Posted in music

Maxi Jazz (Faithless)

Maxi Jazz, British rapper with the band Faithless waws born 14th June 1957. Faithless was a British electronica band consisting of Maxi Jazz, Sister Bliss and Rollo. The group is best known for their dance songs (“Insomnia”, “God Is a DJ” and “We Come 1″). Faithless recorded six albums. During their career they sold over 15 million records worldwide. The band have now officially split up after the climax of their Passing The Baton dates at Brixton Academy which was on the 7 and 8 April 2011.

The band was formed in early 1995, and their debut single “Salva Mea (Save Me)” was released in July that year. Jazz acted as a vocalist, whilst Bliss constructed most of the music herself electronically, but also played the piano, violin, saxophone and bass guitar. Rollo heads and produces the band. Lead female vocals for many of their songs are performed by Pauline Taylor, who also performed lead vocals for singles by Rollo released under his monikers Rollo Goes Mystic and Rollo Goes Spiritual. Albums released by Faithless include Reverence (which reached number 26), Sunday 8Pm, Outrospective and No Roots all  released between 1996 and 2004, with a greatest hits compilation album out in 2005 In light of their dance roots, each of the four studio albums has also been followed with a subsequent bonus disc of remixes. Their fifth album, To All New Arrivals, was released in 2006. Album number six, The Dance, was released on 16 May 2010, after a four year recording break for the band.

Posted in books, nature, Photography, Science-tech, Television

Micro Monsters 3D

I would like to watch Sir David’ Attenborough’s latest fascinating documentary series Micro Monsters 3D which starts Saturday 15th June on Sky One. It has been made using  revolutionary technolgy such as macrophotography ultraviolet lighting and 3d offers the audience a unique point-of-view and transports and  immerses them into  the mysterious kigdom of piders, insects, arthropods, ants, wasps and bugs  revealing the great detail, astonishing beauty, amazing variety and bizarre adaptations in the fascinaing and unpredictable world of ‘alien’ crepy crawlies . From ferocious scorpions with paralysing stings, to Bombarier beetles , which  spray boiwho ing chemicals out of its ‘anal gun’ at high pressures to shock and iritate these would-be predators, and assassin bugs that clothe themselves in their victims’ corpses, to Emerald Cockroach Wasps, whose female goes ou in search of a female cockroach and stings it twice; first to disable, ten to urn it into a servant. She then leads the zombie cockroach down a dark hole and lays a single egg on it. The lavae hatch and slowly eat the living tissue of the cockroach before emerging as fully-grown adults. Another species The Paper Wasps  were less outwardly violent than the Emerald Cockroach Wasp but their nests are full of females fighting it out to be the dominant queen.

The six episodes were Filmed in many locations including the plains of Africa and the Australian outback, One sequence shows a wasp in a flight stinging a cockroach that took 10 hours to fully capture.  To film the arthropods, which were sometimes less than a millimetre long, the team used macrophotography that can film tiny animals to make them appear larger than life. The series also looks at how Harsh winters hit honey bees,The series also features an enormous Goliath Beetle locked in ferocious combat for a mate, and the crew also donned protective suits so that they could get face-to-face with bees performing their honey dance.

They also travelled to the Outback in Australia to capture the deadly Redback Spider, which weaves vertical strands and when a bug becomes attached to it, the spider can hoist the prey up like a bungee. While Another species The Portia Jumping Spider uses its skills to hunt other spiders. By plucking the webs of unsuspecting prey to fool them into thinking it is a leaf blowing in the breeze, or even a trapped fly and then luring the targeted spider to its death.  as well as Ogre-Faced Spiders, who use their acute vision and cunning to trap prey by spinning a stretchy square net, holding it by the corners and hanging above insect highways.  keeping an eye out for any unsuspecting prey walking underneath and striking in a split second, catching the bug in its stretchy tangled net.Another  spider the film managed to capture in 3D was the Stegodyphus who build huge nests in trees and by working together can take down a mantis, for example, many times their own size, like a pack of wolves.David also filmed the Australian Sydney Funnel Web spider as well as the Great Raft Spider, which live and hunt near and on the water and use their ferocious powerful jaws to catch anything up to the size of small fish

The series also features a number of different ant colonies and species & shows the inner-workings of an ant colony and features a 20 million-strong Driver Ant colony and looks at how they attack en masse, and examines their behaviour as they cross huge areas eating everything in their path. Another species featured is the Tramp Ant, whose first born male Tramp Ant will attempt to kill any rival males as they emerge. However his jaws aren’t strong enough to do this so he recruits female workers to finish the job, smearing a pheromone that causes the females to slaughter hi s rivals Leaving the male  to mate with all the queens he wants. Adult Australian Green Ants are also featured and they pick up their colony’s larvae and use them as living glue guns to stick the leaves of their new nest together.  Leafcutter ants are also featured for whom  a natural assault course was built suspended by very fine fishing wire.

Another episode features the Burrowing Cockroach from western Australia, which is the heaviest cockroach in the world and  the Periplaneta Americana cockroach, also known as the common American cockroach which is one of the fastest cockroaches on Earth which the team struggled to keep up with because the 3D camera rigs were too slow.  The series also features an enormous Goliath Beetle locked in ferocious combat for a mate. Other insects featured include the Spiny Flower Mantis, the Malachite Butterfly, the Damselfly and  the incredible detail of a mosquito sucking blood from a human. The team also filmed with an ultraviolet light and discovered that scorpions have a surprisingly delicate night-time mating ritual. The Nassonia Jewel Wasp meanwhile is just 1 mm big and also has a complex courtship ritual. The male will rub pheromones onto the female’s antennae to persuade her to mate. Once mated, the male will perform another ritual that stops her from wanting to mate again.

  • Episode 1 – Conflict (15th June)The hunt for food brings bugs into conflict. Some develop extraordinary ways to attack. Others have devastatingly effective defences.Featuring: the acid-spraying Bombardier Beetle; the Antlion’s deadly sandpit; the Trapdoor Spider’s silken trip-wires; and the Assassin Bug, its back adorned with dead insects, a disguise that lets it live unchallenged amongst its victims
  • .Episode 2 – Predator (22nd June)Nothing wants to be eaten – and so bugs that feed on other bugs have devised amazing ways to defeat the defences of their prey.Featuring: the Whirligig Beetle that uses the water as a radar system; the uber-sophisticated Portia Spider; the Ogre-Faced Spider’s portable net; and the Cockroach Wasp, which tames a cockroach so its young can eat it alive.
  • Episode 3 – Courtship (29th June)Life is all about making the next generation. Bugs must choose the best mate, and they have many ways to seduce a prospective partner.Featuring: dancing Scorpions; perfume-wearing Nassonia Wasps; the Tropical Cricket which seduces the female with bribes; and the deadly embrace of the Praying Mantis.
  • Episode 4 – Sex (6th July)After courtship comes sex, with every male wanting to ensure that the next generation is his.Featuring: the Harvestman Spider, which has no use for sex and reproduces solely by cloning; the tiny male Orb Spider, capable of sneaking up on a female and mating without her noticing; and the Butterfly, an eating machine as a caterpillar and a sex machine as a butterfly.
  • Episode 5 – Colony (13th July)Some arthropods have found a new way to prosper in the world. Instead of fighting each other, they co-operate.Featuring: the Burrowing Cockroach, a bug that cares for her young; Social Spiders, living together in a single 30-metre web; Bumblebees, whose queen controls the hive with a chemical that renders the other bees sterile; and Green Ants, using their larvae as glue to hold their nest together.
  • Episode 6 – Super-Organism (20th July)The ultimate bug invention – colonies so vast that they rival human megacities in both size and complexity.Featuring: Honey Bees, using dance as a crucial communication tool; Termites, insect city-building on an unsurpassed scale; the Leafcutter Ants that have taken up farming; and the Argentine Ant, with a colony of billions that stretches, literally, across a continent.
Posted in films & DVD

Man of Steel

I would like to watch the Superman reboot “Man of Steel”, which is out in cinemas on June 14th 2013. Directed by Zack Snyder, with Christopher Nolan involved in roduction . The film stars British actor Henry Cavill as Superman and also stars Amy Adams as Lois Lane, Russell Crowe as Jor-El, Kevin Costner as Jonathan Kent, Diane Lane as Martha Kent, Michael Shannon as the villainous General Zod and Laurence Fishburne as Daily Planet editor Perry White.

The film explores the events that led his biological parents Jor-El(Russell Crowe) and Lara Lor-Van (Ayelet Zurer) to send Clark to Earth and what it was like growing up in Kansas before he eventually discovers his true identity, Including how Kent used his powers as a child , as well as the incident when his school bus crashed into water, nearly drowning everyone aboard until he saves the day but risks exposing his true identity, which disturbs Clark’s adoptive father Jonathan,  played by Kevin Costner, who is afraid that his son will be hounded if he exposes his true identity and offers this advice ‘You just have to decide what kind of man you want to grow up to be, Clark. Whoever that man is… he’s going to change the world.’. Clark then discovers the Fortress of Solitude where he learns the full scope of who he is and where he comes from, and decides what kind of man he wants to be when he encounters General Zod.

There is also speculation of that “Man of Steel” could also Tie-In with a forthcoming Justice League of America film and  director Zack Snyder hinted that Man of Steel could be used to set up a proposed Justice League movie. featuring Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman uniting in a single cause. Snyder’s comments have been widely interpreted as a clear sign that Warner will use Man of Steel as a launchpad for a series of linked movies set in the DC Comics universe, just as Disney’s Marvel Studios did with its selection of films (beginning with 2008′s Iron Man) in order to set up The Avengers Assemble. There is also speculation that Batman could show up in Man of Steel, possibly in a post credits sequence. There is also speculation that one other actor from the Nolan films will do “something” in the JLA film and there are is also the prospect of many other forthcoming films to look forward to, with Iron Man 3, Thor 2: The Dark World , Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Guardians of the Galaxy being released in 2014, and Antman, the Avengers 2 and Justice League of America being released in 2015.

Posted in books, Events, Television

Tribute to Jerome K. Jerome

best known for the humorous travelogue Three Men in a Boat, the English Writer and Humourist Jerome K Jerome, sadlly passed away 14th June 1927. born 2nd May 1859  in Caldmore, Walsall, England,  he moved to London, where He attended St Marylebone Grammar School. 14 June 1927). The young Jerome wished to go into politics or be a man of letters, but the death of his father at age 13, and his mother at age 15, forced him to quit his studies and find work to support himself. He was employed at the London and North Western Railway, initially collecting coal that fell along the railway, and remained there for four years.In 1877, inspired by his older sister Blandina’s love for the theatre, Jerome decided to try his hand at acting, under the stage name Harold Crichton.

He joined a repertory troupe that produced plays on a shoestring budget,  Jerome was penniless at the time. After three years on the road and with no evident success, the 21-year-old Jerome decided he’d had enough with stage life, and sought other occupations. He tried to become a journalist, writing essays, satires and short storie, but most of these were rejected. Over the next few years he was a school teacher, a packer, and a solicitor’s clerk. Finally, in 1885, he had some success with On the Stage — and Off, a comic memoir of his experiences with the acting troupe. Idle Thoughts of an Idle Fellow, a collection of humorous essays, followed in 1886. On 21 June 1888, Jerome married Georgina Elizabeth Henrietta Stanley Marris (a.k.a. Ettie), nine days after she had divorced her first husband. She had a daughter from her previous, five-year marriage, nicknamed Elsie (her actual name was also Georgina). The honeymoon took place on the Thames “in a little boat,” a fact which was to have a significant influence on his next, and most important work, Three men in a boatt.which Jerome sat down to write  as soon as the couple returned from their honeymoon. In the novel, his wife was replaced by his longtime friends George Wingrave (George) and Carl Hentschel (Harris). This allowed him to create comic situations which were nonetheless intertwined with the history of the Thames region. The book, published in 1889, became an instant success and is still in print. Its popularity was such that the number of registered Thames boats went up fifty percent in the year following its publication, and it contributed significantly to the Thames becoming a tourist attraction.

The book has also been adapted to movies, TV and radio shows, stage plays, and even a musical. Its writing style influenced many humorists and satirists in England and elsewhere.   Following on from this success Jerome dedicated all of his time to writing and wrote a number of plays, essays and novels, but was never able to recapture the success of Three Men in a Boat.In 1898, a short stay in Germany inspired Three Men on the Bummel, the sequel to Three Men in a Boat. While reintroducing the same characters in the setting of a foreign bicycle tour, the book was  unable to capture the life-force and historic roots of its predecessor, and only enjoyed a mild success. In 1902 he published the novel Paul Kelver, which is widely regarded as autobiographical. His 1908 play The Passing of the Third Floor Back introduced a more sombre and religious Jerome. This was a tremendous commercial success but was condemned by critics.During World War I, he volunteered as an ambulance driver for the French Army but this experience was said to have dampened his spirit, as did the death in 1921 of his stepdaughter, Elsie. In 1926, Jerome published his autobiography, My Life and Times. Shortly afterwards, the Borough of Walsall conferred on him the title Freeman of the Borough. During these last years, Jerome spent more time at his farmhouse in Ewelme near Wallingford.

Sadly in June 1927  Jerome suffered a paralytic stroke and a cerebral haemorrhage during a motoring tour and lay in Northampton General Hospital for two weeks before succumbing on 14 June. He was cremated at Golders Green and his ashes buried at St Mary’s Church, Ewelme, Oxfordshire. Elsie, Ettie, and his sister Blandina are buried beside him. His legacy lives on in the form of a French graphic novel series named Jérôme K. Jérôme Bloche after the author and There is a street named after him called Jerome Road in Alumwell and Walsall Museum has some of Jerome’s writing equipment on permanent display.

Posted in books


English writer G.K Chesterton sadlyy passed away 14 June 1936. born 29th May 1874, He published works on philosophy, ontology, poetry, plays, journalism, public lectures and debates, literary and art criticism, biography, Christian apologetics, and fiction, including fantasy and detective fiction. Chesterton has been called the “prince of paradox”. Time magazine, in a review of a biography of Chesterton, observed of his writing style: “Whenever possible Chesterton made his points with popular sayings, proverbs, allegories— first carefully turning them inside out.” For example, Chesterton wrote “Thieves respect property. They merely wish the property to become their property that they may more perfectly respect it.”Chesterton is well known for his reasoned apologetics and even some of those who disagree with him have recognized the universal appeal of such works as Orthodoxy and The Everlasting Man.Chesterton, as a political thinker, cast aspersions on both progressivism and conservatism, saying, “The whole modern world has divided itself into Conservatives and Progressives. The business of Progressives is to go on making mistakes. The business of the Conservatives is to prevent the mistakes from being corrected.”

Chesterton routinely referred to himself as an “orthodox” Christian, and came to identify such a position more and more with Catholicism, eventually converting to Roman Catholicism from High Church Anglicanism. George Bernard Shaw, Chesterton’s “friendly enemy” according to Time, said of him, “He was a man of colossal genius”. Biographers have identified him as a successor to such Victorian authors as Matthew Arnold, Thomas Carlyle, John Henry Cardinal Newman, and John Ruskin.Among his best known works are The Napoleon of Notting Hill, Heretics, Charles Dickens: A Critical Study, The Man Who Was Thursday, Orthodoxy, Manalive, Father Brown short stories (detective fiction), Eugenics and Other Evils, Saint Francis of Assisi (1923), Doubleday, The Everlasting Man & Saint Thomas Aquinas. A lot of these can also be found on the Project Gutenberg Website.