Trance

Having got a bit of taste for stylish crime thrillers like Lock Stock and two Smoking Barrels,  Heat, Reservoir Dogs, Trainspotting, LA Confidential, Pulp Fiction, The Italian Job and Headhunters, I would like to see Director Danny Boyle’s latest film Trance, which is a stylish and ambitious high-concept psychological heist thriller with a witty and intriguing setup. It stars Vincent Cassel as Franck, a serious tough guy who plans to steal a Priceless Goya painting from a London auction-house. Helping him is a chap named Simon, played by James McAvoy, a young art expert with some financial embarrassments due to his predilection for poker, who knows all about the history and problems of art theft.

Unfortunately the heist itself does not go as planned, Simon sustains a near-fatal head injury; the gang get away but Simon awakens from his coma to find he can’t remember where he hid the painting. So Franck has a nifty idea: a sexy hypnotherapist, Dr Elizabeth Lamb (Rosario Dawson), will recover the vital memory from Simon’s unconscious while he is in a trance. Instead of breaking into a bank, these robbers are going to break into someone’s mind. But Dr Lamb may consider that her regular fee is insufficient, given the circumstances, and then there is the question of “transference”. If she lingers in his mind, and he in hers, can anyone rely on what is being remembered? Ultimately the film is about the mind and its mysteries, with something of Christopher Nolan’s Inception and Memento and a little of the London gangland-locale of David Cronenberg’s Eastern Promises.

International Day of Happiness 2013

20th March 2013 is the first ‘International Day of Happiness’, which was organised by the United Nations and ‘Action for Happiness’ last summer to highlight the importance of wellbeing in a world that is otherwise dominated by financial woes, relentless self-interest and laborious daily routines. Although a dedicated “day of happiness” may sound like a lovely idea in theory, you may find yourself wondering: what can I do to celebrate the occasion and make the world around me a happier place? Our own sources of happiness can vary; you may be tempted to go out for a delicious meal, embark on a shopping spree, or even just laze around all day and relax. But the main focus of the International Day of Happiness is to direct our kindness towards others – and make both them and ourselves happy in the process.

Some may find themselves momentarily happier when somebody performs an act of kindness to help those around them. Likewise, it can cheer you up if you do something which makes someone else happy. That’s not to say that our kindness is motivated by self-interest; it’s just a nice by-product of our actions and the smallest of positive actions can have a major impact on yourself and those around you. Extensive research also shows that making other people happy activates the same reward sensors in your brain, so it’s a win-win situation. Even if you just hold a door open for someone, spare some change or simply smile at someone in the street, it can really make a difference. These ideas may seem trivial but they can transform our psychological health. Businesses should do more to prioritise the happiness of their workers too. It’s been proven that the happier an employee is, the more likely they are to be motivated, productive, and form good working relationships.Here are three suggestions for a happier life:

A – Affirm the pledge. A simple act of adding your name to the thousands of others who have declared that they will “try to create more happiness in the world” around them.

C – Cheer ‘Happy Heroes’. Spreading the word on social network sites and paying tribute to those who go out of their way to make other people happy. Twitter users are encouraged to use the hashtag #HappyHeroes in their tweets.

T – Take part on the day. In addition to making others happy, there are numerous events going on around the world to celebrate the day, including a ‘positive messages’ flash mob at Liverpool Street Station on Wednesday evening.

Spring Equinox/ International Astrology Day

The annual International Astrology Day 2013, is observed on March 20th, and is celebrated by astrologers and astrology enthusiasts. It is seen by astrologers as the beginning (first day) of the astrological year. It is the first full day of the astrological sign of Aries and thus marks the beginning of the tropical Zodiac.International Astrology Day is celebrated/observed depending on the exact day that the Northward equinox actually occurs (Spring equinox in the Northern hemisphere, Fall equinox in the Southern hemisphere). This varies year to year between March 19–22, though it usually falls on March 20 or March 21.The date of the holiday occurs at the same time of the Iranian new year (Norouz), which is celebrated in many places throughout the Middle East and Central Asia. It also corresponds with the beginning of the Bahá’í calendar, which is celebrated as Bahá’í Naw-Rúz. Other holidays occurring around this time include Ostara (amongst neopagans), Chunfen in China, and Vernal Equinox Day (a public holiday in Japan), among others.

The Northward equinox (or March equinox) is the equinox on the earth when the Sun appears to cross the celestial equator, heading northward. The Northward equinox is the vernal equinox in the Northern Hemisphere and the autumnal equinox in the Southern Hemisphere. It is also The point where the horizon crosses the sun’s disk at the celestial equator northwards is called the first point of Aries. However, due to the precession of the equinoxes, this point is no longer in the constellation Aries, but rather in Pisces. By the year 2600 it will be in Aquarius (hence the phrase “the dawning of the Age of Aquarius”). The Northward equinox passed from Taurus into Aries  1865 BC, and passed into Pisces in year 67 BC, will pass into Aquarius in year 2597, and Capricorn in 4312. The equinox can be as early as March 19 or as late as March 21, the precise time being about 5 hours 49 minutes later in a common year, and about 18 hours 11 minutes earlier in a leap year, than in the previous year. It is the balance of common years and leap years that keeps the calendar date of the equinox from drifting more than a day from 20 March each year.

During the equinox, the horizon crosses the sun’s disk directly in the east at dawn and crosses directly in the west at dusk. However, because of refraction the horizon will usually appear slightly below the sun at the moment when its “true” middle is rising or setting. For viewers at the north or south poles, the horizon moves virtually horizontally along or below the sun, not obviously rising or sinking apart from the movement in “declination” (and hence altitude) of a little under a half (0.39) degree per day. For observers in either hemisphere not at the poles, the further one goes in time away from the March equinox in the 3 months before that equinox, the more to the south the Sun is seen, and for the 3 months afterwards the sun is seen more and more to the north. It is  one point in time commonly used to determine the length of the tropical year. The length of the Northward equinox solar year is relatively stable in the time from 6000 BC to 10000 CE at 47:37 to 49:20 in excess of 365 days and 5 hours. However When tropical year measurements from several successive years are compared, variations are found which are due to nutation, and to the planetary perturbations acting on the Sun.

The March Equinox also has an effect on the calender and traditions, for instance The Persian Calendar begins each year at the Northward equinox, observationally determined at Tehran. The Indian National Calendar starts the year on the day next to the Vernal Equinox on March 22 (March 21 in leap years) with a 30-day month (31 days in leap years), then has 5 months of 31 days followed by 6 months of 30 days.The Julian calendar reform lengthened seven months and replaced the intercalary month with an intercalary day to be added every four years to February. It was based on a length for the year of 365 days and 6 hours (365.25 d), while the tropical year is about 11 minutes and 14 seconds less than that. This had the effect of adding about three quarters of an hour every four years. The effect accumulated from 325 until by the 16th century, when the northern vernal equinox fell on March 10 or 11. In Abrahamic traditionThe Jewish Passover usually falls on the first full moon after the Northern Hemisphere vernal equinox, although occasionally (7 times every 19 years) it will occur on the second full moon.The Christian churches calculate Easter as the first Sunday after the first full moon on or after the March equinox. The official church definition for the equinox is March 21; however, as the Eastern Orthodox Churches use the older Julian calendar, while the Western Churches use the Gregorian calendar, both of which designate March 21 as the equinox, the actual date of Easter differs. The earliest possible Easter date in any year is therefore March 22 on each calendar. The latest possible Easter date in any year is April 25th.

World Sparrow Day

House_SparrowWorld Sparrow Day is an International  event observed on 20th  March, which is designated to raise awareness of the House Sparrow (Passer Domesticus) and other common birds to urban environments, and of threats to their populations, .It is an international initiative by the Nature Forever Society of India in collaboration with the Eco-Sys Action Foundation (France) and numerous other national and international organisations across the world. The Nature Forever Society was started by Mohammed Dilawar, an Indian conservationist who started his work helping the House Sparrow in Nashik, and who was named one of the “Heroes of the Environment” for 2008 by Time for his efforts. The idea of marking a World Sparrow Day came up during an informal discussion at the Nature Forever Society’s office. The idea was to earmark a day for the House Sparrow to convey the message of conservation of the House Sparrow and other common birds and also mark a day of celebration to appreciate the beauty of the common biodiversity which is taken so much for granted. The first World Sparrow Day was celebrated in 2010 in different parts of the world. The day was celebrated by carrying out different various kinds of activities and events like art competitions, awareness campaigns, and sparrow processions as well as interactions with media.

World Sparrow Day also has a broader vision to provide a platform where people who are working on the conservation of the House Sparrow and other common birds can network, collaborate and exchange conservation ideas which will lead to better science and improved results. It aims to provide a meeting ground for people from different parts of the world to come together and form a force that can play an important role in advocacy and in spreading the awareness on the need of conserving common biodiversity or species of lower conservation status.

World Storytelling Day 2013

World Storytelling Day takes place on March 20th 2013 and is a global celebration of the art of oral storytelling. It is celebrated every year on the spring equinox in the northern hemisphere, the first day of autumn equinox in the southern. On World Storytelling Day, as many people as possible tell and listen to stories in as many languages and at as many places as possible, during the same day and night. Participants tell each other about their events in order to share stories and inspiration to learn from each other and create international contacts.The significance in the event lies in the fact that it is the first global celebration of storytelling of its kind, and has been important in forging links between storytellers often working far apart from each other. It has also been significant in drawing public and media attention to storytelling as an art form.

World Storytelling Day has its roots in a national day for storytelling in Sweden, circa 1991 At that time, an event was organized for March 20 in Sweden called “Alla berättares dag” (All storytellers day). The Swedish national storytelling network passed out some time after, but the day stayed alive, celebrated around the country by different enthusiasts. In 1997, storytellers in Perth, Western Australia coordinated a five-week long Celebration of Story, commemorating March 20 as the International Day of Oral Narrators. At the same time, in Mexico and other South American countries, March 20 was already celebrated as the National Day of Storytellers.

When the Scandinavian storytelling web-network, Ratatosk, started around 2001, Scandinavian storytellers started talking, and in 2002, the event spread from Sweden to Norway, Denmark, Finland and Estonia. In 2003, the idea spread to Canada and other countries, and the event has become known internationally as World Storytelling Day. Starting around 2004, France participated with the event Jour Mondial du Conte. World Storytelling Day 2005 had a grande finale on Sunday March 20. There were events from 25 countries on 5 continents, and 2006 saw the program grow further. 2007 was the first time a storytelling concert was held in Newfoundland, Canada. In 2008 The Netherlands took part in World Storytelling Day with a big event called ‘Vertellers in de Aanval’ on March the 20th; three thousand kids were surprised by the sudden appearance of storytellers in their classrooms.In 2009, there were World Storytelling Day events in Europe, Asia, Africa, North America, South America and Australia, and The theme for the 2013 World Srorytelling Day is Fortune and Fate

Adrian Oxaal (James)

Adrian Oxaal, American-born English musician with the band James was born 20th March 1965. James were formed in 1982 in Whalley Range, Manchester, when Paul Gilbertson persuaded his friend Jim Glennie to buy a bass guitar and form a band with him. the band renamed themselves James in August 1982. A gig at The Haçienda caught the attention of Tony Wilson of Factory Records. He offered James an album deal with Factory, but the band, by now a settled live act, were worried about tarnishing their material in the studio and settled instead for a three-track EP. Their debut release, the Jimone EP, The band’s second EP, James II, was released over a year after the first album. Their third release, the Sit Down EP (no relation to the song of that name) came out in February 1986, and was followed by their debut album, Stutter in July of that year. the band recorded their second album, Strip-mine, with a more conventional song structure sadly the album almost went unreleased, but after undergoing a slight remix to sound more radio-friendly,it was released in September 1988. In 1989 James greatly expanded their lineup and sound palette by hiring three new members — guitarist-violinist-percussionist Saul Davies (whom Gott recruited from an amateur blues night), keyboard player Mark Hunter and onetime Diagram Brothers/Pale Fountains trumpeter/percussionist Andy Diagram (the latter a noted avant-garde musician).

This new seven-piece line-up went into the studio to record the third James album. Gold Mother which was released IN 1990 which contained the songs SIT DOWN and COME HOME and coincided with the’Madchester’ movement, with its wave of popular Manchester-based indie bands, This focused public attention on James and won them mainstream recognition.More Singles including “How Was It for You”, the remixed “Come Home” and “Lose Control” soon followed. The band’s newfound success was re-affirmed when they played two sell-out dates at the Manchester G-Mex at the end of the year. In March 1991, when the popularity of “Sit Down” led to a re-recorded version being released as a single, Gold Mother was re-released to include “Sit Down” and previous single “Lose Control”, and the album sold ten times more copies than Travis originally predicted. The song became one of the biggest-selling singles of the year. The band members spent the rest of the year recording their next album, Seven, which was released in February 1992. In 1993 James were invited on an acoustic tour of the US supporting Neil Young at a series of natural outdoor venues in the autumn.

They returned to England refreshed and ready to record their new album with Brian Eno.The process resulted in not one but two albums: the ‘song’ album, Laid, which was released in 1993, and the experimental Wah Wah, which showcased the band’s improvised jams recorded on the spot, then mixed by Eno. Although The recording of the follow-up album was dogged by difficulties from the start The new James album, Whiplash, followed in February 1997 & proved a successful comeback, reaching the UK top 10 as did the single “She’s a Star”.. The band then returned to the studio to begin work on their next album, Millionaires, which was released in October 1999 but did not reach the phenomenal sales level predicted. After the disappointing performance of Millionaires the band chose to start anew in their approach to their next album, working with Eno once again. They spent most of 2000 recording the album; writing the songs, then performing them live before actually recording them. They embarked on a small-scale tour in the autumn of that year on which their setlists consisted almost entirely of new material. The resulting album, Pleased To Meet You, was released in July 2001. Shortly after its release, Tim Booth announced he was leaving the band to concentrate on other projects of his own. They played a farewell tour of the UK at the end of the year. Their final hometown gig, at the Manchester Evening News arena on 7 December, was recorded for a live CD and DVD, Getting Away With It… Live.

In January 2007, music magazine Filter cited an announcement on singer Tim Booth’s personal website, saying that “Tim will be rejoining James in early 2007 for a series of live shows to be announced very soon. due to high demand The initial five dates of the tour were expanded to seven The tour took place during late April 2007, and was followed later in the year by more live shows, including festival appearances at T in the Park and V Festival. The band also appeared at Summercase, Barcelona’s top music concert in Spain during July 2007.April 2008 saw the release of a new compilation album, Fresh as a Daisy — The Singles, accompanied by a DVD compilation of all the band’s promo videos a new album Hey Ma was also released on 7 April 2008. An arena tour of the UK called “We Are Sound” followed in December, on which two new songs (“Porcupine” and “Look Away”) were previewed. The band announced plans to release two mini-albums by April 2010 – The Night Before and The Morning After.August 2010. Following the release of The Night Before, the band embarked on a UK tour, the Mirrorball Tour.At the beginning of 2011, Tim Booth announced that he was working on some new solo material, although James remained active, participating in the Lollapalooza festival in Chile. The band appeared at Hard Rock Calling 2011 and were joined by Kaiser Chiefs and headline act The Killers. The band joined again for a UK wide tour in 2011 with The Orchestra of The Swan and the Manchester Consort choir, The band appeared at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival on 13 and 20 April in Indio, California. The band Headlined Kendal Calling 2012 and also anounced a 10 Date UK Tour starting 12th April 2013.

THE JAMES YOUTUBE FAN CHANNEL

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  • born 20th March 1972 – Alexander Kapranos, Greek-British musician (Franz Ferdinand, The Yummy Fur, and The Karelia)
  • born 20th March 1976 – Chester Bennington, American musician (Linkin Park and Dead by Sunrise)
  • Born 20th March 1950 – Carl Palmer, English drummer (Emerson, Lake & Palmer, Asia, and Atomic Rooster)

Doctor Who/Freema Agyeman

Dr who=bellsThe new series of Doctor Who starts on BBC One on March 30 and The first official photograph from Doctor Who series eight has been released, as well as information promising new monsters and underwater adventures.Lead writer Steven Moffat is calling 2013 Doctor Who’s “most exciting year” and has said that the season finale will reveal “the Doctor’s greatest secret”.

The first episode, The Bells of St John, marks the official introduction of the Doctor’s newest companion, Clara Oswald. Played by Jenna-Louise Coleman, Oswald made two appearances last year, but will star alongside Matt Smith as Doctor Who throughout this series.The Bells of St John will also feature a new nemesis, the Spoonheads, who will battle the Doctor as he discovers something sinister in London’s wi-fi. Moffat said new Cybermen and Ice Warriors would also appear in the series.Jessica Raine, who is set to appear in Doctor Who biopic An Adventure in Space and Time, will guest star in series eight, as will Warwick Davies, known for his roles in the Harry Potter and Star Wars films. While The Bells of St John is set in modern-day London, Moffat promised new adventures for Doctor Who: “We’re up in the sky and under the sea! We’re running round the rings of an alien world and then a haunted house. And there’s a never before attempted journey to the centre of the TARDIS.”.

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British television and film actress Freema Agyeman who played the part of Former companion Martha Jones alongside the tenth Doctor David Tenant in the BBC science fiction television series Doctor Who, and its spin-off series Torchwood, was born 20th March 1979.

Following her departure from Doctor Who and guest spots in BBC programmes Survivors and Little Dorrit, Agyeman held a starring role as Alesha Phillips in the crime procedural drama Law & Order: UK between 2009 and 2012 and made her U.S. television debut in the CW show The Carrie Diaries.