Robert Goddard Never go Back

I am about to start reading the exciting thriller Never Go Back by Robert Goddard, which tells the story of the reunion of a group of ex RAF servicemen including reluctant anti-hero Harry Barnett and his freind Barry Chipchase who featured in earlier novels ( Out of the blue and Out of the sun). Harry lives in England but goes to Scotland to take everything out of his mother’s house, where she had died a few months previousy. His friends came to the house and mention that there s a reunion for them to mark the 50th anniversary of their time at a remote Scottish castle,where they and several other misfits and ne’r-do-wells had spent some months  in the 1950’s participating in a forlorn and  rather dubious series of experiments called  `Operation Clean Sheet’ . And Despite his wife’s misgivings Harry doesn’t listen and goes anyway.

However when his friend goes missinghe receives a call from a mysterious caller,  the comrades think he might have got of the train and taken a car. But at the hotel a group of police men arrive and tell Harry that his friend had committed suicide and is later to be found on the train tracks. Then When Harry goes to buy a camera to take pictures, he bumps into one of his ex-RAF comrades. Harry asks him to stay at the castle but he doesn’t want to and as more members of the party get “bumped off” it is obvious that things are not what they seem and that  someone may have organised a series of accidents for them and Harry is drawn into a dark and spiralling mystery as he struggles to unravel the past and unlock a buried truth about `Operation Clean Sheet’  which could means certain death for those who discover it.

Robert Goddard was educated at Wallisdean County Junior School and Price’s Grammar School in Fareham  before going on to study history at the University of Cambridge. After unsuccessful attempts at careers in both journalism and teaching, he worked for a time as an educational admnistrator in Devon before becoming a full-time novelist. His thrillers usually have a historical element and settings in provincial English towns and cities, and many plot twists. They usually involve the lead character gradually uncoverign a conspiracy which has long been kept secret, by means of historical documents such as diaries or by means of word-of-mouth accounts that have been handed down from one person to another. Goddard’s first novel, Past Caring, was published in 1986. He has since written over twenty more novels, the majority of which have been Sunday Times Top Ten best-sellers in the UK.

Gene Roddenberry… still boldly going, somewhere out there

Best known for creating the American science fiction series Star Trek, the American television screenwriter, producer and futurist”Gene” Roddenberry sadly passed away on 24 October 1991. Hewas born August 19th, 1921 in El Paso, Texas.He grew up in Los Angeles, California where his father worked as a police officer. During World War II, His father flew 89 combat missions in the United States Army Air Forces and once he was demobbed he worked as a commercial pilot after the war. Frakes later followed in his father’s footsteps, joining the Los Angeles Police Department to provide for his family, but began focusing on writing scripts for television.As a freelance writer, Roddenberry wrote scripts for Highway Patrol, Have Gun–Will Travel, and other series, before creating and producing his own television program, The Lieutenant. In 1964, Roddenberry created Star Trek, which premiered in 1966 and ran for three seasons before being canceled. Syndication of Star Trek led to increasing popularity, and Roddenberry continued to create, produce, and consult on Star Trek films and the television series, Star Trek: The Next Generation until his death. Roddenberry received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and he was inducted into the Science Fiction Hall of Fame and the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences’ Hall of Fame.

Years after his death, Roddenberry was one of the first humans to have his ashes “buried” in outer space.The fictional Star Trek universe Roddenberry created has spanned over four decades, producing six television series, 725 episodes and eleven films, with a twelfth film currently in post-production and scheduled for a May 2013 release. Additionally, the popularity of the Star Trek universe and films inspired the gentle parody/homage film Galaxy Quest (1999), as well as many books, video games and fan films set in the various “eras” of the Star Trek universe. Gene sadly passed away on October 24th, 1991 but the Star Trek universe he created has left a long lasting legacy, and continues to be very popular.

United Nations Day

In 1947, the United Nations General Assembly declared 24 October, the anniversary of theCharter of the United Nations, as which “shall be devoted to making known to the peoples of the world the aims and achievements of the United Nations and to gaining their support for” its work.In 1971 the United Nations General Assembly adopted a further resolution (United Nations Resolution 2782) declaring that United Nations Day shall be an international holiday and recommended that it should be observed as a public holiday by all United Nations member states.United Nations Day is devoted to making known to peoples of the world the aims and achievements of the United Nations Organization.

United Nations Day is part of United Nations Week, which runs from 20 to 26 October.United Nations Day has traditionally been marked throughout the world with meetings, discussions and exhibits about the achievements and goals of the organization. In 1971, the General Assembly recommended that member states observe it as a public holiday.Several international schools throughout the world also celebrate the diversity of their student body on United Nations Day (although the event is not necessarily celebrated on 24 October). Celebrations often include a show of cultural performances in the evening and a food fair, where food is available from all over the world.In the United States, the President has issued a proclamation each year for United Nations Day since 1946. The most recent such proclamation was issued by Barack Obama. In Kosovo, United Nations Day is an official non-working day as the province is administered by the Interim Administration Mission.

World Development Information Day

In 1972, the United Nations General Assembly decided to institute a World Development Information Day coinciding with United Nations Day on 24 October. The General Assembly had the object of drawing the attention of world public-opinion each year to development problems and the necessity of strengthening international co-operation to solve them.The day was further recognized as the date on which the International Development Strategy for the Second Nations Development Decade was adopted in 1970.On May 17, 1972, the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) proposed measures for information dissemination and for the mobilization of public opinion relative to trade and development problems. These became known as resolution 3038 (XXVII), which the UN General Assembly passed on December 19, 1972. This resolution called for introducing World Development Information Day to help draw the attention of people worldwide to development problems. A further aim of the event is to explain to the general public why it is necessary to strengthen international cooperation to find ways to solve these problems. The assembly also decided that the day should coincide with United Nations Day to stress the central role of development in the UN’s work. World Development Information Day was first held on October 24, 1973, and has been held on this date each year since then.In recent years[when?] many events have interpreted the title of the day slightly differently.[citation needed] These have concentrated on the role that modern information-technologies, such as the Internet and mobile telephones can play in alerting people and finding solutions to problems of trade and development. One of the specific aims of World Development Information Day was to inform and motivate young people and this change may help to further this aim.

ex-Rolling Stones Bill Wyman

album-Rolling-Stones-Exile-On-Main-StreetBill Wyman, former musician with Rock band The Rolling Stones was born October 24th 1936. The Rolling Stones were formed in London in 1962 When Keith Richards and Mick Jagger who were childhood friends and classmates, discovered that they shared a common intereest in the music of Chuck Berry and Muddy Waters. leading to the formation of a band with Dick Taylor (later of Pretty Things). Richards, Taylor, and Jagger found Brian Jones as he sat in playing slide guitar with Alexis Korner’s R&B band, Blues Incorporated,which also had two other future members of the Rolling Stones: Ian Stewart and Charlie WattsOn 12 July 1962 the band played their first gig at the Marquee Club billed as “The Rollin’ Stones”.The line-up was Jagger, Richards and Jones, along with Stewart on piano, and Taylor on bass. Bassist Bill Wyman joined in December 1962 and drummer Charlie Watts the following January 1963 to form the band’s long-standing rhythm section. Their first single, was a cover of Chuck Berry’s “Come On” and their second single, was “I Wanna Be Your Man”, Their third single, Buddy Holly’s “Not Fade Away”. The band’s second UK LP – The Rolling Stones No. 2, yielded the singles “The Last Time”, “(I Can’t Get No)Satisfaction” and “Get Off of My Cloud”. The third album “Aftermath” was released in 1966, contained the singles “Paint It Black”, the ballad “Lady Jane” “Have You Seen Your Mother, Baby, Standing In The Shadow?” “Goin’ Home” and “Under My Thumb”. 1967 saw the release of “Between the Buttons”, which included the double A-side single “Let’s Spend the Night Together” and “Ruby Tuesday”, and the release of the Satanic Majesties Request LP. the next album, Beggars Banquet was an eclectic mix of country and blues-inspired tunes,featuring the singles “Street Fighting Man” “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” and “Sympathy for the Devil. The Stones next album Let It Bleed featured the song “Gimmie Shelter”, “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” “Midnight Rambler” and “Love in Vain”. The next album Sticky Finger was released in 1971.and featured an elaborate cover design by Andy Warhol, and contains the hits, “Brown Sugar”, and “Wild Horses”. The Stones classic double album, Exile on Main St. was released in May 1972. their follow-up to Exile, Goats Head Soup, which featured the hit “Angie”. Their next album was 1974′s It’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll.

sg-rsIn 1978, the band released Some Girls, which included the hit single “Miss You”, the country ballad “Far Away Eyes”, “Beast of Burden”, and “Shattered”. the band released their next albums Emotional Rescue and Tattoo You in 1980 which featured the single “Start Me Up”. in 1982 the Rolling Stones toured Europe to commemorate their 20th anniversary and released their next album Undercover in late 1983. In 1986′s the album Dirty Work was released,which contained the song “Harlem Shuffle”.The next album “Steel Wheels” included the singles “Mixed Emotions”, “Rock and a Hard Place”, “Almost Hear You Sigh” and “Continental Drift”. their next studio album 1994′s Voodoo Lounge,went double platinum in the US. and went on to win the 1995 Grammy Award for Best Rock Album.The Rolling Stones ended the 1990s with the album Bridges to Babylon which was released in 1997. In 2002, the band released Forty Licks, a greatest hits double album, to mark their forty years as a band.the Rolling Stones are one of the of the most commercially successful and critically acclaimed acts in the history of popular music and In early 1989, the Rolling Stones, including Mick Taylor, Ronnie Wood and Ian Stewart (posthumously), were inducted into the American Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Q magazine also named them one of the “50 Bands To See Before You Die”, and popular consensus has accorded them the title of the “World’s Greatest Rock and Roll Band.” Rolling Stone magazine ranked them 4th on their “100 Greatest Artists of All Time” list. The band celebrate their 50th anniversary in the summer of 2012, and have released a book, entitled ’50′, to commemorate the occasion and the single “Doom & Gloom” from  album “Grrrr” (which was released 12th November 2012) is on YouTube.

(Last) Flight of the Concorde(s)

R800px-British_Airways_Concorde_G-BOAC_03Concorde, the iconic retired turbojet-powered supersonic passenger airliner made its last commercial flight on 24 October 2003. Concorde was jointly developed and produced by Aérospatiale and theBritish Aircraft Corporation (BAC) under an Anglo-French treaty. First flown in 1969, Concorde entered service in 1976 and continued commercial flights for 27 years.Among other destinations, Concorde flew regular transatlantic flights fromLondon Heathrow and Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport to New York JFK andWashington Dulles and made the first non-stop crossing of the Atlantic in record-breaking time on 26 September 1973. It is one of only two Supersonic planes to have entered commercial service; the other being the Tupolev Tu-144. Concorde profitably flew these routes in less than half the time of other airliners. With only 20 aircraft built, the development of Concorde was a substantial economic loss; Air France and British Airways also received considerable government subsidies to purchase them.

Concorde was retired in 2003 due to a general downturn in the aviation industry after the type’s only crash in 2000, the 9/11 terrorist attacks in 2001 and a decision by Airbus, the successor firm of Aérospatiale and BAC, to discontinue maintenance support. Concorde’s name reflects the development agreement between the United Kingdom and France. In the UK, any or all of the type—unusual for an aircraft—are known simply as “Concorde”, without an article. The aircraft is regarded by many people as an aviation icon and an engineering marvel.Scheduled flights began on 21 January 1976 on the London–Bahrain and Paris–Rio (viaDakar) routes, with BA flights using the “Speedbird Concorde” call sign to notify air traffic control of the aircraft’s unique abilities and restrictions, but the French using their normal callsigns. The Paris-Caracas route (via Azores) began on 10 April. The US Congress had just banned Concorde landings in the US, mainly due to citizen protest over sonic booms, preventing launch on the coveted North Atlantic routes. The US Secretary of Transportation,William Coleman, gave permission for Concorde service to Washington Dulles International Airport, and Air France and British Airways simultaneously began service to Dulles on 24 May 1976. When the US ban on JFK Concorde operations was lifted in February 1977, New York banned Concorde locally. The ban came to an end on 17 October 1977 when the Supreme Court of the United States declined to overturn a lower court’s ruling rejecting efforts by the Port Authority and a grass-roots campaign led by Carol Berman to continue the ban. In spite of complaints about noise, the noise report noted that Air Force One, at the time a Boeing VC-137, was louder than Concorde at subsonic speeds and during takeoff and landing.

By its 30th flight anniversary on 2 March 1999 Concorde had clocked up 920,000 flight hours, with more than 600,000 supersonic, much more than all of the other supersonic aircraft in the Western world combined.On its way to the Museum of Flight in November 2003, G-BOAG set a New York City-to-Seattle speed record of 3 hours, 55 minutes, and 12 seconds.

By around 1981 in the UK, the future for Concorde looked bleak. The British government had lost money operating Concorde every year, and moves were afoot to cancel the service entirely. A cost projection came back with greatly reduced metallurgical testing costs because the test rig for the wings had built up enough data to last for 30 years and could be shut down. Despite this, the government was not keen to continue. In 1983, BA’s managing director, Sir John King, convinced the government to sell the aircraft outright to British Airways for £16.5 million plus the first year’s profits. King recognised that, in Concorde, BA had a premier product that was underpriced. Market research had revealed that many customers thought Concorde was more expensive than it actually was; thus ticket prices were progressively raised to match these perceptions. It is reported that British Airways then ran Concorde at a profit, unlike their French counterpart. Between 1984 and 1991, British Airways flew a thrice-weekly Concorde service between London and Miami, stopping at Washington Dulles International Airport.Until 2003, Air France and British Airways continued to operate the New York services daily. Concorde routinely flew to Grantley Adams International Airport, Barbados, during the winter holiday season. Prior to the Air France Paris crash, several UK and French tour operators operated charter flights to European destinations on a regular basis; the charter business was viewed as lucrative by British Airways and Air France

.

Unfortunately On 25 July 2000, Air France Flight 4590, registration F-BTSC, crashed in Gonesse, France after departing from Paris Charles de Gaulleen route to John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City, killing all 100 passengers and nine crew members on board the flight, and four people on the ground. It was the only fatal accident involving Concorde.According to the official investigation conducted by the Bureau d’Enquêtes et d’Analyses pour la Sécurité de l’Aviation Civile (BEA), the crash was caused by a titanium strip that fell from a Continental Airlines DC-10 that had taken off minutes earlier. This metal fragment punctured a tyre on Concorde’s left main wheel bogie during takeoff. The tyre exploded, a piece of rubber hit the fuel tank, and while the fuel tank was not punctured, the impact caused a shock-wave which caused one of the fuel valves in the wing to burst open. This caused a major fuel leak from the tank, which then ignited due to sparking electrical landing gear wiring severed by another piece of the same tyre. The crew shut down engine number 2 in response to a fire warning, and with engine number 1 surging and producing little power, the aircraft was unable to gain height or speed. The aircraft entered a rapid pitch-up then a violent descent, rolling left and crashing tail-low into the Hôtelissimo Les Relais Bleus Hotel in Gonesse.

On 6 December 2010,

Continental Airlines and John Taylor, one of their mechanics, were found guilty of involuntary manslaughter, but on 30 November 2012 a French court overturned the conviction, saying mistakes by Continental and Taylor did not make them criminally responsible.

P

rior to the accident, Concorde had been arguably the safest operational passenger airliner in the world in terms of passenger deaths-per-kilometres travelled with zero, but had a rate of tyre damage some 30 times higher than subsonic airliners from 1995 to 2000. Safety improvements were made in the wake of the crash, including more secure electrical controls, Kevlar lining on the fuel tanks and specially developed burst-resistant tyres.The first flight after the modifications departed from London Heathrow on 17 July 2001, piloted by BA Chief Concorde Pilot Mike Bannister. During the 3-hour 20-minute flight over the mid-Atlantic towards Iceland, Bannister attained Mach 2.02 and 60,000 ft (18,000 m) before returning to RAF Brize Norton. The test flight, intended to resemble the London–New York route, was declared a success and was watched on live TV, and by crowds on the ground at both locations. The first flight with passengers after the accident took place on 11 September 2001, landing shortly before the World Trade Center attacks in the United States. This was not a revenue flight, as all the passengers were BA employees.Normal commercial operations resumed on 7 November 2001 by BA and AF (aircraft G-BOAE and F-BTSD), with service to New York JFK, where passengers were welcomed by then mayor Rudy Giuliani.. This aircraft flew for 22,296 hours between its first flight in 1976 and its final flight in 2000.

On 10 April 2003, Air France and British Airways simultaneously announced that they would retire Concorde later that year and Concorde made its last commercial flight on 24 October 2003. Citing low passenger numbers following the 25 July 2000 crash, the slump in air travel following 11 September 2001, and rising maintenance costs. Although Concorde was technologically advanced when introduced in the 1970s, 30 years later its analogue cockpit was dated. There had been little commercial pressure to upgrade Concorde due to a lack of competing aircraft, unlike other airliners of the same era such as the Boeing 747. By its retirement, it was the last aircraft in British Airways’ fleet that had a flight engineer; other aircraft, such as the modernised 747-400, had eliminated the role. On 11 April 2003, Virgin Atlantic founder Sir Richard Branson announced that the company was interested in purchasing British Airways’ Concorde fleet for their nominal original price of £1 (US$1.57 in April 2003) each. British Airways dismissed the idea, prompting Virgin to increase their offer to £1 million each. Branson claimed that when BA was privatised, a clause in the agreement required them to allow another British airline to operate Concorde if BA ceased to do so, but the Government denied the existence of such a clause.In October 2003, Branson wrote in The Economist that his final offer was “over £5 million” and that he had intended to operate the fleet “for many years to come”. The chances for keeping Concorde in service were stifled by Airbus’s lack of support for continued maintenance. Ithas also been suggested that Concorde was not withdrawn for the reasons usually given but that it became apparent during the grounding of Concorde that the airlines could make more profit carrying first class passengers subsonically it has been suggested that the Air France retirement of its Concorde fleet was the result of a conspiracy between Air France Chairman Jean-Cyril Spinetta and Airbus CEO Noel Forgeard, and stemmed as much from a fear of being found criminally liable under French law for future Concorde accidents as from simple economics. In addition A lack of commitment to Concorde from Director of Engineering Alan MacDonald was cited as having undermined BA’s resolve to continue operating Concorde.