Intternational Children’s Day

Children’s Day is recognized on various days in many places around the world, to honour children globally. International Children’s Day is celebrated on June 1st in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, China, Czech Republic, Kazakhstan, Laos, Myanmar, Mongolia, Mozambique, Nicaragua, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Vietnam.

It was first proclaimed by the World Conference for the Well-being of Children in 1925 and then established universally in 1954 to protect an “appropriate” day.Major global variants include a Universal Children’s Day on November 20, by United Nations recommendation. Children’s Day is often celebrated on other days as well. International Day for Protection of Children, observed in many countries as Children’s Day on June 1 since 1950, was established by the Women’s International Democratic Federation on its congress inMoscow (22 November 1949).Children’s Day observations in the United States predate both Mother’s and Father’s Day, though a permanent annual single Children’s Day observation is not made at the national level.

In 1856, Rev. Charles H. Leonard, D.D., then pastor of the First Universalist Church of Chelsea, Mass., set apart a Sunday for the dedication of children to the Christian life, and for the re-dedication of parents and guardians to bringing-up their children in Christian nurture. This service was first observed the second Sunday in June.[23]The Universalist Convention at Baltimore in September 1867, passed a resolution commending churches to set apart one Sunday in each year as Children’s Day. The Methodist Episcopal Church at the Methodist Conference of 1868 recommended that second Sunday in June be annually observed as Children’s Day.The General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in 1883 designated “the second Sabbath in June as Children’s Day.”Also in 1883, the National Council of Congregational Churches and nearly all the state bodies of that denomination in the United States passed resolutions commending the observance of the day. About this time many other denominations adopted similar recommendations.

Chase’s Calendar of Events cites Children’s Sunday and notes that The Commonwealth of Massachusetts issues an annual proclamation for the second Sunday in June.Numerous churches and denominations currently observe the second Sunday in June including the African Methodist Episcopal Church, African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, and the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church.Children & Youth Day in Hawaii started in 1994 when the Hawaii Legislature became the first to pass a law to recognize the first Sunday in October as “Children’s Day”. In 1997, the Legislature passed another landmark law designating the entire month of October as “Children and Youth Month”.Children’s Day was proclaimed by President Bill Clinton to be held on October 11, 1998, in response to a letter written by a six year old boy inquiring if he would make a Children’s Day for him. “National Child’s Day” was proclaimed by President George W. Bush as June 3, 2001 and in subsequent years on the first Sunday in June

After Earth

Having seen a few trailers for the Science fiction movie After Earth, starring father and son Will and Jaden Smith, and directed by M. Night Shyamalan, I am trying to decide whether I would like to go and see it. The film tells the story of General Cypher Raige (played by Will Smith) and his 13-year-old son Kitai (Jayden), who crash land on a Earth 1,000 years after it has been abandoned by the human race and is Now overrun by aliens who feed on fear, and Kitai must fight through the planet’s dangerous terrain to find the wrecked ship’s rescue beacon and save his father who was wounded in the crash.

Several film critics have dissected the plot and found numerous similarities to the teachings of L. Ron Hubbard, the founder of the Church of Film critics have pointed out several similarities between the film’s themes and L. Ron Hubbard’s religious The most glaring similarity is that the iconic image of a volcano erupting, featured on the cover of Hubbard’s Dianetics, is the final climactic shot of the film.Critics also note the use of ‘auditing’ in the film, which is the Church’s practice of ridding its members of painful emotional memories. Scientology teaches that people are plagued by ‘engrams,’ mental images similar to memories which can cause emotional pain. The Church rids people of enrams through the use of an E-meter, commonly used in free Scientology stress tests, that measures electrical resistance and pinpoints where the engrams live.After Cypher is wounded in the spaceship crash he audits Kitai from a far, helping him to move past his painful memories and find inner strength. Cypher even has a equivalent of a 31st century E-meter with Kitai’s ‘Smart Fabric’ suit that tracks his health.

A third similiarity is that the predominant theme in the film is man-versus-nature, a basic Scientology concept. In Scientology life is divided into eight ‘urges of survival,’ commonly known as dynamics.The first dynamic is self, the survival of the individual against all odds. In the film Kitai outruns Earth’s harsh environmental elements and dangerous wildlife hoards. The film suggests that he is able to overcome his external circumstances due to self-actualization and not an actual skill set. Finally critics noted that the film’s villains, monstrous aliens who feed off of people’s fears could be representative of Hubbard’s aversion to psychiatry. Hubbard being famously outspoken against psychiatrists. I think I would rather make my own mind up than listen to the critics, although it does seem rather similar to Oblivion as well. Personally I think if people work with nature rather than against it, it could be beneficial to everyone.

 

Tribute to Marilyn Monroe

Marilyn_Monroe_in_Gentlemen_Prefer_Blondes_trailerAmerican actress, model, and singer Marilyn Monroe, was born1st June in 1926. She became a major sex symbol, starring in a number of commercially successful motion pictures during the 1950s and early 1960s.Born Norma Jeane Mortenson (soon after changed to Baker), she spent much of her childhood in a succession of foster homes. It was during this time Monroe was told that someday she would become a movie star. Norma Jeane’s Foster Mother Grace was captivated by Jean Harlow, and would let Norma Jeane wear makeup and take her out to get her hair curled. They would go to the movies together, forming the basis for Norma Jeane’s fascination with the cinema and the stars on screen.During the forties Monroe began a career as a model, which led to a film contract in 1946 with Twentieth Century-Fox. Her early film appearances were minor, but her performances in The Asphalt Jungle and All About Eve (both 1950) drew attention to her. By 1953, Monroe had progressed to a leading role in Niagara (1953), a melodramatic film noir that dwelt on her seductiveness. Her “dumb blonde” persona was used to comic effect in subsequent films such as Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953), How to Marry a Millionaire (1953) and The Seven Year Itch (1955).

Limited by typecasting, Monroe studied at the Actors Studio to broaden her range. Her dramatic performance in Bus Stop (1956) was hailed by critics and garnered a Golden Globe nomination. Her production company, Marilyn Monroe Productions, released The Prince and the Showgirl (1957), for which she received a BAFTA Award nomination and won a David di Donatello award. She received a Golden Globe Award for her performance in Some Like It Hot (1959).Monroe’s last completed film was The Misfits, co-starring Clark Gable with screenplay by her then-husband, Arthur Miller.   The final years of Monroe’s life were marked by illness, personal problems, and a reputation for unreliability and being difficult to work with. The circumstances of her death, from an overdose of barbiturates, have been the subject of conjecture. Though officially classified as a “probable suicide”, the possibility of an accidental overdose, as well as of homicide, have not been ruled out. In 1999, Monroe was ranked as the sixth greatest female star of all time by the American Film Institute. In the decades following her death, she has often been cited as both a pop and a cultural icon as well as the quintessential American sex symbol.

Alan Wilder (Depeche Mode/Recoil)

Alan Wilder,  British musician with Electronic Band Depeche Mode was Born 1st June 1959. Depeche Mode were formed in 1980 in Basildon, Essex The group’s original line-up consisted of Dave Gahan (lead vocals), Martin Gore (keyboards, guitar, vocals, chief songwriter after 1981), Andy Fletcher (keyboards) and Vince Clarke (keyboards, chief songwriter 1980–81). Vince Clarke left the band after the release of their 1981 debut album, Speak & Spell, and was replaced by Alan Wilder (keyboards, drums, occasional songwriter) with Gore taking over songwriting. Wilder also left the band in 1995 and since then Gahan, Gore, and Fletcher have continued as a trio.

Following the departure of Vince Clarke, Depeche Mode placed an advertisement in the music magazine Melody Maker: “Keyboard player needed for established band – no timewasters.” Even though the ad was looking for someone under 21 (Wilder was 22) he lied about his age to get the job, and got away with it. He joined Depeche Mode in January 1982, initially as a tour keyboardist, and soon thereafter as a full member of the recording band.Wilder wrote a handful of songs for Depeche Mode, including “The Great Outdoors” (the B-Side to “Get the Balance Right”), “Two Minute Warning” and “The Landscape Is Changing” (and a B-Side, “Fools”) from the album Construction Time Again, and “If You Want” (and a B-Side, “In Your Memory”) from the album Some Great Reward. However, Wilder’s more notable contributions to Depeche Mode were as a musician, arranger, and producer.In addition to playing synthesiser throughout his time with Depeche Mode, Wilder also played piano on the band’s signature ballad “Somebody,” and oboe on the band’s hit anthem, “Everything Counts.” In the documentary film 101, Wilder demonstrates how different synthesiser parts of a song are split and arranged across a sampling keyboard for playing them live during the concert, just one small example of Wilder’s ongoing contributions to Depeche Mode during his time as a member of the group. For the recording of the albumSongs of Faith and Devotion and its corresponding Devotional Tour Wilder learned to play live drums.For “Enjoy the Silence” from the album Violator, Wilder is credited with taking Martin Gore’s melancholy ballad-esque demo and re-envisioning the song as a percolating, melodic dance track. The resulting single went on to become one of the most commercially successful songs in Depeche Mode’s history. Wilder left Depeche Mode On 1 June 1995 (his 36th birthday)

After his split from Depeche Mode, Wilder was approached by Robert Smith with an offer to join The Cure. Wilder respectfully declined. According to Wilder himself, the possibility was offered on behalf of The Cure by Daryl Bamonte (tour manager for both Depeche Mode and The Cure, and brother of The Cure member Perry Bamonte), and he declined as joining another band was the last thing on his mind.He briefly reunited with Depeche Mode during the Teenage Cancer Trust concert at the Royal Albert Hall in London on 17 February 2010, and enjoyed a rapturous reception. During the encore, Wilder accompanied Martin Gore on piano for “Somebody”. Gore returned the favour and played a DJ set on one of Recoil’s Selected Events.In 2011, Wilder provided two mixes for the Depeche Mode track “In Chains”.Recoil began in 1986 as a two-track experimental EP. Simply entitled 1 + 2, this collection of primitive demos caught the attention ofMute Records label boss Daniel Miller and was inconspicuously released as a mini-album on 12″ vinyl. An album, Hydrology, soon followed in 1988 and both were eventually re-issued by Mute on CD as Hydrology plus 1 + 2. These early Recoil recordings revealed Alan’s position as a pioneer in the newly emerging world of sampling technology and demonstrated how he could turn the Depeche Mode sound around to create something entirely new.

Almost immediately, Wilder found himself back in the studio to record what would become the most successful Depeche Mode album to date, Violator. It wasn’t until the band finally allowed themselves an extended break after the enormously successful World Violation Tour that Alan could return to Recoil—not, however, before agreeing to produce Ebbhead, another album for label-mates Nitzer Ebb.It was during this time that he cemented a working relationship with lead singer Douglas McCarthy who would return the favour by singing on Recoil’s next album, Bloodline. For the Bloodline LP, released in 1991, Between 1992–93 Wilder resumed his Depeche Mode duties as the band recorded the album Songs of Faith and Devotion. Released to universal acclaim, it topped the charts in the UK, US, Germany and a host of other countries. Enjoying hits with “I Feel You”, “Walking in My Shoes”, “In Your Room” and “Condemnation”, Depeche Mode embarked on their most adventurous tour to date, enduring a gruelling fifteen months on the road. Although the group had reached the pinnacle of success, aspects of the lifestyle had taken their toll on everyone and things eventually came to a head. In June 1995, having spent fourteen years as an integral part of one of the most popular and influential bands the UK has ever produced, Alan Wilder made the decision to leave Depeche Mode On 1 June 1995 (his 36th birthday) and Free from his group commitments, Wilder could now focus solely on Recoil and In the spring of 2000, Recoil released Liquid. Following a five-year break from recording, Alan Wilder returned with Recoil’s fifth studio album, entitled subHuman released in July 2007

So far Depeche Mode have had more than 48 songs in the UK Singles Chart including “Enjoy the Silence” “Policy of Truth” “Personal Jesus“  “World in My Eyes””Never Let Me Down Again” and “Walking in My Shoes” twelve top 10 albums in the UK charts, two of which debuted at #1. According to EMI, Depeche Mode have sold over 100 million albums and singles worldwide, making them the most successful electronic band in music history. Q magazine calls Depeche Mode “The most popular electronic band the world has ever known” and included the band in the list of the “50 Bands That Changed The World!”. In 2010 Depeche Mode were ranked No. 98 on VH1′s list of the “100 greatest artists of all time”.

Tribute to Sir Frank Whittle OM KBE FRS Hon FRAeS

GlosterMeteorBritish Royal Air Force (RAF) engineer officer and Air Commodore Sir Frank Whittle, OM, KBE, CB, FRS, Hon FRAeS was born 1st June 1907 . He is credited with independently inventing the turbojet engine (some years earlier than Germany’s Dr. Hans von Ohain) and is regarded by many as the father of jet propulsion. The Turbojet Engine was designed to overcome the limitations of traditional piston-engine turbo-prop engines, which could only fly up to a certain speed and height, because above that the air-flow was too fast and too thin for it to perform effectively.   From an early age Whittle demonstrated an aptitude for engineering and an interest in flying.

Determined to be a pilot, he overcame his physical limitations to be accepted into the RAF, where his abilities earned him a place on the officer training course at Cranwell. He began his RAF career as an apprentice where he demonstrated an aptitude for engineering and an interest in flying. Determined to be a pilot, he was eventually accepted into the RAF, where his abilities earned him a place on the officer training course at Cranwell, where he excelled in his studies and became an accomplished pilot.While writing his thesis there he formulated the fundamental concepts that led to the creation of the turbojet engine, taking out a patent on his design in 1930. His performance on an officers’ engineering course earned him a place on a further course at the University of Cambridge where he graduated with a First.

Despite this success, official interest in the Jet Engine was limited, soWithout Air Ministry support, he and two retired RAF servicemen formed Power Jets Ltd to build his engine with assistance from the firm of British Thomson-Houston. Despite limited funding, a prototype was created, which first ran in 1937  culminating in the historic flight of May 16th 1941 and leading the way for others. Official interest was forthcoming following this success, with contracts being placed to develop further engines, but the continuing stress seriously affected Whittle’s health, eventually resulting in a nervous breakdown in 1940 so he resigned from the board in 1946   In recognition for his acheivements Sir Frank was later knighted by King George VI and In 1948 Whittle retired from the RAF and received a knighthood. He joined BOAC as a technical advisor before working as an engineering specialist in one of Shell Oil’s subsidiaries followed by a position with Bristol Aero Engines. After emigrating to the U.S. in 1976 he accepted the position of NAVAIR Research Professor at the United States Naval Academy from 1977–1979. In August 1996, Whittle sadly died of lung cancer at his home in Columbia, Maryland on 9th August 1996, but his legacy lives on, and three examples of Whittle’s Jet Powered Gloster Meteor can be found at the RAF Aerospace Museum in Cosford, among other really awesome aeroplanes

Happy birthday Ronnie Wood (Rolling Stones)

album-Rolling-Stones-Exile-On-Main-StreetEnglish rock guitarist and bassist Ronnie Wood was born 1 June 1947). He is best known as a former member of The Jeff Beck Group, Faces, and a member of The Rolling Stones since 1975. He also plays lap and pedal steel guitar.   Wood began his career in 1964, when he joined The Byrds on guitar. He then joined the mod group The Creation, but only remained with the group for a short time, and appeared on a small number of singles. Wood then joined The Jeff Beck Group in 1967. They released two albums, Truth and Beck-Ola, which became moderate successes. The group split in 1969, and Wood departed along with lead vocalist Rod Stewart to join former Small Faces members Ronnie Lane, Ian McLagan, and Kenney Jones in a new group, dubbed the Faces.

The group, although relegated to “cult” status in the US, found great success in the UK and mainland Europe. The Faces released their debut album, First Step, in 1970. The group went on to release Long Player and A Nod Is as Good as a Wink… to a Blind Horse in 1971. Their last LP, entitled Ooh La La, was released in 1973.  After the group split, Wood began several solo projects, eventually recording his first solo LP, I’ve Got My Own Album to Do, in 1974. The album featured former bandmate McLagan as well as former Beatle George Harrison and Keith Richards of The Rolling Stones,Keith Richards was a longtime friend of Wood’s and soon invited Wood to join The Rolling Stones, after the departure of Mick Taylor. Wood joined in 1975, and has remained a member ever since. The Rolling Stones were formed in London in 1962 and have become one of the most commercially successful and critically acclaimed acts in the history of popular music.

The group’s earliest line-up consisted of Brian Jones (guitar, harmonica), Ian Stewart (piano), Mick Jagger (lead vocals, harmonica), Keith Richards (guitar, vocals), Bill Wyman (bassist) and Charlie Watts (drummer). As of 1993, Jagger, Richards and Watts are the only remaining original members, completing the official line-up with Ronnie Wood (guitarist). In studio and live performances, Darryl Jones (bassist) and Chuck Leavell (keyboardist) also serve as a regular contributors.The Rolling Stones have released twenty-two studio albums in the United Kingdom (24 in the United States), eleven live albums (twelve in the US), and numerous compilations.Their album Sticky Fingers (1971) began a string of eight consecutive studio albums reaching number one in the United States. Their most recent album of new material, A Bigger Bang, was released in 2005. In 2008, Billboard magazine ranked the Rolling Stones at number ten on “The Billboard Top All-Time Artists”, and as the second most successful group in the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1989, the Rock Hall states; “critical acclaim and popular consensus has accorded them the title of the “World’s Greatest Rock and Roll Band.” They were ranked number 4 in Rolling Stone magazine’s 100 Greatest Artists of All Time. As a member of the Rolling Stones, Wood was also inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame a second time, as a member of Faces, in April 2012