Happy Birthday Tom Waits

American singer-songwriter, composer, and actor Tom Waits was born on this day, December 7 in 1949. His distinctive voice, is described as sounding “like it was soaked in a vat of bourbon, left hanging in the smokehouse for a few months, and then taken outside and run over with a car, has helped him built up a distinctive musical persona, and over the years his trademark growl has been combined with a variety of pre-rock music styles such as blues, jazz, and vaudeville, and experimental tendencies verging on industrial music.Waits has also worked as a composer for movies and musical plays and as a supporting actor in films, including Down by Law and Bram Stoker’s Dracula. He was nominated for an Academy Award for his soundtrack work on One from the Heart.

Lyrically, Waits’ songs frequently present atmospheric portrayals of grotesque, often seedy characters and places—although he has also shown a penchant for more conventional ballads. He has a cult following and has influenced subsequent songwriters despite having little radio or music video support. His songs are best-known through cover versions by more commercial artists: “Jersey Girl”, performed by Bruce Springsteen, “Ol’ ’55″, performed by the Eagles, and “Downtown Train”, performed by Rod Stewart.Although Waits’ albums have met with mixed commercial success in his native United States, they have occasionally achieved gold album sales status in other countries. He has been nominated for a number of major music awards and has won Grammy Awards for two albums, Bone Machine and Mule Variations. In 2011, Waits was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Man of Steel

l would also like to see American Superhero film Man of Steel which also comes out on DVD on Monday 9th December 2013. It is Directed by Zack Snyder, produced byChristopher Nolan, and written by David S. Goyer and having enjoyed both The Watchmen & The Dark knight The combination of Zac Snyder and Christopher Nolan both Working on the Same film  sounds epic.  Based on the DC Comics character Superman, the film is a reboot of the Superman film series that portrays the character’s origin story. The film stars Henry Cavill in the title role, with Amy Adams asLois Lane, Michael Shannon as General Zod, Diane Lane as Martha Kent, Kevin Costner as Jonathan Kent, Laurence Fishburne as Perry White, and Russell Crowe asJor-El. Man of Steel sets the tone for a shared fictional universe of DC Comics characters on film.

The film Starts onThe planet Krypton which faces imminent destruction due to its unstable core, the result of years of depleting Krypton’s natural resources. The ruling council is deposed by the planet’s military commander General Zod and his followers during a military coup. Scientist Jor-El and his wife Lara launch their newborn son Kal-El on a spacecraft toEarth after infusing his cells with a genetic codex of the entire Kryptonian race. After General Zod murders Jor-El, he and his followers are captured and banished to thePhantom Zone. However, when Krypton later explodes, they are freed from it.Kal-El’s ship lands in Smallville, a small town in Kansas. He is raised as the adopted son of Jonathan and Martha Kent, who name him Clark. Clark’s Kryptonian physiology affords him superhuman abilities on Earth, which initially cause him confusion and ostracism.

However, he gradually learns to harness his powers to help others. Jonathan reveals to a teenage Clark that he is an alien and advises him not to use his powers publicly, fearing that society will reject him.After Jonathan’s death, an adult Clark spends several years living a nomadic lifestyle, working different jobs under false identities, while saving people in secret, as well as struggling to cope with the loss of his adoptive father. Clark eventually infiltrates a U.S. military investigation of a Kryptonian scout spaceship in the Arctic. When Clark enters the alien ship, it allows him to communicate with the preserved consciousness of Jor-El in the form of a hologram. Jor-El reveals Clark’s origins, his story, and the extinction of his race, and tells Clark that he was sent to Earth to bring hope to mankind for a better future. Lois Lane, a journalist from the Daily Planet newspaper is rescued by him when she is injured. Lois’s editor Perry White rejects her story of a “superhuman” rescuer, so she traces Clark back to Kansas with the intention of writing an exposé. After hearing his story, she decides not to reveal his secret.

meanwhile, Zod and his crew seek out other worlds that the Kryptonian race colonized long ago. However, none of the colonies survived after Krypton’s destruction. Zod and the others eventually pick up a Kryptonian distress signal sent from the ship Clark discovered on Earth. Zod arrives and demands that the humans surrender Kal-El, whom he believes has the codex, or else Earth will be destroyed. Clark agrees, and the military hand him and Lois over to Zod’s second-in-command, Faora, at Zod’s request. Zod reveals that he intends to use a terraforming “world engine” to transform Earth into a new Krypton and use the codex to repopulate the planet with genetically-engineered Kryptonians. However, the terraforming process would result in the extinction of humanity due to numerous ecological changes, rendering the planet uninhabitable to those native to Earth.  Zod deploys the world engine and initiates the process in Metropolis and over the Indian Ocean, increasing the Earth’s mass and atmosphere.Clark, now called “Superman,”  tries to send Zod’s forces back into the Phantom Zone. using the Genesis Chamber,   and they engage in a destructive battle across Metropolis

 

lone Ranger

On 9 December the American western action film the Lone Ranger is released on DVD. produced by Walt Disney Pictures and Jerry Bruckheimer Films and directed by Gore Verbinski. IT is Based on the radio series of the same name, the film stars Johnny Depp as Tonto, the narrator of the events, and Armie Hammer as John Reid (The Lone Ranger). It relates Tonto’s memories of the duo’s earliest efforts to subdue the immoral actions of the corrupt and bring justice in the American Old West. William Fichtner, Barry Pepper, Ruth Wilson, James Badge Dale, Tom Wilkinson and Helena Bonham Carter also are featured in supporting roles. The film marks the first theatrical film featuring the Lone Ranger and Tonto characters in more than 32 years.

The Lone Ranger is so named because the character is the last survivor of a group of Texas Rangers, rather than because he works alone (as he is usually accompanied by Tonto).While details differ, the basic story of the origin of the Lone Ranger is the same in most versions of the franchise. A posse of six members of the Texas Ranger Division pursuing a band of outlaws led by Bartholomew”Butch” Cavendish is betrayed by a civilian guide named Collins and ambushed in a canyon named Bryant’s Gap. Later, an Indian named Tonto stumbles onto the scene and discovers one ranger is still alive, though barely. (In some versions, Tonto recognizes the lone survivor as the man who saved his life when they were children; according to the television series, when Tonto left the Reid place with a horse given him by the boy Reid, he gave Reid a ring and the name Kemo Sabe, which he said means “trusty scout”. He nurses the man, whom the radio show eventually established as being named John Reid, back to health. Among the Rangers, killed was John’s older brother, Daniel Reid, who was a captain in the Texas Rangers and the leader of the ambushed group. John Reid fashions a black domino mask, using material from his brother’s vest to conceal his identity. To aid in the deception, Tonto digs a sixth grave and places at its head a cross with John’s name so that Cavendish and his gang would believe that all of the Rangers had been killed.

The latest film version starts  in a San Francisco fair in 1933, where a boy, Will, who idolizes a legend known as the Lone Ranger, encounters Tonto, an elderly Comanche Native American Indian, who proceeds to recount his experiences with the Old West adventurer. ln Colby, Texas on March 18, 1869, lawyer John Reid returns home via the uncompleted Transcontinental Railroad, managed by railroad tycoon Latham Cole. Unknown to Reid, the train is also carrying Tonto and outlaw Butch Cavendish, who is being transported for his hanging after being captured by Dan Reid, John’s Texas Ranger brother. Cavendish’s gang rescues Butch and derails the train. Tonto is jailed and Dan deputizes John as a Texas Ranger, and with six others, they go after the Cavendish gang.Cavendish’s men ambush and kill their pursuers in a canyon and Cavendish cuts out and eats Dan’s heart. Tonto, who has escaped from jail, comes across the dead men and buries them. However, a white spirit horse awakens John as a “spirit walker”, and Tonto explains John cannot be killed in battle.

Tonto also tells him Collins, one of the Rangers, betrayed Dan and is working with Cavendish, . As John is thought to be dead, he wears a mask to protect his identity from his enemies. At a brothel Collins recently visited, Red Harrington informs them about Dan and Collins’ fight over a cursed silver rock. Meanwhile, Cavendish’s men, disguised as Comanches, raid frontier settlements. John and Tonto arrive after raiders abduct Dan’s widow and son, Rebecca and Danny. Collins attempts to help Rebecca and Danny escape but is shot dead by Cole,. Claiming the raiders are hostile Comanches, Cole announces the continued construction of the railroad and dispatches United States Cavalry Captain Jay Fuller to exterminate the Comanche.AComanche tribe captures John and Tonto  The tribe leader tells John how Tonto had rescued Cavendish and Cole from near-death and showed them the location of a silver mine, in exchange for a pocket watch. The men murdered the tribe to keep the mine a secret,  So he vows to find and kill them both.

Tonto and John escape as the cavalry attack the Comanche. At the silver mine, they capture Cavendish after killing his men. Tonto demands that John use the silver bullet to kill Cavendish, but John refuses and tells Tonto what the Comanche chief told him. Tonto attempts to kill Cavendish, but John knocks him unconscious and brings in Cavendish alive. Upon returning Cavendish to Cole and Fuller’s custody, Cole’s role in the silver mining operation is revealed. Fearing that if his actions are publicly revealed he’ll be charged as a war criminal, Fuller sides with Cole. Rebecca and Danny are held hostage, and John is taken back to the silver mine to be executed. However, Tonto rescues him and the two flee as the Comanche attack and are massacred by the cavalry. Realizing that Cole is too powerful to be taken down lawfully, John dons the mask again.At the site of the union of the Transcontinental Railroad, Cole reveals his true plan; to take complete control of the railroad company and use the mined silver to gain more power. John and Tonto rob a bank to steal nitroglycerin and use it to destroy a railroad bridge. With Red’s help, Tonto steals the train with the silver, and Cole, Cavendish and Fuller pursue him in a second train on which Rebecca and Danny are being held captive. Riding the horse, John pursues both trains. After a furious chase and fights on both trains, Cavendish is killed while Fuller jumps off the train and Rebecca and Danny are rescued. Tonto sconfronts Cole and reveals himself by returning the watch he traded years ago, leaving Cole to drown buried beneath the silver ore after the train plunges off the severed bridge into the river below.The town and railroad enterprise recognize John (whose identity is still unknown to them) as a hero and offer him a law-enforcement position. John declines and rides off with Tonto. .

 

Pearl Harbour Day

The Japanese assault on Pearl Harbour, took place on this date 7 December, in 1941. It catapulted America into the Second World War and resulted in, 2,390 Americans losing their lives in the attack. Twelve ships being sank or beached, and nine being damaged. The US lost 164 aircraft. On the Japanese side, 64 people died, five ships sank, and 29 planes were destroyed.

The attack on Pearl Harbor (called Hawaii Operation or Operation AI by the Japanese Imperial General Headquarters (Operation Z in planning and the Battle of Pearl Harbor) was a surprise military strike conducted by the Imperial Japanese Navy against the United States naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, on the morning of December 7, 1941 (December 8 in Japan). The attack was intended as a preventive action in order to keep the U.S. Pacific Fleet from interfering with military actions the Empire of Japan was planning in Southeast Asia against overseas territories of the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, and the United States.   The base was attacked by 353 Japanese fighters, bombers and torpedo planes in two waves, launched from six aircraft carriers. All eight U.S. Navy battleships were damaged, with four being sunk.All but two of the eight were raised, repaired and returned to service later in the war. The Japanese also sank or damaged three cruisers, three destroyers, an anti-aircraft training ship, and one minelayer. One hundred eighty-eight U.S. aircraft were destroyed; 2,402 Americans were killed and 1,282 wounded.

The attack led to the United States’ entry into World War II and. There were simultaneous Japanese attacks on the U.S.-held Philippines and on theBritish Empire in Malaya, Singapore, and Hong Kong.From the standpoint of the defenders, the attack commenced at 7:48 a.m. Hawaiian Time. The base was attacked by 353 Japanese fighters, bombers and torpedo planes in two waves, launched from sixaircraft carriers.[14] All eight U.S. Navy battleships were damaged, with four being sunk. All but one were later raised, and six of the eight battleships returned to service and fought in the war. The Japanese also sank or damaged three cruisers, three destroyers, an anti-aircraft training ship,[nb 5] and one minelayer. 188 U.S. aircraft were destroyed; 2,402 Americans were killed[16] and 1,282 wounded. Important base installations such as the power station, shipyard, maintenance, and fuel and torpedo storage facilities, as well as the submarine piers and headquarters building (also home of the intelligence section) were not attacked. Japanese losses were light: 29 aircraft and five midget submarines lost, and 65 servicemen killed or wounded. One Japanese sailor was captured

 

The attack came as a profound shock to the American people and led directly to the American entry into World War II in both the Pacific and European theaters. The following day (December 8th ) the United States declared war on Japan. Domestic support for isolationism, which had been strong, disappeared. Clandestine support of Britain (for example the Neutrality Patrol) was replaced by active alliance. Subsequent operations by the U.S. prompted Germany and Italy to declare war on the U.S. on December 11, which was reciprocated by the U.S. the same day. This led President Franklin D. Roosevelt to proclaim December 7, 1941, “a date which will live in infamy”.