature, language and culture. In 2008, The Times ranked him second on a list of “The 50 greatest British writers since 1945”. Orwell’s work continues to influence popular and political culture, and the term Orwellian — descriptive of totalitarian or authoritarian social practices — has entered the vernacular with several of his neologisms, such as doublethink, thoughtcrime, Big Brother and thought police.

Nineteen Eighty-Four

1984GONineteen Eighty-Four was published in 1949. It is a dystopian and satirical novel set in Oceania, where society is tyrannized by The Party and its totalitarian ideology.The Oceanian province of Airstrip One is a world of perpetual war, omnipresent government surveillance, and public mind control, dictated by a political system euphemistically named English Socialism (Ingsoc) under the control of a privileged Inner Party elite that persecutes all individualism and independent thinking as thoughtcrimes. Their tyranny is headed by Big Brother, the quasi-divine Party leader who enjoys an intense cult of personality, but who may not even exist. Big Brother and the Party justify their rule in the name of a supposed greater good.The protagonist of the novel, Winston Smith, is a member of the Outer Party who works for the Ministry of Truth (Minitrue), which is responsible for propaganda and historical revisionism. His job is to re-write past newspaper articles so that the historical record always supports the current party line. Smith is a diligent and skillful worker, but he secretly hates the Party and dreams of rebellion against Big Brother.

As literary political fiction and as dystopian science-fiction, Nineteen Eighty-Four is a classic novel in content, plot, and style. Many of its terms and concepts, such as Big Brother, doublethink, thoughtcrime, Newspeak, and memory hole, have entered everyday use since its publication in 1949. Moreover, Nineteen Eighty-Four popularised the adjective Orwellian, which describes official deception, secret surveillance, and manipulation of the past by a totalitarian or authoritarian state. In 2005 the novel was chosen by TIME magazine as one of the 100 best English-language novels from 1923 to 2005. It was awarded a place on both lists of Modern Library 100 Best Novels, reaching number 13 on the editor’s list, and 6 on the reader’s list. In 2003, the novel was listed at number 8 on the BBC’s survey The Big Read.

Animal Farm

AnimalFarm_GOAnimal Farm is an allegorical novella which was published in England on 17 August 1945. According to Orwell the book reflects events leading up to the Russian Revolution of 1917, and then on into the Stalin era in the Soviet Union. Orwell, a democratic socialist, was a critic of Joseph Stalin and hostile to Moscow-directed Stalinism, especially after his experiences with the NKVD and the Spanish Civil War. The Soviet Union he believed, had become a brutal dictatorship, built upon a cult of personality and enforced by a reign of terror. In a letter to Yvonne Davet, Orwell described Animal Farm as his novel “contre Stalin” and in his essay of 1946, Why I Write, he wrote that Animal Farm was the first book in which he had tried, with full consciousness of what he was doing, “to fuse political purpose and artistic purpose into one whole”.

The original title was Animal Farm: A Fairy Story, but the subtitle was dropped by U.S. publishers for its 1946 publication and subsequently all but one of the translations during Orwell’s lifetime omitted the addition. Other variations in the title include: A Satire and A Contemporary Satire. Orwell suggested the title Union des républiques socialistes animales for the French translation, which recalled the French name of the Soviet Union, Union des républiques socialistes soviétiques, and which abbreviates to URSA, the Latin for “bear”, a symbol of Russia. It was written at a time (November 1943-February 1944) when the wartime alliance with the Soviet Union was at its height and Stalin was held in highest esteem in Britain both among the people and intelligentsia, a fact that Orwell hated. It was initially rejected by a number of British and American publishers, including one of Orwell’s own, Victor Gollancz. Its publication was thus delayed, though it became a great commercial success when it did finally appear—in part because the Cold War so quickly followed WW2. Time magazine chose the book as one of the 100 best English-language novels (1923 to 2005); it also places at number 31 on the Modern Library List of Best 20th-Century Novels. It won a Retrospective Hugo Award in 1996 and is also included in the Great Books of the Western World. The novel addresses not only the corruption of the revolution by its leaders but also how wickedness, indifference, ignorance, greed and myopia corrupt the revolution. It portrays corrupt leadership as the flaw in revolution, rather than the act of revolution itself. It also shows how potential ignorance and indifference to problems within a revolution could allow horrors to happen if a smooth transition to a people’s government is not achieved.

Tribute to Georges Méliès

Film Pioneer Georges Méliès sadly passed away on 21 January 1938. Born 8 December 1861 in Paris George Méliès, was a French illusionist and filmmaker famous for developing many technical and narrative techniques in the earliest days of cinema. Méliès, was one of cinema’s early innovators, and used his background in stage magic and illusions to pioneer techniques such as stop-trick, time-lapse and dissolves. He also accidentally discovered the substitution stop trick in 1896, and was one of the first filmmakers to use multiple exposures, time-lapse photography, dissolves, and hand-painted color in his work. Brecause of his pioneering work in special effects he was sometimes referred to as the first “Cinemagician”.

Throughout his career He made a staggering 531 films between 1896 and 1913, Two of his most well-known films are the 14-minute Le voyage dans la lune and The Impossible Voyage Both stories involve strange, surreal voyages, somewhat in the style of Jules Verne, and are considered among the most important early science fiction films, though their approach is closer to fantasy. Both Influenced by Jules Verne’s From the Earth to the Moon and HG Wells’s The First Men in the Moon, it was the first science-fiction film, and the image of a spaceship landing in the eye of the man in the moon has inspired artists ever since. Méliès was also an early pioneer of horror cinema, which can be traced back to his Le Manoir du diable (1896). He was also featured in the book “The Invention of Hugo Cabret” as well as its film adaptation Hugo.

Amazingly there were some people who did not really appreciate his work at the time and despite the phenomenal success that followed Le voyage dans la lune, Méliès’s studio collapsed, and during the first world war the French army melted down more than 400 of his original prints to make boot heels. In the 1920s he was declared bankrupt and then began running a toy shop in Montparnasse station. In 1932 he was belatedly given a place at Le Maison du Retrait du Cinéma, the film industry’s retirement home in Orly. He sadly passed away on 21 January 1938 and is buried in the Père Lachaise cemetery in Belleville, and his influence on cinema can still be seen today.