Tribute to C.S.Lewis

LWW-CSLIrish novelist, poet, academic, medievalist, literary critic, essayist, lay theologian, and Christian apologist C. S. Lewis was born on 29th November 1898 in Belfast, Ireland. He is known for both his fictional work, especially The Screwtape Letters, The Chronicles of Narnia, and The Space Trilogy and his non-fiction, such as Mere Christianity, Miracles, and The Problem of Pain. Lewis and fellow novelist J. R. R. Tolkien were close friends. Both authors served on the English faculty at Oxford University, and were active in the informal Oxford literary group known as the “Inklings”. At the age of 32 Lewis returned to the Anglican Communion, becoming “a very ordinary layman of the Church of England”. His faith had a profound effect on his work, and his wartime radio broadcasts on the subject of Christianity brought him wide acclaim. Lewis’s works have been translated into more than 30 languages and have sold millions of copiesAmong his best known novels is The Pilgrim’s Regress, which was written in 1933 shortly after he converted to Christianity, this depicted his experience with Christianity in the style of John Bunyan’s The Pilgrim’s Progress.  Lewis also wroteThe “Space Trilogy” (also called the “Cosmic Trilogy” or “Ransom Trilogy”) which dealt with what Lewis saw as the de-humanising trends in contemporary science fiction. The first book, Out of the Silent Planet, was apparently written following a conversation with his friend JRR Tolkien about these trends.

Lewis agreed to write a “space travel” story and Tolkien a “time travel” one, but Tolkien never completed “The Lost Road”, linking his Middle-earth to the modern world. Lewis’s main character Elwin Ransom is based in part on Tolkien, a fact Tolkien alludes to in his letters. The second novel, Perelandra, depicts a new Garden of Eden on the planet Venus, a new Adam and Eve, and a new “serpent figure” to tempt them. The story can be seen as an account of what could have happened if the terrestrial Eve had resisted the serpent’s temptation and avoided the Fall of Man. The third novel, That Hideous Strength, develops the theme of nihilistic science threatening traditional human values, embodied in Arthurian legend.Many ideas in the trilogy, particularly opposition to de-humanization as portrayed in the third book, are presented more formally in The Abolition of Man, based on a series of lectures by Lewis at Durham University in 1943.

Perhaps C.S.Lewis’s best known novels are The Chronicles of Narnia which are a series of seven high fantasy novels and are considered classics of children’s literature.  Set in the fictional realm of Narnia, a fantasy world of magic, mythical beasts, and talking animals, the series narrates the adventures of various children who play central roles in the unfolding history of that world. Except in The Horse and His Boy, the protagonists are all children from the real world, magically transported to Narnia, where they are called upon by the lion Aslan to protect Narnia from evil and restore the throne to its rightful line. The books span the entire history of Narnia, from its creation in The Magician’s Nephew to its eventual destruction in The Last Battle. The Chronicles of Narnia have also been adapted for stage, TV, radio, and cinema. 

Inspiration for the series is taken from multiple sources; in addition to adapting numerous traditional Christian themes, the books freely borrow characters and ideas from Greek, Turkish and Roman mythology as well as from traditional British and Irish fairy tales & have profoundly influenced adult and children’s fantasy literature since World War II. However

Lewis’s exploration of themes such as religion, race and gender in the novels has caused some controversy.

Lewis sadly passed away on 22 November 1963, as the result of renal failure, one week before his 65th birthday. Media coverage of his death was minimal because it was the same day that U.S. President John F. Kennedy was assassinated, and Aldous Huxley, died. Lewis continues to attract a wide readership. In 2008, The Times ranked him eleventh on their list of “the 50 greatest British writers since 1945″. Readers are often unaware of what Lewis considered the Christian themes of his works. His Christian apologetics are read and quoted by members of many Christian denominations. Lewis has been the subject of several biographies. In 1985 the screenplay Shadowlands by William Nicholson, dramatising Lewis’s life and relationship with Joy Davidman Gresham, was aired on British television, starring Joss Ackland and Claire Bloom. This was also staged as a theatre play starring Nigel Hawthorne and made into the 1993 feature film Shadowlands starring Anthony Hopkins and Debra Winger. In 2005, a one-hour television movie entitled C. S. Lewis: Beyond Narnia, starring Anton Rodgers, provided a general synopsis of Lewis’s life. There is also A bronze statue of Lewis’s character Digory, from The Magician’s Nephew, stands in Belfast’s Holywood Arches in front of the Holywood Road Library.

Many books have been inspired by Lewis, including  Daniel Handler’s A Series of Unfortunate Events, Eoin Colfer’s Artemis Fowl, Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials, and J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter. Authors of adult fantasy literature such as Tim Powers  have also been  influenced by Lewis’s work. Lewis was strongly opposed to the creation of live-action versions of his works. His major concern was that the anthropomorphic animal characters “when taken out of narrative into actual visibility, always turn into buffoonery or nightmare”.Several C. S. Lewis Societies exist around the world, including one which was founded in Oxford in 1982 to discuss papers on the life and works of Lewis and the other Inklings, and generally appreciate all things Lewisian. His name is also used by a variety of Christian organisations, often with a concern for maintaining conservative Christian values in education or literary studies. Film adaptations have been made of three of The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (2005), Prince Caspian (2008) and The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (2010).Lewis is also featured as a main character in The Chronicles of the Imaginarium Geographica series by James A. Owen. He is one of two characters in Mark St. Germain’s 2009 play Freud’s Last Session, which imagines a meeting between Lewis, aged 41, and Sigmund Freud, aged 83, at Freud’s house in Hampstead, London, in 1939, as the Second World War is about to break out.

Police by Jo Nesbo

16134936I am also a big fan of the exciting Nordic Crime novels by Jo Nesbo and would also like to read Jo Nesbo’s latest excitsoonng crime thriller Police, which once again features Detective Harry Hole (Holla) who For years, has been at the center of every major criminal investigation in Oslo and is called upon to investigate when a spate of brutal murders occur on Oslo’s streets, Involving policemen who are being killed at the scenes of former murders they had investigated but failed to solve. the media reaction hysterical and The police urgently need Harry Hole Whose dedication to his job and his brilliant insights have saved the lives of countless people.

However Hole is not in a position to protect anyone .His last adventure left him physically wrecked and his relations with police management had deteriorated to the point that he was ineffective in doing his job and he is now teaching at the Police Academy, and officially off the force.  Howeverthe rest of the team has been stymied as to the most recent killer. They have a prime suspect, but evidence points to his being dead. Now, with those he loves most facing terrible danger.Hole is talked into coming back To the Police, where his different approaches to solving crime , and his ability to spot holes in the reasoning of the rest of the team soon put the team on red alert.

 

 

 

Patricia Cornwell Dust

2013-11-29-11-07-53--2043000597I would like  to read Patricia Cornwell’s latest gripping crime thriller Dust which  features Massachusetts Chief Medical Examiner Kay Scarpetta, who  has just returned from working one of the worst mass murders in U.S. history when she’s awakened at an early hour by Detective Pete Marino to

 be informed that A body, oddly draped in an unusual cloth, has just been discovered inside the sheltered gates of MIT and it’s suspected the identity is that of missing computer engineer Gail Shipton, last seen the night before at a trendy Cambridge bar. It appears she’s been murdered, mere weeks before the trial of her $100 million lawsuit against her former financial managers, and Scarpetta doubts it’s a coincidence. She also fears the case may have a connection with her computer genius niece, Lucy.

At a glance there is no sign of what killed Gail Shipton, but she’s covered with a fine dust that under ultraviolet light fluoresces brilliantly in three vivid colors, what Scarpetta calls a mineral fingerprint. Clearly the body has been posed with chilling premeditation that is symbolic and meant to shock, and Scarpetta has reason to worry that the person responsible is the Capital Murderer, whose most recent sexual homicides have terrorized Washington, D.C. Stunningly, Scarpetta will discover that her FBI profiler husband, Benton Wesley, is convinced that certain people in the government, including his boss, don’t want the killer caught. In Dust, Scarpetta and her colleagues are up against a force far more sinister than a sexual predator who fits the criminal classification of a “spectacle killer.” The murder of Gail Shipton soon leads deep into the dark world of designer drugs, drone technology, organized crime, and shocking corruption at the highest levels.With unparalleled high-tension suspense and the latest in forensic technology, Patricia Cornwell once again proves her exceptional ability to surprise—and to thrill.

Happy Birthday Karen Gillan

Best known for her portrayal of Amy Pond in the British science fiction series Doctor Who, the Scottish actress and, former model,  Karen Sheila Gillan was born 28 November 1987. She learned to play the piano when she was seven & developed a love for acting, joining several local youth theatre groups and taking part in a wide range of productions at her school,Charleston Academy. When she turned 16, Gillan moved to Edinburgh and completed an HNC Acting and Performance course at Telford College She then moved to London at 18 to study at the Italia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts drama school in the BA (Hons) Acting degree course

While studying at Italia Conti Gillan was scouted by a modeling agency.Gillan worked as a model in 2007’s London Fashion Week for designer Allegra Hicks’ autumn/winter catwalk show and the launch party of Nicola Roberts’ Dainty Doll Make-Up Range. This was shown in Roberts’ episode of the documentary, The Passions of Girls Aloud which premiered on 4 April 2008. Gillan has said she would not give up her acting career to return to modeling. She stated that she enjoyed modeling but acting was always her main interest and goal.

Gillan’s early television acting career included guest appearances on several drama series, with her first ongoing role being a two-year stint as a member of the ensemble cast of the sketch comedy series The Kevin Bishop Show in which she played multiple characters, as well as celebrities such as Katy Perry and Angelina Jolie. She appeared in Channel 4’s Stacked; she had the part of Ginny.Gillan also appeared on TV in a leading role in a horror project entitled The Well, which was broadcast as a series of episodic short films on BBC Two, and then later also as a web series on BBC.co.uk. Part of the BBC’s multimedia “switch” programming, the short episodes interconnect with online games that further explore the environments presented in the series . She was cast for the role of the Eleventh Doctor’s first companion, Amy Pond, on the British sci-fi series Doctor Who in May 2009. She made her first on-screen appearance as Amy Pond in “The Eleventh Hour” with her cousin Caitlin Blackwood portraying a young Amelia (Amy) Pond. She was confirmed in Issue 420 of the Doctor Who Magazine to be appearing in the 2011 series. Gillthe then had appeared in Doctor Who once before in the 2008 episode “The Fires of Pompeii” in the role of a SoothsayerGillan made her first theatre appearance playing the role of Shirley in John Osborne’s play Inadmissible Evidence along with Douglas Hodge The play debuted at the Donmar Warehouse on 16 October 2011.During an interview at the 2011 San Diego Comic-Con, Gillan revealed she would be returning to Doctor Who for its seventh series.[18] On 15 December 2011, it was announced Gillan and Arthur Darvill (Rory Williams) would be leaving Doctor Who during the seventh series in 2012.On 26 January 2012, Karen Gillan played the part of supermodel Jean Shrimpton in the BBC Four film We’ll Take Manhattan, which told the story of Shrimpton’s relationship with the photographer David Bailey. ln August 2011, it was announced Gillan would star in an indie Scottish rom-com called Not Another Happy Ending alongside Emun Elliott.She was picked by director John McKay because he came to know her during the production of We’ll Take Manhattan, which he also directed, as “a very bubbly, vibrant, energetic, funny, slightly clumsy person” who was a perfect fit .Filming took place in July 2012, though Elliott was replaced by Stanley Weber

Gillan told journalists that she was happy to be involved in a Scottish production that “isn’t about drug use or fighting the English”.The film is set to premiere at the Edinburgh International Film Festival in June 2013. Gillan is to star in a supernatural horror pic called Oculus cast in the lead role and filmed in Alabama. She revealed that she has been cast in comedian Charlie Brooker’s TV series A Touch of Cloth. Gillan has also been cast in a film titled ‘ The List ‘ which began filming in Los Angeles in May 2013.FHM magazine ranked Gillan #42 in FHM’s 100 Sexiest Women 2011 In 2012 they also ranked her #36. Gillan has also voiced advertisements for eHarmony and The Royal Bank of Scotland. In May 2013, Gillan was cast as Nebula in the superhero science fiction film Guardians of the Galaxy, scheduled for release in 2014.Gillan revealed that she shaved her head to play Nebula to a stunned audience during the 2013 San Diego Comic-Con International on July 20.Gillan joined the regular cast of Adult Swim’s NTSF:SD:SUV:: for the show’s third season in 2013..In 2011, Gillan helped promote Fashion Targets Breast Cancer (FTBC) and the opening of Squirrel Ward in Great Ormond Street Hospital

Tribute to Lewis Collins

I stilll enjoy watching exciting episodes of the Professionals starring British actor Lewis Collins, Who Sadly passed away aged 67 On On 27 November 2013, after a five-year struggle with cancer . He was best known for his tough-guy role as Bodie in the ITV drama seriesThe Professionals, which ran from 1977 to 1983. Born  26 May 1946 in Bidston near Birkenhead on the Wirral (then part of Cheshire). He was educated at Bidston Primary and Grange School in Birkenhead. His first job was as a ladies’ hairdresser before becoming a musician playing drums and guitar in pop groups. Before deciding to become an actor, he had a number of other jobs. Collins trained at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art then went into Rep at theatres in Chesterfield and Glasgow, toured with Prospect Theatre Company, and then to London’s West End. He also did tours in America and Canada. Stage roles included City Sugar and The Three Penny Opera. In the 1970 he Auditioned for a role In The Professionals and In 1982 he auditioned for the role of James Bond but his audition was deemed “too aggressive”.

The Professionals Was a British crime-action television drama series produced byAvengers Mk1 Productions and London Weekend Television that aired on the ITVnetwork from 1977 to 1983. In all, 57 episodes were produced, filmed between 1977 and 1981. It starred Martin Shaw, Lewis Collins and Gordon Jackson as agents of the fictional “CI5”.The Professionals was created by Brian Clemens, who had been one of the driving forces behind The Avengers. The show was to have been originally called “The A-Squad” before it was decided to call it “The Professionals”. Clemens and Albert Fennellwere executive producers, with business partner Laurie Johnson providing the theme music. Sidney Hayers produced the first series in 1977, and Raymond Menmuir the remainder.

His best-known role outside The Professionals was that of SAS officer Captain Peter Skellen in the film Who Dares Wins (1982). He subsequently applied to join theTerritorial SAS, a unit open to part-time reservists but was rejected because of his fame, despite passing the entrance tests.ln early 2012, Lewis was cast to play Earl Godwin in the historically based feature film production of 1066. In June, 2013, it was reported that he had withdrawn from the production and had split with his agent, Susan James

Lewis Collins married school teacher Michelle Larrett in 1992, and the couple had three sons.Collins moved to Los Angeles and held a private pilot’s licence and his hobbies included parachuting and sports shooting, rifle and pistol. He also held a black belt inJu-Jitsu and was trained in karate. He could also play some musical instruments, having played bass in The Mojos, featuring on the singles “Goodbye Dolly Gray” and “Until My Baby Comes Home”, before he became an actor.He died from cancer in Los Angeles on 27 November 2013, after a five year illness

Hanukkah

known as the Festival of Lights, Feast of Dedication, Chanukah or Chanukkah, Hanukkah takes pace between   November 27 to nightfall, December 5 2013. It, is an eight-day Jewish holiday commemorating the rededication of theHoly Temple (the Second Temple) in Jerusalem at the time of the Maccabean Revoltagainst the Seleucid Empire of the 2nd century BCE. Hanukkah is observed for eight nights and days, starting on the 25th day of Kislev according to the Hebrew calendar, which may occur at any time from late November to late December in the Gregorian calendar.The festival is observed by the kindling of the lights of a unique candelabrum, the nine-branched Menorah or Hanukiah, one additional light on each night of the holiday, progressing to eight on the final night. The typical Menorah consists of eight branches with an additional raised branch. The extra light is called a shamash  and is given a distinct location, usually above or below the rest. The purpose of the shamash is to have a light available for practical use, as using the Hanukkah lights themselves for purposes other than publicizing and meditating upon Hanukkah is forbidden.

Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving, or Thanksgiving Day, is a holiday celebrated in the United States on the fourth Thursday in November. It became an official Federal holiday in 1863, when, during the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a national day of “Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens”, to be celebrated on Thursday, November 26. As a federal and public holiday in the U.S., Thanksgiving is one of the major holidays of the year. Together with Christmas andNew Year, Thanksgiving is a part of the broader holiday season.The event that Americans commonly call the “First Thanksgiving” was celebrated by the Pilgrims after their first harvest in the New World in 1621. This feast lasted three days, and it was attended by 90 Native Americans (as accounted by attendee Edward Winslow) and 53 Pilgrims. The New England colonists were accustomed to regularly celebrating “thanksgivings”—days of prayer thanking God for blessings such as military victory or the end of a drought

The first documented thanksgiving services in territory currently belonging to the United States were conducted by Spaniards in the 16th century Thanksgiving services were routine in what was to become the Commonwealth of Virginia. with the first permanent settlement of Jamestown, Virginia holding a thanksgiving in 1610.On December 4, 1619, 38 English settlers arrived at Berkeley Hundred. The group’s charter required that the day of arrival be observed yearly as a “day of thanksgiving” to God. On that first day, Captain John Woodlief held the service of thanksgiving. As quoted from the section of the Charter of Berkeley Hundred specifying the thanksgiving service: “We ordaine that the day of our ships arrival at the place assigned for plantacon in the land of Virginia shall be yearly and perpetually kept holy as a day of thanksgiving to Almighty God.” After the Indian massacre of 1622, the Berkeley Hundred site and other outlying locations were abandoned as the colonists withdrew to Jamestown and other more secure points.Americans commonly trace the Thanksgiving holiday to a 1621 celebration at the Plymouth Plantation, where the Plymouth settlers held a harvest feast after a successful growing season. Autumn or early winter feasts continued sporadically in later years, first as an impromptu religious observance, and later as a civil tradition.Squanto, a Patuxent Native American who resided with the Wampanoag tribe, taught thePilgrims how to catch eel and grow corn and served as an interpreter for them (Squanto had learned English during travels in England). Additionally the Wampanoag leaderMassasoit had donated food stores to the fledgling colony during the first winter when supplies brought from England were insufficient.The Pilgrims celebrated at Plymouth for three days after their first harvest, in 1621. Seventeenth-century accounts do not identify this as a Thanksgiving observance, rather it followed the harvest. Two colonists gave personal accounts of the 1621 feast inPlymouth, Massachusetts. The Pilgrims, most of whom were Separatists (English Dissenters), are not to be confused with Puritans who established their ownMassachusetts Bay Colony nearby (current day Boston) in 1628 and had very different religious beliefs.

The Massachusetts Bay Colony (consisting mainly of Puritan Christians) celebrated Thanksgiving for the first time in 1630, and frequently thereafter until about 1680, when it became an annual festival in that colony; and Connecticut as early as 1639 and annually after 1647, except in 1675. The Dutch in New Netherland appointed a day for giving thanks in 1644 and occasionally thereafter.Later in the 18th century, individual colonies would periodically designate a day of thanksgiving in honor of a military victory, an adoption of a state constitution or an exceptionally bountiful crop. Such a Thanksgiving Day celebration was held in December 1777 by the colonies nationwide, commemorating the surrender of British General Burgoyne at Saratoga.During the 18th century, individual colonies commonly observed days of thanksgiving at different times of the year.

 

Thanksgivukkah is a holiday name portmanteau neologism given to the convergence of the American holiday of Thanksgiving and the first day of the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah on Thursday, November 28, 2013 ]It is a result of a rare coincidence between the lunisolar Hebrew calendar (whose dates reflect both the moon phase and the time of the solar year, and which can have between 353 and 385 days per year) and the Gregorian calendar. Because the calendars are not calculated the same way, Chanukah appears at a different time each year on the Gregorian calendar.The term “Thanksgivukkah” was trademarked by a Boston-area resident who, along with her sister-in-law, created a Facebook page and a Twitter account devoted to the phenomenon. Boston Magazine reported that the once-in-a-lifetime concept was embraced around the U.S