Whitney Houston

whitney_houstonthe late, great singer, actress and model, Whitney Houston, tagically died on the 11th February 2012, at the age of 48. B orn 9th August in 1963 in Newark, New Jersey, At the age of 11, Houston started performing as a soloist in the junior gospel choir at the New Hope Baptist Church in Newark, where she also learned to play the piano. When Houston was a teenager, she attended Mount Saint Dominic Academy, a Catholic girls’ high school in Caldwell, New Jersey, where she met her best friend Robyn Crawford, whom she described as the “sister she never had”. While Houston was still in school, her mother continued to teach her how to sing. Houston was also exposed to the music of Chaka Khan, Gladys Knight, and Roberta Flack, most of whom would have an influence on her as a singer and performer.Houston spent some of her teenage years touring nightclubs where her mother Cissy was performing, and she would occasionally get on stage and perform with her. In 1977, at age 14, she became a backup singer on the Michael Zager Band’s single “Life’s a Party”. In 1978, at age 15, Houston sang background vocals on Chaka Khan’s hit single “I’m Every Woman”, a song she would later turn into a larger hit for herself on her monster-selling The Bodyguard soundtrack album. She also sang back-up on albums by Lou Rawls and Jermaine Jackson.

http://youtu.be/qFUjJc2nqbI WHITNEY HOUSTON’S GREATEST HITS

In the early 1980s, Houston started working as a fashion model after a photographer saw her at Carnegie Hall singing with her mother. She appeared in the magazines Seventeen, Glamour, Cosmopolitan and Young Miss,Her striking looks and girl-next-door charm made her one of the most sought after teen models of that time and While modeling, she also continued her burgeoning recording career. Houston first recording was a duet with Teddy Pendergrass entitled “Hold Me” which appeared on his album, Love Language. The single was released in 1984 and gave Houston her first taste of success, becoming a Top 5 R&B hit.The Song also appeared on her debut album which was released in February 1985. Rolling Stone magazine praised Houston, calling her “one of the most exciting new voices in years” while The New York Times called the album “an impressive, musically conservative showcase for an exceptional vocal talent”.In the US, the soulful ballad “You Give Good Love” was chosen as the lead single from Houston’s debut to establish her in the black marketplace first. Outside the US, the song failed to get enough attention to become a hit, but in the US, it gave the album its first major hit as it peaked at No. 3 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart, and No. 1 on the Hot R&B chart. As a result, the album began to sell strongly, and Houston continued promotion by touring nightclubs in the US. She also began performing on late-night television talk shows, which were not usually accessible to unestablished black acts. The jazzy ballad “Saving All My Love for You” was released next and it would become Houston’s first No. 1 single in both the US and the UK.By 1986, a year after its initial release, Whitney Houston topped the Billboard 200 albums chart and stayed there for 14 non-consecutive weeks. The final single, “Greatest Love of All“, became Houston’s biggest hit at the time after peaking No. 1 and remaining there for three weeks on the Hot 100 chart, which made her debut the first album by a female artist to yield three No. 1 hits. Houston was No. 1 artist of the year and Whitney Houston was the No. 1 album of the year on the 1986 Billboard year-end charts, making her the first female artist to earn that disthttp://m.youtube.com/watch?v=B0M1Sfgs9o4inction. At the time, Houston released the best-selling debut album by a solo artist.Houston then embarked on her world tour, Greatest Love Tour. The album had become an international success, and was certified 13× platinum (diamond) in the United States alone, and has sold a total of 25 million copies worldwide. At the 1986 Grammy Awards, Houston was nominated for three awards including Album of the Year. She was not eligible for the Best New Artist category due to her previous hit R&B duet recording with Teddy Pendergrass in 1984. She won her first Grammy award for Best Pop Vocal Performance, Female for “Saving All My Love for You”. Houston’s performance of the song during the Grammy telecast later earned her an Emmy Award for Outstanding Individual Performance in a Variety or Music Program.Houston won seven American Music Awards in total in 1986 and 1987, and an MTV Video Music Award. The album’s popularity would also carry over to the 1987 Grammy Awards when “Greatest Love of All” would receive a Record of the Year nomination. Houston’s debut album is listed as one of Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Albums of All Time and on The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame’s Definitive 200 list.

Houston’s second album, Whitney, was released in June 1987. the album enjoyed considerable commercial success. and Houston became the first female artist in music history to debut at number one on the Billboard 200 albums chart, and the first artist to enter the albums chart at number one in both the US and UK. The album’s first single, “I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me)“, was also a massive hit worldwide and The next three singles, “Didn’t We Almost Have It All”, “So Emotional”, and “Where Do Broken Hearts Go” all peaked at number one on the US Hot 100 chart, which gave her a total of seven consecutive number one hits, breaking the record of six previously shared by The Beatles and The Bee Gees. Houston became the first female artist to generate four number-one singles from one album. Whitney has been certified 9× Platinum in the US for shipments of over 9 million copies, and has sold a total of 20 million copies worldwide.In 2009, the Guinness World Records cited her as the most-awarded female act of all-time. Houston was one of the world’s best-selling music artists, having sold over 170 million albums, singles and videos worldwide. She released seven studio albums and three movie soundtrack albums, all of which have diamond, multi-platinum, platinum or gold certification. Houston’s crossover appeal on the popular music charts, as well as her prominence on MTV, starting with her video for “How Will I Know”, influenced several African American female artists to follow in her footsteps. Houston is the only artist to chart seven consecutive No. 1 Billboard Hot 100 hits. She is the second artist behind Elton John and the only female artist to have two number-one Billboard 200 Album awards (formerly “Top Pop Album”) on the Billboard magazine year-end charts. Houston’s 1985 debut album Whitney Houston became the best-selling debut album by a female act at the time of its release. The album was named Rolling Stone’s best album of 1986, and was ranked at number 254 on Rolling Stone’s list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. Her second studio album Whitney (1987) became the first album by a female artist to debut at number one on the Billboard 200 albums chart. Houston’s first acting role was as the star of the feature film The Bodyguard (1992). The film’s original soundtrack won the 1994 Grammy Award for Album of the Year. Its lead single “I Will Always Love You“, became the best-selling single by a female artist in music history. With the album, Houston became the first act (solo or group, male or female) to sell more than a million copies of an album within a single week period under Nielsen SoundScan system. The album makes her the top female act in the top 10 list of the best-selling albums of all time, at number four. Houston continued to star in movies and contribute to their soundtracks, including the films Waiting to Exhale (1995) and The Preacher’s Wife (1996). The Preacher’s Wife soundtrack became the best-selling gospel album in history. Her sad demise left fans around the world in shock. The I Will Always Love You and Saving All My Love singer won multiple Grammys including album and record of the year, selling millions of albums and singles worldwide. She also carried her success into the film industry, appearing in hit movies including The Bodyguard.

Fleming

casino185_339854aDirected by Mat Whitecross, and written by John Brownlow and Don McPherson There is a new dramatisation on television of the life of Bond novelist Ian Fleming which I would like to watch. Fleming published his first 007 novel, Casino Royale, in 1953. Although no one could have had the slightest idea at the time, the suave man of action at its centre would go on to become one of the most famous fictional characters of all time. The number of people estimated to have seen a Bond film runs well into the billions, and the 23-strong franchise has grossed more than $6billion (second only to the filmic exploits of a fellow Scottish boarding school alumnus, Harry Potter).

Fleming himself was an athletic but fast-living fellow fond of cradling a cigarette or cocktail in one hand and a willing sylph in the other. He, like “Commander” Bond, was for a time in the employ of the Navy. So where exactly did Fleming stop and Bond begin? There have already been several stabs at dramatising the writer’s life, including two television films from 1989 and 1990, the first starring Charles Dance, the second Jason Connery. But Fleming – a co-production between Sky Atlantic and BBC America – is the most opulent yet. Inspired by Pearson’s biography, this new four-parter stars former History Boy Dominic Cooper as the novelist-to-be and Lara “Sherlock” Pulver as Ann O’Neill, whom Fleming pinched from husband Viscount Rothermere, and with whom he had a son. Among other British names are Samuel West as Rear-Admiral Godfrey (the inspiration for M), Anna Chancellor as his secretary (a prototypical Moneypenny) and Lesley Manville as Fleming’s faintly terrifying mother, Evelyn. . Spanning 1938-52, the series begins at the end, with Fleming in his Jamaican retreat, Goldeneye, putting the final touches to his Casino Royale manuscript. To judge by the first episode, the series is nothing if not a polished piece of work. From the Caribbean in 1952, it whisks us briefly back to Nazi-infested Kitzbühel in the late Thirties, then into the devil-may-care buzz of high-society London in 1939. Dissolute playboy though Fleming is, his mother nevertheless manages to secure him a job in Naval Intelligence as war looms, and he is soon working his maverick charm on his colleagues and, after a chance encounter, on Ann. Although they apparently don’t consummate their affair until the end of the second episode, the chemistry between the two is instant: the Viscount doesn’t stand a chance.

Much of the series is based on fact and Nothing has been invented  from scratch” with events only being “sexed it up a little”, however the series has taken “huge liberties” with Pearson’s biography. some say that before Fleming’s thrilling adventures hit page or screen, they were experienced first-hand by their author-to-be”, however Fleming himself admitted that he considerably dolled up his wartime exploits for the books – he never defused an atom bomb, any more than he dodged killer bowler hats or bonked Nasa scientists in space. the series s part Fleming biopic and part Bond movie – right down to the Caribbean underwater scene, complete with John Barry-esque music.– it also implies that Fleming invented Bond to do the things he either couldn’t or wouldn’t do himself. this chronicle of Ian Fleming gives a potent feeling of the charismatically dysfunctional man as well as an understanding of who Fleming saw himself as being, rather than who he was, by using a combination of rakish authority and gnawing self-doubt.  Fleming  himself– who died of a heart attack in 1964, aged just 56 – might well have welcomed the series’ free-and-easy approach to the finer details of his life. After all, as the charming rogue himself once put it, “You should never let too much accuracy come between you and a good story.”

Sydney Sheldon -the Prince of Potboilers

Windmills-of-the-Gods-195x300Best known for his television shows including I dream of Jeannie and Hart to Hart as well as his many novels, the Academy Award-winning American writer Sidney Sheldon  Was Born February 11, 1917. In 1937, Sheldon moved to Hollywood, California, where he reviewed scripts and collaborated on a number of B movies.Sheldon enlisted in the military during World War II as a pilot in the War Training Service, a branch of the Army Air Corps,His unit was disbanded before he saw any action. Returning to civilian life, he moved to New York City where he began writing musicals for theBroadway stage while continuing to write screenplays for both MGM Studios and Paramount Pictures. He earned a reputation as a prolific writer; for example, at one time he had three musicals on Broadway: a rewritten The Merry WidowJackpot, and Dream with Music.His success on Broadway brought him back to Hollywood where his first assignment was The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer, which earned him the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay of 1947. He was one of the writers on the screenplay for the 1948 musical film Easter Parade and sole writer for the 1950 musical film Annie Get Your Gun, both of which featured the songs ofIrving Berlin.When television became the new popular medium, he decided to try his hand in it. “I suppose I needed money,” he remembered. “I met Patty Duke one day at lunch. So I produced The Patty Duke Show, and I did something nobody else in TV ever did. For seven years, I wrote almost every single episode of the series.”

Sheldon created, produced and wrote I Dream of Jeannie in his co-production capacity with Screen Gems. He wrote all but two dozen scripts in five years, sometimes using three pseudonyms (Mark RowaneAllan DevonChristopher Golato) while simultaneously writing scripts for The Patty Duke Show. He also used the same pseudonyms in writing all seventeen episodes of Nancy. He later admitted that he did this because he felt his name was appearing too often in the credits as creator, producer, copyright owner andwriter of these series. He also created and wrote for the series Hart to Hart. Production for I Dream of Jeannie ended in 1970 after five seasons. It was “During the last year of I Dream of Jeannie, I decided to try a novel,” he said in 1982. “Each morning from 9 until noon, I had a secretary at the studio take all calls. I mean every single call. I wrote each morning — or rather, dictated — and then I faced the TV business.

In 1969, Sheldon wrote his first novel, The Naked Face, which earned him a nomination for the Edgar Allan Poe Award from theMystery Writers of America in the category of Best First Novel. His next novel, The Other Side of Midnight, climbed to #1 on The New York Times Best Seller list as did several ensuing novels, a number of which were also made into motion pictures or TV miniseries Including Windmills of theGods. His novels often featured determined women who persevere in a tough world run by hostile men. the novels contained a lot of suspense and devices to keep the reader turning the page. Sadly Sheldon passed away on January 30, 2007, but remains the seventh best selling fiction writer of all time And has also been Called “mr Blockbuster” and “the Prince of Potboilers”.

National Inventors Day

National Inventors day is a day of the year set aside by a country to recognise the contributions of inventors and The United States National Inventors’ Day takes place yearly on 11th February to mark the birth of Thomas Edison.It was started by Former US President Ronald Reagan, who as President of the United States proclaimed February 11, 1983 as National Inventors’ Day, In recognition of the enormous contribution inventors make to the nation and the world, the Congress, pursuant to Senate Joint Resolution 140 (Public Law 97 – 198), designated February 11, the anniversary of the birth of the inventor Thomas Alva Edison, who held over 1,000 patents.

However Not all countries recognise Inventors’ Day. Those countries which do recognise an Inventors’ Day do so with varying degrees of emphasis and on different days of the year.For instance The Inventors’ Day (Spanish: Día del Inventor) in Argentina has been celebrated since 1986 and is held yearly on September 29, the birthday of the inventor of the ballpoint pen, László József Bíró.vMeanwhile The Inventors’ Day (German: Tag der Erfinder) in the German-speaking countries Germany, Austria and Switzerland is celebrated on November 9, the birthday of the Austrian-born inventor and Hollywood actress Hedy Lamarr whose main invention was the frequency-hopped spread spectrum 1942.The day was proclaimed by Berlin inventor and entrepreneur Gerhard Muthenthaler. According to the website of the organisation[2] it intends to pursue the following goals:Encourage people towards their own ideas and for a change to the better and Remind people of forgotten inventors. Hungarian Inventors’ Day (Magyar Feltalálók Napja) is celebrated on June 13 in memoriam of Albert Szent-Györgyi who registered his national patent about the synthesized Vitamin C in 1941 and won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1937. It is celebrated by the Association of Hungarian Inventors (MAFE) since 2009. While in the Republic of Moldova an Inventors’ and Rationalizers’ Day is celebrated annually at the end of June. Thailand on the other hand recognises February 2 as Inventors’ Day each year. The Thai Cabinet set this date to commemorate the anniversary of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s allocation of a patent for a slow speed surface aerator on February 2, 1993

Wizard of Menlo Park -tribute to Thomas Edison

American inventor and businessman Thomas Alva Edison was born on February 11, 1847 in Milan, Ohio, and grew up in Port Huron, Michigan. In school, the young Edison’s mind often wandered, and his teacher, the Reverend Engle, was overheard calling him “addled”. This ended Edison’s three months of official schooling. Edison recalled later, “My mother was the making of me. She was so true, so sure of me; and I felt I had something to live for, someone I must not disappoint.” His mother taught him at home. much of his education came from reading R.G. Parker’s School of Natural Philosophy. Edison developed hearing problems at an early age. The cause of his deafness has been attributed to a bout of scarlet fever during childhood and recurring untreated middle-ear infections. Around the middle of his career, Edison attributed the hearing impairment to being struck on the ears by a train conductor when his chemical laboratory in a boxcar caught fire and he was thrown off the train in Smiths Creek, Michigan, along with his apparatus and chemicals. In 1854 Edison’s family moved to Port Huron, Michigan, He sold candy and newspapers on trains running from Port Huron to Detroit, and he sold vegetables to supplement his income. He also studied qualitative analysis, and conducted chemical experiments on the train until an accident prohibited further work of the kind. He obtained the exclusive right to sell newspapers on the road, and, with the aid of four assistants, he set in type and printed the Grand Trunk Herald, which he sold with his other papers.This began Edison’s long streak of entrepreneurial ventures, as he discovered his talents as a businessman. These talents eventually led him to found 14 companies, including General Electric, which is still one of the largest publicly traded companies in the world.

Thomas Edison began his career as an inventor in Newark, New Jersey, with the automatic repeater and his other improved telegraphic devices, but the invention that first gained him notice was the phonograph in 1877. This accomplishment was so unexpected by the public at large as to appear almost magical. Edison became known as “The Wizard of Menlo Park,” New Jersey.His first phonograph recorded on tinfoil around a grooved cylinder, but had poor sound quality and the recordings could be played only a few times. In the 1880s, a redesigned model using wax-coated cardboard cylinders was produced by Alexander Graham Bell, Chichester Bell, and Charles Tainter. This was one reason that Thomas Edison continued work on his own “Perfected Phonograph.” In 1877–78, Edison invented and developed the carbon microphone used in all telephones along with the Bell receiver until the 1980s. After protracted patent litigation, in 1892 a federal court ruled that Edison and not Emile Berliner was the inventor of the carbon microphone which was also used in radio broadcasting and public address work through the 1920s.

He also developed many other devices that greatly influenced life around the world, including the motion picture camera, and a long-lasting, practical electric light bulb Edison also patented a system for electricity distribution in 1880, which was essential to capitalize on the invention of the electric lamp. Dubbed “The Wizard of Menlo Park” by a newspaper reporter, he was one of the first inventors to apply the principles of mass production and large-scale teamwork to the process of invention, and because of that, he is often credited with the creation of the first industrial research laboratory.Edison is the fourth most prolific inventor in history, holding 1,093 US patents in his name, as well as many patents in the United Kingdom, France, and Germany. He is credited with numerous inventions that contributed to mass communication and, in particular, telecommunications. These included a stock ticker, a mechanical vote recorder, a battery for an electric car, electrical power, recorded music and motion pictures.His advanced work in these fields was an outgrowth of his early career as a telegraph operator. Edison developed a system of electric-power generation and distribution to homes, businesses, and factories – a crucial development in the modern industrialized world. He also developed the first power station on Pearl Street in Manhattan, New York and is credited with designing and producing the first commercially available fluoroscope, a machine that uses X-rays to take radiographs. Until Edison discovered that calcium tungstate fluoroscopy screens produced brighter images than the barium platinocyanide screens originally used by Wilhelm Röntgen, the technology was capable of producing only very faint images, The fundamental design is still in use today.

Edison was active in business Just months before his death, the Electrical transmission for the Lackawanna Railroad inaugurated suburban electric train service from Hoboken to Montclair, Dover, and Gladstone in New Jersey. was by means of an overhead catenary system using direct current, which Edison had championed. Despite his frail condition, Edison was at the throttle of the first electric MU (Multiple-Unit) train to depart Lackawanna Terminal in Hoboken in September 1930, driving the train the first mile through Hoboken yard on its way to South Orange.This fleet of cars would serve commuters in northern New Jersey for the next 54 years until their retirement in 1984. A plaque commemorating Edison’s inaugural ride can be seen today in the waiting room of Lackawanna Terminal in Hoboken, which is presently operated by New Jersey Transit. Edison was said to have been influenced by a popular fad diet in his last few years; “the only liquid he consumed was a pint of milk every three hours”. He is reported to have believed this diet would restore his health. Edison became the owner of his Milan, Ohio, birthplace in 1906. On his last visit, in 1923, he was reportedly shocked to find his old home still lit by lamps and candles.Thomas Edison died of complications of diabetes on October 18, 1931, in his home, “Glenmont” in Llewellyn Park in West Orange, New Jersey, which he had purchased in 1886 as a wedding gift for Mina. He is buried behind the home. Edison’s last breath is reportedly contained in a test tube at the Henry Ford Museum. Ford reportedly convinced Charles Edison to seal a test tube of air in the inventor’s room shortly after his death, as a memento.