Mike Pinder & Ray Thomas(moody Blues)

Mike Pinder and Ray Thomas, British musicians with English rock band The Moody Blues were born Born 27th December 1941 and 29th December 1941 respectively. The Moody Blues formed on 4 May 1964, in Erdington, Birmingham, England containing Ray Thomas, John Lodge, and Michael Pinder The name developed from a hoped-for sponsorship from the M&B Brewery which failed to materialise and was also a subtle reference to the Duke Ellington song, “Mood Indigo. They released a single, “Steal Your Heart Away” in 1964 and appeared on the cult UK series “Ready Steady Go!” singing the uptempo “Lose Your Money (But Don’t Lose your Mind)”. But it was their second single, “Go Now” which launched their career & became a hit in the United Kingdom. Their debut album The Magnificent Moodies had a strong Merseybeat/R&B flavour. It contained the hit singles “Go Now” and “Bye Bye Bird” together with one side of classic R&B covers. including a cover of “I Don’t Want To Go On Without You”,”From The Bottom of My Heart (I Love You)”, “Everyday”,”This is My House (But Nobody Calls)” and and “Boulevard de la Madeleine”.T

The group  released the singles “Fly Me High” and “Really Haven’t Got the Time” in 1967 followed by “Love And Beauty” & “Leave This Man Alone”. The Moody Blues were then offered a deal to make a rock and roll version of Antonín Dvořák’s New World Symphony, and although executives were initially skeptical about the hybrid style of the resulting concept album. Days of Future Past  became one of the most successful pop/rock releases of the period, earning a gold record award. It takes place over the course of a single day & drew inspiration from the pioneering use of the classical instrumentation by The Beatles. It includes the songs “Nights in White Satin” & “The Sun Set” “Another Morning”, “Twilight Time”,”Peak Hour” and “Evening (Time To Get Away)”. The 1968 follow-up LP, In Search of the Lost Chord included the songs “Legend of a Mind”,”House of Four Doors”,”Voices in the Sky”, “Ride My See-Saw” and “The Best Way To Travel”. The 1969 album On the Threshold of a Dream contained the songs “In The Beginning”,”Lovely To See You”,”Never Comes The Day”,”Dear Diary” and “Lazy Day”,”So Deep Within You”,”The Dream”&”Have You Heard”. The band’s music continued to become more complex and symphonic,resulting in 1969′s To Our Children’s Children’s Children which was inspired by the first moon landing.and contained the songs “Higher And Higher” “Floating” and “Eternity Road” “Gypsy”,”Out And In” the two part “Eyes of A Child” and “Candle of Life””Sun is Still Shining”. and “Watching and Waiting”. the Moodies had a somewhat psychedelic style and progressive rock sound, the group next album was A Question of Balance (1970) & contained the songs “Question” and “Melancholy Man”. For their next two albums, Every Good Boy Deserves Favour (1971) and “Seventh Sojourn”the band returned to their signature orchestral sound.These contained the songs “Procession”, “Story in Your Eyes” “Our Guessing Game”,”You Can Never Go Home”, “One More Time To Live”, “My Song” and “Nice To Be Here”. The Album “After You Came” (1971) featured “Isn’t Life Strange ?” “I’m Just A Singer (in A Rock ‘n’ Roll Band)”,”Sojourn”,”Lost in A Lost World” “When You’re A Free Man”, “For My Lady”, and “New Horizons”.

In late 1972, a re-issue of the five-year-old Nights in White Satin became the Moody Blues’ biggest US hit.The Moodies were also among the pioneers of the idea that a successful rock band could promote itself through their own label, so following the Beatles’ creation of Apple Records, they created Threshold Records. However it proved unsuccessful although They did lay the groundwork for other major acts to set up similar personal labels and distribution deals including The Rolling Stones’ own label and Led Zeppelin’s Swan Song Record label.In the spring of 1974, after completing a vast world tour that culminated with a tour of Asia, the group took an extended break and released a compilation album This Is The Moody Blues. Justin Hayward and John Lodge then released the album, Blue Jays, and a single, “Blue Guitar”. Mike Pinder released a album The Promise.” Edge produced two albums with guitarist Adrian Gurvitz, Kick Off Your Muddy Boots and Paradise Ballroom; Hayward composed the albums Songwriter, followed by Night Flight, Moving Mountains, Classic Blue, The View From The Hill and Live In San Juan Capistrano; Lodge released Natural Avenue; Pinder produced The Promise; and Thomas produced From Mighty Oaks and Hopes, Wishes and Dreams. In 1977, the group reunited and despite many problems The album Octave was released in 1978 contining “Steppin’ in a Slide Zone” & “Driftwood”.

Around this time Justin Hayward enjoyed a solo hit with the song “Forever Autumn” from Jeff Wayne’s Musical Version of The War of the Worlds.The Moodies toured the US and Europe during much of 1979. The next album ,Long Distance Voyager,was released in 1981 and yielded two hits, “The Voice” &”Gemini Dream”. and the band embraced a more modern, less symphonic approach, while still retaining a lush keyboard-led sound. The next album The Present yeilded the singles “Blue World” and”Sitting at the Wheel”. In 1986 they released the album The Other Side of Life, containing “Your Wildest Dreams”which garnered a Billboard Video of the Year award,as well as the songs “House of Four Doors”, “Candle of Life” and “One More Time To Live” “Here Comes The Weekend”, “Rock and Roll Over You”, “Love is On The Run (From Me)”, “The Actor”, “Dawning is the Day”, “You Can Never Go Home”& “The Land of Make Believe”. The Moody Blues also performed live at the Birmingham Heart Beat Charity Concert 1986 which raised money for the Birmingham Children’s Hospitals, and also provided backup with the Electric Light Orchestra for George Harrison.The Moodies released Sur La Mer in 1988 containing the single, “I Know You’re Out There Somewhere”.

In 1991 they released the album Keys of the Kingdom contained the songs “Say It With Love”, “Never Blame The Rainbows For The Rain”,”Bless the Wings (That Bring You Back)”,”Magic” “Shadows On the Wall” “Lean On Me (Tonight)”and “Say What You Mean.”They also played at the Montreux Jazz Festival and remained. a steady concert draw, They also made a series of recordings of their Night at Red Rocks concert.The next album Strange Times, was released in 1999 with the songs”English Sunset”,”Nothing Changes” and”This is The Moment”.The Moody Blues also appeared in one episode of “The Simpsons” called “Viva Ned Flanders”.In 2000, the band released “Hall of Fame”, a new live concert from Royal Albert Hall. In 2001, an IMAX film was released, entitled Journey into Amazing Caves. In 2006, the first five of the band’s ‘Core Seven’ albums ( Days of Future Passed to Seventh Sojourn) were re-released featuring bonus songs and previously unreleased tracks.Remastered versions of Octave, Long Distance Voyager and The Present soon followed. The Moodies also released a compilation of sessions recorded at BBC Studios, rarities & various TV appearances, entitled Live at the BBC: 1967-1970.  The Moody Blues have sold more than 70 million albums worldwide and have been awarded 14 platinum and gold discs. As of 2012 they remain active and continue to tour, Hayward also tours with Jeff Wayne’s Musical Version of The War of the Worlds.

Marvel ‘S Mightiest Heroes

Wayuki_spideyFrom Hachette comes Marvel’s Mightiest Heroes, the definitive graphic novel collection bringing you all the most iconic and influential Marvel heroes from the past 50 years.

[Each novel focuses on one character or team providing all their background information, their timeline and exclusive bonus strips including their most significant story arcs or their first appearances. From The Hulk, Thor , Captain America . Scarlet Witch , Fantastic four , Ultron , Venom , Carnage, Doctor Octopus, Green Goblin , Doctor Doom , silver Surfer , magneto, Iron Man , Iron Patriot , SpiderMan to Wolverine, and from The Avengers to X-Men and everyone in between

 

http://www.mightiestcollection.com

Tigers in Red Weather by lisa Klaussmann

Tigers in Red Weather by Lisa Klaussmann,  is being offered by the Daily Telegraph Newspaper for £2.99. Tigers in Red Weather is a bestseller,newly released in paperback  and a must-read for any fans of F. Scott Fitzgerald. Readers can claim the book for just £2.99 (RRP £7.99)

The novel featuresNick and her cousin, Helena, who have grown up sharing sultry summer heat, sunbleached boat docks, and midnight gin parties on Martha’s Vineyard in a glorious old family estate known as Tiger House. In the days following the end of the Second World War, the world seems to offer itself up, and the two women are on the cusp of their ‘real lives’: Helena is off to Hollywood and a new marriage, while Nick is heading for a reunion with her own young husband, Hughes, about to return from the war.However, the members of the families spin out of their prescribed orbits, secrets come to light, and nothing about their lives will ever be the same.

Brilliantly told from five points of view, with a magical elegance and suspenseful dark longing, Tigers in Red Weather is an unforgettable debut novel from a writer of extraordinary insight and accomplishment.

Tribute to English polymath Charles Babbage

Considered a “father of the computer” the mathematician, philosopher, inventor and mechanical engineer and English Polymath Charles Babbage, FRS was born 26 December 1791. He is best remembered now for originating the concept of a programmable computer”, Babbage is credited with inventing the firstmechanical computer that eventually led to more complex designs. His varied work in other fields has led him to be described as “pre-eminent” among the many polymaths of his century. Around the age of eight Babbage was sent to a country school inAlphington near Exeter to recover from a life-threatening fever. For a short time he attended King Edward VI Grammar School in Totnes, South Devon, but his health forced him back to private tutors for a time Babbage then joined  Holmwood academy, in Baker Street, Enfield,Middlesex,  The academy had a library that prompted Babbage’s love of mathematics. He studied with two more private tutors after leaving the academy. He was brought home, to study at the Totnes school: this was at age 16 or 17. The second was an Oxford tutor, under whom Babbage reached a level in Classics sufficient to be accepted by Cambridge.

Babbage arrived at Trinity College, Cambridge, in October 1810 He was already self-taught in some parts of contemporary mathematicshe had read in Robert Woodhouse, Joseph Louis Lagrange, and Marie Agnesi. As a result he was disappointed in the standard mathematical instruction available at Cambridge.Babbage, John Herschel, George Peacock, and several other friends formed the Analytical Society in 1812; they were also close toEdward Ryan. As a student, Babbage was also a member of other societies such as The Ghost Club, concerned with investigating supernatural phenomena, and the Extractors Club, dedicated to liberating its members from the madhouse, should any be committed to one.In 1812 Babbage transferred to Peterhouse, Cambridge. He was the top mathematician there, but did not graduate with honours. He instead received a degree without examination in 1814. He had defended a thesis that was considered blasphemous in the preliminary public disputation;

, Babbage quickly made progress. He lectured to the Royal Institution on astronomy in 1815, and was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1816.After graduation,  he was a candidate for a teaching job at Haileybury College; he had recommendations fromJames Ivory and John Playfair, but lost out to Henry Walter. In 1819, Babbage and Herschel visited Paris and the Society of Arcueil, meeting leading French mathematicians and physicists That year Babbage applied to be professor at the University of Edinburgh, with the recommendation of Pierre Simon Laplace; the post went to William Wallace.]With Herschel, Babbage worked on the electrodynamics of Arago’s rotations, publishing in 1825. Their explanations were only transitional, being picked up and broadened by Michael Faraday. The phenomena are now part of the theory of eddy currents, and Babbage and Herschel missed some of the clues to unification of electromagnetic theory, staying close to Ampère’s force law.Babbage purchased the actuarial tables of George Barrett, who died in 1821 leaving unpublished work, and surveyed the field in 1826 in Comparative View of the Various Institutions for the Assurance of LivesThis interest followed a project to set up an insurance company, prompted by Francis Baily and mooted in 1824, but not carried out. Babbage did calculate actuarial tables for that scheme, using Equitable Society mortality data from 1762

Babbage helped found the Astronomical Society in 1820. Its initial aims were to reduce astronomical calculations to a more standard form, and to circulate dataThese directions were closely connected with Babbage’s ideas on computation, and in 1824 he won its Gold Medal, cited “for his invention of an engine for calculating mathematical and astronomical tables”.Babbage’s motivation to overcome errors in tables by mechanisation has been a commonplace since Dionysius Lardner wrote about it in 1834 in the Edinburgh Review (under Babbage’s guidance).The context of these developments is still debated. Babbage’s own account of the origin of the difference engine begins with the Astronomical Society’s wish to improve The Nautical Almanac. Babbage and Herschel were asked to oversee a trial project, to recalculate some part of those tables. With the results to hand, discrepancies were found. So Babbage formulated his idea for mechanical computation Babbage studied the requirements to establish a modern postal system, with his friendThomas Frederick Colby, concluding there should be a uniform rate that was put into effect with the introduction of the Uniform Fourpenny Post supplanted by the Uniform Penny Post. in 1839 and 1840 Colby was another of the founding group of the Society. He was also in charge of the Survey of Ireland. Herschel and Babbage were present at the remeasuring of the Lough Foyle baseline.

The Analytical Society had initially been no more than an undergraduate provocation. During this period it had some more substantial achievements. In 1816 Babbage, Herschel and Peacock published a translation from French of the lectures of Sylvestre Lacroix, which was then the state-of-the-art calculus textbookReference to Lagrange in calculus terms marks out the application of what are now calledformal power series. British mathematicians had used them from about 1730 to 1760. As re-introduced, they were not simply applied as notations in differential calculus. They opened up the fields of functional equations (including the difference equationsfundamental to the difference engine) and operator (D-module) methods for differential equations. The analogy of difference and differential equations was notationally changing Δ to D, as a “finite” difference becomes “infinitesimal”. These symbolic directions became popular, as operational calculus, and pushed to the point of diminishing returns. The Cauchy concept of limit was kept at bay. Woodhouse had already founded this second “British Lagrangian School” with its treatment of Taylor series as formal.In this context function composition is complicated to express, because the chain rule is not simply applied to second and higher derivatives. This matter was known to Woodhouse by 1803, who took from Louis François Antoine Arbogast what is now called Faà di Bruno’s formula (a misnomer). In essence it was known to Abraham De Moivre (1697). Herschel found the method impressive, Babbage knew of it, and it was later noted by Lovelace as compatible with the analytical engine In the period to 1820 Babbage worked intensively on functional equations in general, and resisted both conventional finite differences and Arbogast’s approach (in which Δ and D were related by the simple additive case of the exponential map). But via Herschel he was influenced by Arbogast’s ideas in the matter of iteration, i.e. composing a function with itself, possibly many times. Writing in a major paper on functional equations in the Philosophical Transactions (1815/6)From 1828 to 1839 Babbage was Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at Cambridge. Not a conventional resident don, and inattentive to teaching, he wrote three topical books during this period of his life. He was elected a Foreign Honorary Member of theAmerican Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1832Babbage was out of sympathy with colleagues: George Biddell Airy, his predecessor there, thought an issue should be made of his lack of interest in lecturing. Babbage planned to lecture in 1831 on political economy. Babbage’s reforming direction looked to see university education more inclusive, universities doing more for research, a broader syllabus and more interest in applications; butWilliam Whewell found the programme unacceptable. A controversy Babbage had with Richard Jones lasted for six years.He never did give a lecture. was during this period that Babbage tried to enter politics. Simon Schaffer writes that his views of the 1830s included disestablishment of the Church of England, a broader political franchise, and inclusion of manufacturers as stakeholders. He twice stood for Parliament as a candidate for the borough of Finsbury. In 1832 he came in third among five candidates, missing out by some 500 votes in the two-member constituency when two other reformist candidates, Thomas Wakley and Christopher Temple, split the vote. In his memoirs Babbage related how this election brought him the friendship of Samuel Rogers: his brother Henry Rogers wished to support Babbage again, but died within days

Babbage now emerged as a polemicist. One of his biographers notes that all his books contain a “campaigning element”. HisReflections on the Decline of Science and some of its Causes (1830) stands out, however, for its sharp attacks. It aimed to improve British science, and more particularly to oust Davies Gilbert as President of the Royal Society, which Babbage wished to reform.It was written out of pique, when Babbage hoped to become the junior secretary of the Royal Society, as Herschel was the senior, but failed because of his antagonism to Humphry Davy. Michael Faraday had a reply written, by Gerrit Moll, as On the Alleged Decline of Science in England .on the front of the Royal Society Babbage had no impact, with the bland election of the Duke of Sussex to succeed Gilbert the same year. As a broad manifesto, on the other hand, his Decline led promptly to the formation in 1831 of the British Association for the Advancement of Science (BAAS).The Mechanics’ Magazine in 1831 identified as Declinarians the followers of Babbage. In an unsympathetic tone it pointed out David Brewster writing in the Quarterly Review as another leader; with the barb that both Babbage and Brewster had received public money.ln the debate of the period on statistics (qua data collection) and what is now statistical inference, the BAAS in its Statistical Section (which owed something also to Whewell) opted for data collection. This Section was the sixth, established in 1833 with Babbage as chairman and John Elliot Drinkwater as secretary. The foundation of the Statistical Society followed. Babbage was its public face, backed by Richard Jones and Robert Malthus.

Babbage’s notation for machine parts, explanation from On a method of expressing by signs the action of machinery) of his “Mechanical Notation”, invented for his own use in understanding the work on the difference engine, and an influence on the conception of the analytical engine Babbage published On the Economy of Machinery and Manufactures, on the organisation of industrial production. It was an influential early work of operational research.John Rennie the Younger in addressing the Institute of Civil Engineers on manufacturing in 1846 mentioned mostly surveys in encyclopedias, and Babbage’s book was first an article in the Encyclopædia Metropolitana, the form in which Rennie noted it, in the company of related works by John Farey, Jr., Peter Barlow and Andrew Ure.From An essay on the general principles which regulate the application of machinery to manufactures and the mechanical arts, which became the Encyclopædia Metropolitana article of 1829, Babbage developed the schematic classification of machines that, combined with discussion of factories, made up the first part of the book. The second part considered the “domestic and political economy” of manufacturesThe book sold well, and quickly went to a fourth edition (1836).Babbage represented his work as largely a result of actual observations in factories, British and abroad. It was not, in its first edition, intended to address deeper questions of political economy; the second (late 1832) did, with three further chapters including one on piece rate. The book also contained ideas on rational design in factories, and profit sharing.

In Economy of Machinery was described what is now called the “Babbage principle”. It pointed out commercial advantages available with more careful division of labour. As Babbage himself noted, it had already appeared in the work of Melchiorre Gioia in 1815.The term was introduced in 1974 by Harry Braverman. Related formulations are the “principle of multiples” of Philip Sargant Florence, and the “balance of processes”What Babbage remarked is that skilled workers typically spend parts of their time performing tasks that are below their skill level. If the labour process can be divided among several workers, labour costs may be cut by assigning only high-skill tasks to high-cost workers, restricting other tasks to lower-paid workers He also pointed out that training or apprenticeship can be taken as fixed costs; but that returns to scale are available by his approach of standardisation of tasks, therefore again favouring the factory system His view of human capital was restricted to minimising the time period for recovery of training costs.Another aspect of the work was its detailed breakdown of the cost structure of book publishing. Babbage took the unpopular line, from the publishers’ perspective, of exposing the trade’s profitability. He went as far as to name the organisers of the trade’s restrictive practices. Twenty years later he attended a meeting hosted by John Chapman to campaign against the Booksellers Association, still a cartel

It has been written that “what Arthur Young was to agriculture, Charles Babbage was to the factory visit and machinery”.Babbage’s theories are said to have influenced the layout of the 1851 Great Exhibitionand his views had a strong effect on his contemporary George Julius Poulett Scrope.Karl Marx argued that the source of the productivity of the factory system was exactly the combination of the division of labour with machinery, building on Adam Smith, Babbage and Ure.Where Marx picked up on Babbage and disagreed with Smith was on the motivation for division of labour by the manufacturer: as Babbage did, he wrote that it was for the sake of profitability, rather than productivity, and identified an impact on the concept of a trade.John Ruskinwent further, to oppose completely what manufacturing in Babbage’s sense stood for Babbage also affected the economic thinking of John Stuart Mill.George Holyoake saw Babbage’s detailed discussion of profit sharing as substantive, in the tradition of Robert Owen and Charles Fourier, if requiring the attentions of a benevolent captain of industry, and ignored at the time.The French engineer and writer on industrial organisation Léon Lalande was influenced by Babbage, but also the economist Claude Lucien Bergery, in reducing the issues to “technology”. William Jevons connected Babbage’s “economy of labour” with his own labour experiments of 1870.The Babbage principle is an inherent assumption in Frederick Winslow Taylor’s scientific management.

In 1837, responding to the series of eight Bridgewater Treatises, Babbage published his Ninth Bridgewater Treatise, under the titleOn the Power, Wisdom and Goodness of God, as manifested in the Creation. In this work Babbage weighed in on the side ofuniformitarianism in a current debate.[89] He preferred the conception of creation in which natural law dominated, removing the need for “contrivance” The book is a work of natural theology, and incorporates extracts from related correspondence of Herschel withCharles Lyell. It was quoted extensively in Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation.Babbage put forward the thesis that God had the omnipotence and foresight to create as a divine legislator. He could make laws which then produced species at the appropriate times, rather than continually interfering with ad hoc miracles each time a new species was required. In Vestiges the parallel with Babbage’s computing machines is made explicit, as allowing plausibility to the theory that transmutation of speciesThe British Association was consciously modelled on the Deutsche Naturforscher-Versammlung, founded in 1822. It rejected romantic science as well as metaphysics, and started to entrench the divisions of science from literature, and professionals from amateurs. Belonging as he did to the “Wattite” faction in the BAAS, represented in particular by James Watt the younger, Babbage identified closely with industrialists. He wanted to go faster in the same directions, and had little time for the more gentlemanly component of its membership. Indeed, he subscribed to a version of conjectural historythat placed industrial society as the culmination of human development (and shared this view with Herschel). A clash with Roderick Murchison led in 1838 to his withdrawal from further involvement.At the end of the same year he sent in his resignation as Lucasian professor, walking away also from the Cambridge struggle with Whewell. His interests became more focussed, on computation and metrology, and on international contacts

A project announced by Babbage was to tabulate all physical constants (referred to as “constants of nature”, a phrase in itself a neologism), and then to compile an encyclopedic work of numerical information. He was a pioneer in the field of “absolute measurement”.] His ideas followed on from those of Johann Christian Poggendorff, and were mentioned to Brewster in 1832. There were to be 19 categories of constants, and Ian Hacking sees these as reflecting in part Babbage’s “eccentric enthusiasms” Babbage’s paper On Tables of the Constants of Nature and Art was reprinted by the Smithsonian Institution in 1856, with an added note that the physical tables of Arnold Henry Guyot “will form a part of the important work proposed in this article”.Exact measurement was also key to the development of machine tools. Here again Babbage is considered a pioneer, with Henry Maudslay, William Sellers, and Joseph Whitworth

Through the Royal Society Babbage acquired the friendship of the engineer Marc Brunel. It was through Brunel that Babbage knew of Joseph Clement, and so came to encounter the artisans whom he observed in his work on manufactures Babbage provided an introduction for Isambard Kingdom Brunel in 1830, for a contact with the proposed Bristol & Birmingham Railway. He carried out studies, around 1838, to show the superiority of the broad gauge for railways, used by Brunel’s Great Western Railway ln 1838, Babbage invented the pilot (also called a cow-catcher), the metal frame attached to the front of locomotives that clears the tracks of obstacles; he also constructed a dynamometer car. His eldest son, Benjamin Herschel Babbage, worked as an engineer for Brunel on the railways before emigrating to Australia in the 1850sBabbage also invented an ophthalmoscope, which he gave to Thomas Wharton Jones for testing. Jones, however, ignored it. The device only came into use after being independently invented by Hermann von Helmholtz.

Babbage achieved notable results in cryptography, though this was still not known a century after his death. Letter frequency was category 18 of Babbage’s tabulation project. Joseph Henry later defended interest in it, in the absence of the facts, as relevant to the management of movable type.During the Crimean War of the 1850s, Babbage broke Vigenère’s autokey cipher as well as the much weaker cipher that is calledVigenère cipher today. His discovery was kept a military secret, and was not published. Credit for the result was instead given toFriedrich Kasiski, a Prussian infantry officer, who made the same discovery some years later.Babbage did write to the Journal of the Society for Arts a short letter “Cypher Writing” which was printed on 7 December 1855 His priority wasn’t establishedBabbage lived and worked for over 40 years at 1 Dorset Street, Marylebone, where he died, at the age of 79, on 18 October 1871; he was buried in London’s Kensal Green Cemetery. According to Horsley, Babbage died “of renal inadequacy, secondary to cystitis.” He had declined both a knighthood and baronetcy. He also argued against hereditary peerages, favoring life peeragesinstead .In 1983 the autopsy report for Charles Babbage was discovered and later published by his great-great-grandson A copy of the original is also available. Half of Babbage’s brain is preserved at the Hunterian Museum in the Royal College of Surgeons in London The other half of Babbage’s brain is on display in the Science Museum, London.

Babbage’s machines were among the first mechanical computers. .Babbage directed the building of some steam-powered machines that achieved some modest success, suggesting that calculations could be mechanised. For more than ten years he received government funding for his project, which amounted to £17,000, but eventually the Treasury lost confidence in him  While Babbage’s machines were mechanical and unwieldy, their basic architecture was similar to a modern computer. The data and program memory were separated, operation was instruction-based, the control unit could make conditional jumps, and the machine had a separate I/O unit.

In Babbage’s time, printed mathematical tables were calculated by hand. They were central to navigation, science and engineering, as well as mathematics. Mistakes were known to occur in transcription as well as calculation.At Cambridge, Babbage saw the fallibility of this process, and the opportunity of adding mechanisation into its manageIn 2011, researchers in Britain embarked on a multimillion-pound project, “Plan 28”, to construct Babbage’s Analytical Engine. Since Babbage’s plans were continually being refined and were never completed, they will engage the public in the project and crowd-source the analysis of what should be built. It would have the equivalent of 675 bytes of memory, and run at a clock speed of about 7 Hz. They hope to complete it by the 150th anniversary of Babbage’s death, in 2021.Advances in MEMs and nanotechnology have led to recent high-tech experiments in mechanical computation. The benefits suggested include operation in high radiation or high temperature environments. These modern versions of mechanical computation were highlighted in The Economist in its special “end of the millennium” black cover issue in an article entitled “Babbage’s Last Laugh”

David knopfler

Scottish-born rhythm guitarist, pianist, record producer and singer-songwriter David Knopfler was born 27 December 1952 . He is also a poet and book writer.He is a co-founder of the British rock band Dire Straits, spending three years with them. After quitting the band, he embarked upon a solo career as a recording artist.He initially created smaller record labels, publishing companies, and indie labels.Knopfler has encouraged the advent of online purchasing music in 1995, although he concedes the necessity for other avenues of the distribution and sale of recorded music.His book Bluffers Guide to the Rock Music Business  was published in 1996.

Knopfler was born in Glasgow,Scotland, to an English mother, Louisa Mary, a teacher, and a Jewish Hungarian father, Erwin Knopfler, an architect.Knopfler grew up in Newcastle upon Tyne, England, where he attended Gosforth Grammar School.By age 11, he owned a guitar, a piano and a drum kit, and by age 14, he was playing and singing his own compositions in folk clubs.After attending Bristol Polytechnic, he became a social worker in London, where he shared a flat with John Illsley.David Knopfler’s older brother Mark Knopfler also played the guitar. David introduced Mark to John Illsley, a bass guitarist, and after gaining the interest of drummer Pick Withers, the four founded the rock and roll band Dire Straits. One of Mark Knopfler’s friends came up with the band’s name; supposedly a reference to their financial situation at the time the band was beginning to gain notice in the music industry..David Knopfler played rhythm guitar beside his brother, who was lead guitarist to the band, and David appeared on Dire Straits’ first two albums: Dire Straits (1978) and Communiqué (1979). The stress of composing, arranging songs, recording the then-requisite two albums and tours to support them took its toll on the brothers, and David left the band during the recording of their third album,Making Movies (1980), leaving him uncredited on the album.[There is concert video footage, however, of David playing with the band live on several tracks of this album

After leaving Dire Straits, Knopfler released his first solo album in 1983, titled Release. Mark Knopfler and John Illsley both played on the albumHarry Bogdanovs, a lifelong friend of Knopfler, is credited with co-writing three of the tracks and playing synthesizer. The album was supported by the single “Soul Kissing” on the label of Peach River Records. The single was a minor commercial success, peaking at #82 in the UK Albums Chart, after Knopfler retrieved the rights from the bankrupt record label.Behind the Lines, his second album, was released in 1985 and his third solo album, Cut the Wire, followed in 1986.In 1988, the U.S. label Cypress Records released his fourth album, Lips Against the Steel.Knopfler scored the soundtracks for the films Shergar (1984) and Laser Mission (1989),[6] and the German productions Treffer(1984), Jakob hinter der blauen Tür (1989) and Der grosse Bellheim.Lifelines in 1991 released by Phonogram, was recorded in Peter Gabriel’s Real World Studios. That album was followed in 1993 byThe Giver released by MESA/Bluemoon in the U.S., and Ariola in Europe. Its sparse, acoustic arrangements received positive reviews, as did 1995’s Small Mercies, which Knopfler co-produced with Harry Bogdanovs featuring Chris White on saxophone 2001,

Knopfler worked with Bogdanovs again to co-produce the album Wishbones, which has guest appearances by Chris Reaand Eddi Reader. His ninth solo album, Ship of Dreams, which also included Chris Rea, was released in 2004.In May 2005, he published a book of poetry, Blood Stones and Rhythmic Beasts,).The U.S.-Canadian jazz label Justin Time Records released Ship of Dreams in October 2005 with an alternate rendition of “Tears Fall” featuring Megan Slankard (replacing Julia Neigel on the original European release). Knopfler’s tenth solo album Songs for the Siren was released in 2006 Recent songwriting projects with other artists have included sessions with Amilia Spicer, Mack Starks, Megan Slankard and Wendy Lands.He played various acoustic and electric gigs in Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Canada, Turkey and Australia from 2007 to 2009 with Harry Bogdanovs and his band. A new double CD Acoustic, which contains unplugged renditions of new and old songs was released in 2011.Knopfler continued to tour in Spain, Germany, the UK, the United States and Canada in 2012 and 2013. The first-ever limited edition live album, Made in Germany (recorded in Erfurt, Germany during the 2012 tour with Bogdanovs), was released in April 2013 exclusively via CDBaby.com.

 

Tribute to James Brown

JamesBrownOften referred to as the Godfather of Soul, the late great American singer, songwriter, arranger, and dancer, James Brown sadly passed away on December 25th 2006. Born May 3rd, 1933 in Barnwell, South Carolina. He was a prolific singer, songwriter and bandleader and became one of the most iconic mportant and influential figures in funk and soul music from 1956-2006. This remarkable achievements earned him the sobriquet “the Hardest-Working Man in Show Business” and helped him become one of the most popular entertainers in 20th-century popular music. Among his most popular songs are  “It’s A Man’s World” “Try Me” “Night Train”  “Please, Please, Please” “Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag”  “I Got You (I Feel Good)”  “Cold Sweat ” “Say It Loud—I’m Black and I’m Proud” “Get on Up” and “Super Bad.At age 15 Brown was sentenced to 8 to 16 years in prison after being arrested for breaking into cars but was released after 3 years for good behaviour. While at the Alto Reform School, he formed a gospel group named the Flames (later the Famous Flames), which soon attracted the attention of the legendary Little Richard , whose manager helped promote the group, and they went to Cincinnati, Ohio, to record their first song “Please, Please, Please” which went on to sell three million copies and launched Brown’s extraordinary career.

Along with placing nearly 100 singles and almost 50 albums on the best-seller charts, Brown broke new ground with two of the first successful “live and in concert” albums— Live at the Apollo (1963), and the follow-up, Pure Dynamite! Live at the Royal.During the 1960s Brown was known as “Soul Brother Number One.” His hit recordings of that decade have often been associated with the emergence of the Black Arts and black nationalist movements, especially the songs “Say It Loud—I’m Black and I’m Proud”, “Don’t Be a Drop-Out”, and “I Don’t Want Nobody to Give Me Nothin’ (Open Up the Door, I’ll Get It Myself)”. Politicians recruited him to help calm cities struck by civil insurrection and avidly courted his endorsement. In the 1970s Brown became “the Godfather of Soul,” and his hit songs stimulated several dance crazes and were featured on the sound tracks of a number of “blaxploitation” films. When hip-hop emerged as a viable commercial music in the 1980s, Brown’s songs again assumed centre stage as hip-hop disc jockeys frequently incorporated samples from his records.

He also appeared in several motion pictures, including The Blues Brothers and Rocky IV, and attained global status as a celebrity, especially in Africa,where his tours attracted enormous crowds and generated a broad range of new musical fusions.Brown’s uncanny ability to sing soulful slow ballads as well as electrifying up-tempo tunes, often blending blues, gospel, jazz, and country vocal styles together, made him one of the most influential vocalists of the 20th century. His extraordinary dance routines featuring acrobatic leaps, full-impact knee landings, complex rhythmic patterns, dazzling footwork, dramatic entrances, and melodramatic exits redefined public performance within popular music and inspired generations of imitators. The musicians associated with him (Jimmy Nolan, Bootsy Collins, Fred Wesley, and Maceo Parker) have also played an important role in funk music. in 1986 Brown was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for his outstanding contribution to the world of Funk and Soul Music .

James Brown & BB King in Concert http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=_imA3r_S1YU

Tribute to Gerry Anderson

ThunderbirdsFamous for his work on Television, Gerry Anderson, sadly passed away on December 26 2012 aged 83. Born April 14 1929 at Feltham, Middlesex. His  father scratched a living filling cigarette machines. Neurotic and shy, Gerry was brought up in Neasden, north London, where the family shared a single room, but at the outbreak of war he was evacuated to Northamptonshire. He left Willesden county secondary school with ambitions of being a plasterer until he realised he was allergic to plaster. He started work as a trainee with Colonial Films and after National Service as a radio operator with the RAF worked as an assistant at Gainsborough Studios before co-founding Pentagon Films to make commercials in 1955.The following year, he moved into film production and formed AP Films (Named after partner Arthur Povis) in the hope of making a classic epic — but the opportunities were not forthcoming. Instead he reluctantly turned to making puppet series for television and produced 52 episodes of The Adventures of Twizzle, a project that led to Torchy The Battery Boy and Four Feather Falls, a Western series in which the puppets (unable to draw their guns) had to swivel their holsters to fire.

These early efforts convinced Anderson of the potential of puppet series as an entertainment form, and his 1960 series Supercar was the first successful science-fiction format to reflect the growing interest among children in futuristic technology. He followed it with the more sophisticated Fireball XL5, 26 episodes featuring the hero Steve Zodiac, and timing it to coincide with increased interest in the “space race”.In 1965 Anderson created Stingray, featuring the underwater exploits of Troy Tempest and his submarine, and the first of his series to be shot in colour. The series was also the first of Anderson’s to be sold to America.

Anderson’s most successful and popular series Thunderbirds was elaborately produced and followed the adventures of the futuristic Tracy family who ran an air, space and undersea rescue service from a small island in the Pacific. Anderson remembered that his elder brother, Lionel, a pilot who was killed in the war, had trained in Arizona near Thunderbird Field, and helped himself to the “very exciting” name. As well as Jeff Tracy and his sons John, Scott, Virgil, Alan and Gordon (all named after early American astronauts), Thunderbirds also introduced some of Anderson’s most popular and enduring characters, including the myopic genius Brains, the glamorous secret agent Lady Penelope ( who was based on his second wife, Sylvia) and her chauffeur, an ex-alcoholic Cockney safecracker-made-good called Parker, whose distinctive way of speaking (“Yus, m’lady”) was apparently modelled on a waiter at a pub in Cookham where Anderson used to have his lunch.Although the television series caught the imagination of millions of young viewers, two feature-length film spin-offs, Thunderbirds Are Go and Thunderbirds 6, both failed to achieve the same popularity. More successful was Anderson’s venture into a tie-in weekly children’s comic, TV Century 21, launched in 1965 and containing strips based on his various television series.

ln 1967 Anderson created a new series, Captain Scarlet, named after its indestructible hero, and the first to be made by Anderson’s new production company, Century 21. It was followed in 1968 by Joe 90, about a nine-year-old boy who gained expert knowledge on any subject using his uncle’s hi-tech mousetrap invention. Anderson’s next venture, The Secret Service, was his first and unsuccessful attempt to combine puppets with real actors and marked the start of a decline in the fortunes of his production company, Century 21.His first science-fiction feature film, Journey to the Far Side of the Sun, starred Ian Hendry and Patrick Wymark and coincided with Anderson’s first all-live action series for television called UFO which, although well produced, was a humourless affair which failed to make an impact on its first showing – while attracting considerable interest when it was repeated in 1987.

In the 1970s Anderson persevered with live action series such as The Protectors, featuring a glamorous international crime-fighting agency starring Robert Vaughn and Nyree Dawn Porter, and Space 1999, a sub-Star Trek enterprise which was critically panned for its stereotyped characters and bland scripts. Stalled projects, misjudged investments and a property crash left Anderson in dire financial straits, and he endured a painful divorce from his second wife and former business partner, Sylvia.Anderson returned to puppets in 1982 with Terrahawks, in which Dr Tiger Ninestein and the Terrahawks tried to stop the evil Zelda conquering the universe. The success of this series encouraged Anderson to attempt a new project called Space Police, but although a pilot was produced, financial backing never materialised and the series failed to get off the ground.Most of Anderson’s work in the 1980s was with television commercials, the most memorable perhaps being that for Scotch videotape featuring the “skeleton man”. Having sold the rights to his shows to the television tycoon Lord Grade in the 1970s, in 2008 he entered into talks with ITV to buy back the rights to Thunderbirds to remake it using computer-generated imagery. A live-action remake of Thunderbirds, co-produced by the British company Working Title and the American studio Universal was also released in the 2004. In retirement he lived at Henley-on-Thames with his third wife, Mary, and took an active interest in his production enterprises and the extraordinary following his puppet series continued to attract. He was appointed MBE in 2001 and sadly passed away on December 26 2012 aged 83