People of the Sea, People of the River, People of the Earth

I am about to start reading People of the Sea by bestselling authors and archaeologists w. Michael Gear and Kathleen O’Neal Gear. This is a novel which bring North America’s forgotten past vividly to life and dramatizes the initial development of the California Native American culture and the imminent extinction of mammoths and mastodons as a result of climatic warming circa 8000 bc.when the glaciers of the Sierra Nevada start melting, destroying the habitat of the mastodons, creating the rich land that will become California. The coastal people struggle to understand the changing world around them: their seer Sunchaser has lost his way to the Spirit World, and mammoths continue to disappear.When a beautiful woman arrives, fleeing from her abusive husband, the people know what they must do–for if the Spirits are already taking the animals away, what will happen if they shelter a stranger? Now Sunchaser must make a choice–between the woman he loves and the preservation of his people’s world. People of the Sea Is the fifth book in The First North Americans series.

I would also like to read People of the River another gripping saga of pre-historic America by bestselling authors and archaeologists w. Michael Gear and Kathleen O’Neal Gear, that takes us to the Mississippi Valley and the tribe known as the Mound builders. It is a time of troubles. In Cahokia, the corn crop is failing again and a warchief—and the warrior woman he may never possess—are disgusted by their Chief’s lust for tribute. Now even the gods have turned their faces, closing the underworld to the seers. If the gods have abandoned the people, there is no hope—unless it comes in the form of a young girl who is learning to Dream of Power.

 

People of the Earth is another sweeping epic of prehistory by bestselling authors and archaeologists w. Michael Gear and Kathleen O’Neal Gear,  which I would like to read. It brings the true story of the ancestors of today’s Native American peoples to life in an unforgettable saga of hardship and passion, it features the story of a woman torn between two peoples and two dreams, of the two men who love her and the third who must have her, and of the vision given to the peoples long ago by the spirit of the wolf. These novels have been described as rousing tales of deadly pursuit and spiritual journeys.” and”A vivid and fascinating portrait of early human life in America.

The Who

the-whoThe Late great John Entwistle, Bass Player with The Who, was born on 9th October 1944. Formed in 1964 by Roger Daltrey (lead vocals, harmonica and guitar), Pete Townshend, John Entwistle (bass guitar, brass and vocals) and Keith Moon (drums and percussion). The Who became known for energetic live performances which often included instrument destruction. So far The Who have sold about 100 million records, and have charted 27 top forty singles in the United Kingdom and United States, as well as 17 top ten albums, with 18 Gold, 12 Platinum and 5 Multi-Platinum album awards in the United States alone.  

The Who rose to fame in the UK with a series of top ten hit singles, boosted in part by pirate radio stations such as Radio Caroline, beginning in January 1965 with“I Can’t Explain”. The albums My Generation, A Quick One  and The Who Sell Out followed, with the first two reaching the UK top five. They first hit the US Top 40 in 1967 with “Happy Jack” and hit the top ten later that year with “I Can See for Miles”.Their fame grew with memorable performances at the Monterey Pop, Woodstock and Isle of Wight music festivals. The 1969 release of Tommy was the first in a series of top ten albums in the US, followed by Live at Leeds, Who’s Next, Quadrophenia, The Who by Numbers, Who Are You, and The Kids Are Alright.   Moon died at the age of 32 in 1978, after which the band released two studio albums, the UK and US top five Face Dances and the US top ten It’s Hard, with drummer Kenney Jones, before disbanding in 1983. They re-formed at events such as Live Aid and for reunion tours such as their 25th anniversary tour and the Quadrophenia tours of 1996 and 1997. In 2000, the three surviving original members discussed recording an album of new material, but their plans temporarily stalled upon Entwistle’s death at the age of 57 in 2002. Townshend and Daltrey continue to perform as The Who, and in 2006 they released the studio album Endless Wire, which reached the top ten in the UK and US.The Who were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990, their first year of eligibility; the display describes them as “Prime contenders, in the minds of many, for the title of World’s Greatest Rock Band.” Time magazine wrote in 1979 that “No other group has ever pushed rock so far, or asked so much from it.” Rolling Stone magazine wrote: “Along with The Beatles and The Rolling Stones, The Who complete the holy trinity of British rock.” They received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the British Phonographic Industry in 1988, and from the Grammy Foundation in 2001, for creative contributions of outstanding artistic significance to the field of recording. In 2008 surviving members Townshend and Daltrey were honoured at the 31st Annual Kennedy Center Honours. That same year VH1 Rock Honours paid tribute to The Who and Jack Black of Tenacious D called them “the greatest band of all time.

John Lennon

English musician, singer and songwriter John Ono Lennon, MBE, born John Winston Lennon was born 9 October 1940 He rose to worldwide fame as a founder member of The Beatles, one of the most commercially successful and critically acclaimed acts in the history of popular music. Together with Paul McCartney, he formed one of the most celebrated songwriting partnerships of the 20th century.Born and raised in Liverpool, Lennon became involved as a teenager in the skiffle craze; his first band, the Quarrymen, evolved into the Beatles in 1960 and went on to become the most commercially successful and critically acclaimed act in the history of popular music and have had more number-one albums on the British charts and sold more singles in the UK than any other act. The band’s best-known lineup consisted of John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr. Rooted in skiffle and 1950s rock and roll, the group later utilised several genres, ranging from pop ballads to psychedelic rock, often incorporating classical and other elements in innovative ways. In the early 1960s, their enormous popularity first emerged as “Beatlemania”, but as their songwriting grew in sophistication, they came to be perceived by many fans and cultural observers as an embodiment of the ideals shared by the era’s socio-cultural revolutions.They built their reputation playing clubs in Liverpool and Hamburg over a three-year period from 1960. Manager Brian Epstein moulded them into a professional act and producer George Martin enhanced their musical potential. They gained popularity in the United Kingdom after their first single, “Love Me Do”, became a modest hit in late 1962. They acquired the nickname the “Fab Four” as Beatlemania grew in Britain over the following year, and by early 1964 they had become international stars, leading the “British Invasion” of the United States pop market. From 1965 on, they produced what many critics consider their finest material, including the innovative and widely influential albums Rubber Soul (1965), Revolver (1966), Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967), The Beatles (1968), and Abbey Road (1969).

After their break-up of the Beatles in 1970, Lennon embarked on a solo career that produced the critically acclaimed albums John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band and Imagine, and iconic songs such as “Give Peace a Chance” and “Imagine”. Lennon revealed a rebellious nature and acerbic wit in his music, writing, drawings, on film and in interviews. He was also Controversial through his political and peace activism, he moved to New York City in 1971, where his criticism of the Vietnam War resulted in a lengthy attempt by Richard Nixon’s administration to deport him, while some of his songs were adopted as anthems by the anti-war movement.After his marriage to Yoko Ono in 1969, he changed his name to John Ono Lennon. Lennon disengaged himself from the music business in 1975 to devote time to raising his infant son Sean, (Who was also born October 9th thirty five years later in 1975)but re-emerged with Ono in 1980 with the new album Double Fantasy. He was murdered three weeks after its release. As of 2012 Lennon’s solo album sales in the United States exceed 14 million units, and as writer, co-writer or performer, he is responsible for 25 number-one singles on the US Hot 100 chart. In 2002 a BBC poll on the 100 Greatest Britons voted him eighth, and in 2008, Rolling Stone ranked him the fifth-greatest singer of all-time. He was posthumously inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1987 and into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994. The Beatles topped Billboard magazine’s list of the all-time most successful Hot 100 artists In 2008, The Beatles also hold the record for most number-one hits on the Hot 100 chart with 20. They have received 7 Grammy Awards from the American National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, an Academy Award for Best Original Song Score and 15 Ivor Novello Awards from the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors. They were collectively included in Time magazine’s compilation of the 20th century’s 100 most influential people.

gravity

Another science-fiction movie I would like to watch is Gravity which stars Sandra Bullock, as Bio-medical engineer Dr. Ryan Stone, a Mission Specialist on her first space shuttle mission, STS-157, who is accompanied by veteran astronaut Matt Kowalski (George Clooney), who is commanding his final expedition. During the final spacewalk to service the Hubble Space Telescope,Mission Control in Houston warns Stone and Kowalski that debris from a Russian missile strike on a defunct satellite has caused a chain reaction of destruction and there is a field of debris hurtling rapidly towards the Space Shuttle at high speed and they must abort the mission. Shortly afterward, communications from Mission Control are lost, though Stone and Kowalski continue to transmit in hopes that the ground crew can hear them. Then when High-speed debris damages the space shuttle Explorer Stone tumbles out of control away from it. Kowalski rescues Stone and Tethered together, the two make their way back to Explorer, which they discover has been damaged far beyond usability, and the rest of the crew are dead. So They decide to  try and make their way to the International Space Station (ISS), which is in orbit only about 100 km (60 mi) away. But this is fraught with danger and Kowalski estimates they only have 90 minutes before the debris field completes an orbit and threatens them again and they face both a race against time to find safety nearly 400 miles above the Earth, with no one to help…

The film was directed by Alphonso Cuarón, cinematography was by Emmanuel Lubezki and visual-effects were by effects wizard Tim Webber . The script, is by Cuarón and his son Jonás.This movie has some enthralling detail, it offers thrills, humor, dazzle, disaster, poetic vision and mythic reach. Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey set the bar for philosophical exploration of an unknowable universe by gazing outward. With deceptive simplicity, Gravity looks inward at something closer at hand but just as profound: the intricacies of the human heart. Cuarón’s artistry is also evident in films as diverse as Y Tu Mamá También, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (the third and best of the Potter series) and the indisputably brilliant Children of Men.

Elysium

I really enjoy good science-fiction movies and I would like to go and see Elysium which stars Matt Damon  and is Directed by. South African filmmaker Neill Blomkamp, who directed 2009’s District 9 which was an allegory of apartheid that took four Oscar nods. Elusium is set in the yer 2154 and is a Dystopian look at   a ruined, overpopulated Earth which looks like a garbage dump (sounds like Wall.E) and features Matt Damon as Max da Costa, a cynical factory worker, tattooed, head shaved, armored with attitude who  is getting massive amounts of aggravation from droids: robots who run the place for the onepercenters- the privileged few who live on Elysium, a space station orbiting Earth and run with an iron hand and no mercy by Defense Secretary Delacourt (Jodie Foster), a Dick Cheney in heels. (Sounds like Doctor Who Robots of Death or Oblivion).

Max Da Costa, helps engineer those droids. But he can’t resist antagonising them and getting them really angry,  Unforrtunately  he gets irradiated in a factory accident, and is given just five days to live. Only Elysium offers an instant cure, by providing Max with an exoskeleton of armor painfully welded to his body.( Isn’t that similar to the solution Davros offered the Daleks in Doctor Who when they started mutating from Radiation Poisoning?)

Anyway Elysium, which was partly filmed in Mexico city, also delivers sci-fi without dumbing it down. It’s a hell-raiser with a social conscience and the script bristles with biting humor, and it is slicker than District 9 and sometimes shouts its themes about immigration, poverty, pollution and health care. It has also been described as  popcorn movie that revels in head-spinning action. The fight scenes with Damon and Sharlto Copley as a nut-job villain are a total blast. Elysium is the unruly antidote to the fatuous futurism of After Earth.