The Imitation Game/Turing: The Enigma by Andrew Hodges

I would like to watch the film The Imitation Game and also read Alan Turning:the Enigma by Andrew Hodges, A biographical book about Alan Turing, the brilliant mathematician and Scientist whose pioneering work helped shorten World War II and led to many new inventions which today we take for granted. The novel was also the inspiration for the film, The Imitation Game, Starring Benedict Cumberbatch as Alan Turing, Keira Knightley and Mathew Goode.

Turing was first Taken on by British Intelligence in 1938, as a shy young Cambridge don, and combined brilliant logic with a flair for engineering. In 1940 his machines were breaking the Enigma-enciphered messages of Nazi Germany’s air force. He then headed the penetration of the super-secure U-boat communications. But his vision went far beyond this achievement. Before the war he had invented the concept of the universal machine, and in 1945 he turned this into the first design for a digital computer. Turing’s far-sighted plans for the digital era forged ahead into a vision for Artificial Intelligence.

Sadly though, despite being the brilliant mathematician credited with cracking the German Enigma code during World War II, significantly shortening the war, and being the pioneer of modern day computing. Turing was persecuted by an unenlightened British Establishment who saw his homosexuality as a crime and subjected him to humiliating treatment until finally In 1954, aged 41, Alan Turing tragically took his own life and until recently, remained one of Britain’s most extraordinary unsung heroes. Thankfully though attitudes have changed since then and he has finally garnered the recognition he deserves and his work and legacy live on. The Imitation Game will be in cinemas on Friday, November 14, 2014.


The Target by David Baldacci

imageI would like to read the exciting espionage thriller “The Target” by David Baldacci. The novel starts after The President of the United States orders a perilous, high-risk assignment. to take down a global menace, in North Korea once and for all. So he turns to the one team that can pull off the impossible: government Operatives Will Robie and his partner, Jessica Reel, whose talents as assassins are unmatched

However If the mission fails, he would face certain impeachment, and an attack from North Korea would be likely should US involvement in the attempted coup be revealed, And there are some in power who don’t trust the pair either. They doubt their willingness to follow orders. And they will do anything to see that the two assassins succeed, but that they do not survive. Additionally Reel faces a personal crisis that could well lead old enemies right to her doorstep, resurrecting the ghosts of her earlier life and bringing stark danger to all those close to her.

Robie and Reel also find themselves being stalked by a new adversary: an unknown and unlikely assassin named Chung-Cha a young woman who was raised and trained in the infamous Yodok concentration camp. It’s a place where honour, emotion and compassion don’t exist. Cold, calculating and highly skilled, Chung-Cha has been trained to kill. And the task she has been given is to destroy the enemy at all costs and her list of targets, includes Will Robie and Jessica Reel and it is not long before A dangerous and deadly game of cat and mouse ensues between East and West.

Guy Fawkes night/Bonfire Night

guy_fawkesTraditionally November the 5th is Bonfire Night or Guy Fawkes Night, which is held yearly in the UK to commemorate the failed Gunpowder Plot on 5th November 1605, During which a group of provincial English Catholics nnamed Robert Catesby, John Wright, Thomas Wintour, Thomas Percy, Guy Fawkes, Robert Keyes, Thomas Bates, Robert Wintour, Christopher Wright, John Grant, Sir Ambrose Rookwood, Sir Everard Digby and Francis Tresham, planned to blow up the House of Lords during the State Opening of England’s Parliament on 5 November 1605, killing protestant King James I of England and VI of Scotland and restoring a Catholic monarch to the throne.This was to be the prelude to a popular revolt in the Midlands during which James’s nine-year-old daughter, Princess Elizabeth, was to be installed as the Catholic head of state. Guy Fawkes was born on 13 April 1570 and was educated in York. His father died when he was eight years old, after which his mother married a recusant Catholic. Fawkes later converted to Catholicism and left for the continent, where he fought in the Eighty Years’ War on the side of Catholic Spain against Protestant Dutch reformers. He travelled to Spain to seek support for a Catholic rebellion in England but was unsuccessful.Whilst in Spain he met Thomas Wintour, with whom he returned to England, and Upon their return, Wintour introduced Fawkes to Robert Catesby, who planned to assassinate King James I and restore a Catholic monarch to the throne. The plotters secured the lease to an undercroft beneath the House of Lords, and Fawkes was placed in charge of the gunpowder they stockpiled there.

Robert Catesby may have embarked on the scheme after hopes of securing greater religious tolerance under King James had faded, leaving many English Catholics disappointed.To this end The plotters secured the lease to an undercroft beneath the House of Lords, and Fawkes was placed in charge of the gunpowder they stockpiled there, due to his 10 years of military experience fighting in the Spanish Netherlands in suppression of the Dutch Revolt. However The plot was revealed to the authorities in an anonymous letter sent to William Parker, 4th Baron Monteagle, on 26 October 1605. As a result the authorities searched Westminster Palace and the House of Lords and at about midnight on 4 November 1605, Fawkes was discovered guarding 36 barrels of gunpowder—enough to reduce the House of Lords to rubble—and he was arrested.

Upon learning of the plot’s discovery Most of the conspirators fled from London trying to enlist support for their cause along the way. Several made a stand against the pursuing Sheriff of Worcester and his men at Holbeche House; in the ensuing battle Catesby was one of those shot and killed. At their trial on 27 January 1606, eight of the survivors, including Fawkes, were found guilty of of High Treason and sentenced to be hanged, drawn and quartered. However Immediately before his execution on 31 January 1606, Fawkes jumped from the scaffold where he was to be hanged and broke his neck thus avoiding the agony of the mutilation that followed.

Francis Tresham Was ‘the eldest son of Sir Thomas Tresham and Merial Throckmorton,  was also a member of the group of English provincial Catholics who planned the failed Gunpowder Plot of 1605, having joined the Earl of Essex’s failed rebellion in 1601. He was also caught and imprisoned. Only his family’s intervention and his father’s money saved him from attainder. He first became involved with the Gunpowder Plot during two missions to Catholic Spain to seek support for English Catholics (then heavily persecuted). According to his confession, Tresham joined the plot in October 1605. Its leader, Robert Catesby, asked him to provide a large sum of money and the use of Rushton Hall, but Tresham apparently provided neither, instead giving a much smaller amount of money to fellow plotter Thomas Wintour.

Tresham also expressed concern that if the plot was successful, two of his brothers-in-law would be killed. An anonymous letter delivered to one of them, William Parker, 4th Baron Monteagle, found its way to the English Secretary of State, Robert Cecil, 1st Earl of Salisbury, an event which eventually proved decisive in the conspiracy’s failure. Historians have long suspected that Tresham wrote the letter, a hypothesis that remains unproven. Catesby and Wintour shared the same suspicion and threatened to kill him, but he was able to convince them otherwise. He was arrested on 12 November and confined to the Tower of London. In his confession, he sought to allay his involvement in the plot, but never mentioned the letter. He died of natural causes on 23 December 1605.

Fawkes meanwhile despite being only one of 13 conspirators became synonymous with The thwarting of the Gunpowder Plot and since November 1605 people have been encouraged to celebrate the King’s escape from assassination by holding special sermons and other public events such as the ringing of church bells,and lighting of bonfires, “always provided that ‘this testemony of joy be carefully done without any danger or disorder’”. An Act of Parliament was also passed, which designated each 5 November as a day of thanksgiving for “the joyful day of deliverance” and this day has been commemorated ever since by the lighting of Bonfires during which an effigy of Guy Fawkes is traditionally burned & Spectacular Firework Displays take place

Bryan Adams

Canadian rock singer-songwriter, guitarist, bassist, producer, actor and photographer Bryan Adams, OC OBC was born 5 November 1959. Adams music career began in 1978, when at the age of 18, Adams met Jim Vallance introduced by a mutual friend in a Vancouver music store. Vallance was the former drummer and principal songwriter for Vancouver based rock band Prism and had recently quit that band to focus on a career as a studio musician and songwriter. Later in 1978, Adams signed to A&M records Adams’ first single, was “Let Me Take You Dancing,” An early version of “Straight From The Heart” was written during this period. The song later became Adams’s first top ten record in the US in 1983.Adams’ self-titled debut album was released in February 1980, containing the songs “Remember” and “Wastin’ Time”, The album was certified gold in Canada in 1986. Adams’ second album, You Want It You Got It, was released in 1981 and contained the hit “Lonely Nights,” but it was not until his third album that he achieved international recognition, popularity and sales. Cuts Like a Knife, which was released in January 1983, was Adams’ breakout album contained the singles. “Straight from the Heart” & “Cuts Like a Knife” whose music video received heavy airplay on music television channels. The album achieved three times platinum status in Canada, platinum in the United States and gold in Australia.Adams’ best-selling album, Reckless, was released in November 1984 and featured the singles, “Run to You”, “Summer of ’69″, “Heaven”, “One Night Love Affair”, “Somebody”, and “It’s Only Love”, a duet with Tina Turner, which was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Rock Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group. In 1986, the song won an MTV award for Best Stage Performance. After the release of the album, Adams was nominated for Best Male Rock Performance. The album is Adams’ best-selling album in the United States and was certified five times platinum.

The follow-up album to Reckless was Into the Fire which was released in 1987. This album contained the hit songs “Heat of the Night” and “Hearts on Fire” and hit the Top 10 on both sides of the Atlantic.In 1989 Adams did backup singing on Mötley Crüe’s album Dr. Feelgood and also on Belinda Carlisle’s song “Whatever It Takes” which appeared on her Album Runaway Horses.Adams’ next album, Waking Up the Neighbours, was released in September 1991 and featured “(Everything I Do) I Do It for You”, his second 1 hit single in Billboard Hot 100. This song was featured on the album and a movie Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, starring Kevin Costner and Alan Rickman and spent a record-breaking 16 consecutive weeks at number 1 on the UK Singles Chart. Adams won a Grammy Award in 1991 for Best Song Written Specifically for a Motion Picture or for Television. In November 1993 Adams released a compilation album entitled So Far So Good, that again topped the Charts in numerous countries. It included a brand new song called “Please Forgive Me”.

In 1994 he collaborated with Rod Stewart and Sting for the single “All for Love” written for the Motion Picture Soundtrack of the movie Three Musketeers. The single topped the charts worldwide. It was followed in 1995 by, “Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman?” (song released with the Motion Picture Soundtrack of the movie Don Juan DeMarco)., Adams’ next album 18 til I Die contained the UK Top 10 singles “The Only Thing That Looks Good on Me” and “Lets Make a Night to Remember”. Then In December 1997, Adams released MTV Unplugged with three new tracks: “Back to You”, “A Little Love” and “When You Love Someone”. “Back to You” was the first single, followed by “I’m Ready”, an acoustic version of the Cut’s Like A Knife track. The album was a top 10 success in Germany while both singles reached the top 20 in the UK.On a Day Like Today was released in 1998 generated two British Top 10 singles: “Cloud Number Nine” and “When You’re Gone”, a duet with Melanie C of The Spice Girls. To commemorate the millennium, Adams released The Best of Me, his most comprehensive collection of songs at that time, which also included two new songs, the title track “The Best of Me” and “Don’t Give Up”.

During his long career Adams has won many awards and recieved many nominations For his contributions to music, including 20 Juno Awards among 56 nominations, 15 Grammy Award nominations including a win for Best Song Written Specifically for a Motion Picture or Television in 1992. He has also won MTV, ASCAP, and American Music awards. In addition, he has won two Ivor Novello Awards for song composition and has been nominated for several Golden Globe Awards and three times for Academy Awards for his songwriting for films.Adams was also awarded the Order of Canada and the Order of British Columbia for contributions to popular music and philanthropic work via his own foundation, which helps improve education for people around the world.Adams was also inducted into the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and Canada’s Walk of Fame and was also inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame at Canada’s Juno Awards, and also took part of a grand ensemble of Canadian artists named Northern Lights, who recorded the song “Tears Are Not Enough” for the African famine relief effort and later received the Allan Waters Humanitarian Award for his part in numerous charitable concerts and campaigns during his career, and on 1 May 2010 was given the Governor General’s Performing Arts Award for his 30 years of contributions to the arts


Johnny Marr (The Smiths)

English musician, singer and songwriter.Johnny Marr Was born 31 October 1963. He was co-songwriter – with Morrissey – and guitarist of the Smiths between 1982–87 & has also been a member of Electronic, The The, Modest Mouse and The Cribs, as well as a prolific session musician. In 2013, the NME honoured Marr with its Godlike Genius award, hailing Marr as “not content with rewriting the history of music with one of the world’s greatest ever band the Smiths, he has continued to push boundaries and evolve throughout his career, working with some of the best and most exciting artists on the planet.” He was voted the fourth best guitaristof the last 30 years in a poll conducted by the BBC in 2010. , Marr has been described as “arguably Britain’s last great guitar stylist


He had aspirations to be a professional football player. He was approached byNottingham Forest and had trials with Manchester City F.C.L He formed his first band, The Paris Valentinos, at the age of 13, with Andy Rourke and Kevin William who later became an actor, known as Kevin Kennedy), performing for the first time at a Silver Jubilee party in Benchill in June 1977, playing Rolling Stones and Thin Lizzy covers’ In 1979, he played a single gig at Wythenshawe Forum with a band called Sister Ray and re-united with Rourke in a band called White Dice. White Dice entered a demo-tape competition organised by the NME and won an audition for F-Beat Records. In October 1980, he enrolled at Wythenshawe College, serving as President of the school’s Student Union’ White Dice dissolved in 1981. He and Rourke then formed a funk band, The Freak Party, & first met Matt Johnson. By early 1982, The Freak Party had fizzled out, being unable to find a singer. he approached Rob Allman, singer in White Dice, who suggested Steven Morrissey, a short-lived singer with The Nosebleeds. they visited Morrissey at his house in Kings Road, Stretford eventually forming The Smiths. Marr’s jangly Rickenbacker and Fender Telecaster guitar playing became synonymous with the Smiths’ sound. Marr’s friend Andy Rourke joined as bass player and Mike Joyce was recruited as drummer. Signing to indie label Rough Trade Records, they released their first single, “Hand in Glove”, on 13 May 1983. By February 1984, The Smiths fanbase was sufficiently large to launch the band’s long-awaited eponymous debut album to number two in the UK chart.

Early in 1985 the band released their second album, Meat Is Murder. This was more strident and political than its predecessor, During 1985 the band completed lengthy tours of the UK and the US while recording the next studio record, The Queen Is Dead.In 1989 Spin magazine rated The Queen Is Dead as number one of “The Greatest Albums Ever Made”. Spin was not alone in this designation—numerous periodicals rank The Smiths and their albums, especially ‘The Queen Is Dead’, high on their best ever lists.NME, for example, has dubbed the Smiths the most important rock band of all time. Meanwhile, Rourke was fired from the band in early 1986 due to his use of heroin, although he was reinstated . Despite their continued success, personal differences within the band – including the increasingly strained relationship between Morrissey until in August 1987, Marr left the group, and auditions to find a replacement for him proved fruitless. By the time Strangeways, Here We Come (named after Strangeways Prison, Manchester) was released in September, the band had split up. The break up was  attributed to Morrissey’s becoming annoyed by Marr’s work with other artists and Marr’s growing frustration with Morrissey’s musical inflexibility. Morrissey claimed the lack of a managerial figure and business problems were to blame for the band’s eventual split. ‘ 1996, Smiths’ drummer Mike Joyce took Morrissey and Marr to court, claiming that he had not received his fair share of recording and performance royalties. Marr and Morrissey have repeatedly stated they will not reunite the band. In 2005, VH1 attempted to get the band back together on its Bands Reunited show but abandoned its attempt. In December 2005 it was announced that Johnny Marr and the Healers would play at Manchester v Cancer, a benefit show for cancer research Rumours suggested that a Smiths reunion would occur at this concert but were dispelled by Marr.

Marr’s guitar playing “was a huge building block” for more Manchester bands that followed The Smiths. The Stone Roses guitarist John Squire has stated that Marr was a major influence.Oasis lead guitarist Noel Gallagher credited The Smiths an influence, especially Marr, also stating that “he’s unique, you can’t play what he plays. Marr has talked about a session that occurred with Paul McCartney shortly after the Smiths’ demise. At the age of only 23, he found himself sharing a mic with the former Beatle on “I Saw Her Standing There”,In August 1987, he was very briefly an official member of the Pretenders. In late 1987, he toured with the band and appeared on the single “Windows of the World” b/w “1969”. He then left the Pretenders, and recorded and toured with The The from 1988 through 1994, recording two albums with the group. He simultaneously formed Electronic with New Order’s Bernard Sumner. Electronic were intermittently active throughout the 1990s, releasing their final album in 1999. In 1992 he recorded a cover version of Ennio Morricone’s The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.

Fellow Manchester band Happy Mondays also once tried to court him to be a member of their band, He has also worked as a session musician and writing collaborator for artists including Pet Shop Boys, Billy Bragg, Kirsty MacColl ,Black Grape, Jane Birkin, Talking Heads, and Beck. Marr played guitar on several Pet Shop Boys songs; he continues to have guest appearances on their albums, with his most significant contribution on Release (2002). The only remix that Marr has ever done was for the Pet Shop Boys—it was a mix of his favourite track from their 1987 album, Actually, called “I Want to Wake Up”, and was released as the b-side to 1993’s “Can You Forgive Her?” He later worked as a guest musician on the Oasis album Heathen Chemistry. He also joined Oasis on stage at a gig in 2001, playing “Champagne Supernova” and “I Am the Walrus”. In 2000 Marr recruited drummer Zak Starkey (son of Ringo Starr), Cavewaves guitarist Lee Spencer and ex-Kula Shaker bassist Alonza Bevan for his new project, Johnny Marr and the Healers. Their debut album Boomslang was released in 2003, with all lyrics and lead vocals by Marr. A second album was originally scheduled for release in April 2005. Drummer Starkey is currently involved with the Who, and Bevan has regrouped with Kula Shaker.

In 2001, Marr performed two Smiths songs and music by others with a supergroup called 7 Worlds Collide consisting of members from Pearl Jam, Radiohead, Split Enz and others, assembled by Neil Finn of Split Enz and Crowded House. Marr has also worked as a record producer. In 2006, he began work with Modest Mouse’s on their album’ We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank. During 2008, when Modest Mouse opened for R.E.M. , Marr would come on stage during the encore of R.E.M.’s set, Marr and R.E.M.’s guitarist Peter Buck have often been compared by alternative music fans ln January 2008, Marr was reported to have been contributing’ towards songs for indie group The Cribs. He also played with the Cribs on the NME Awards Tour, the NME Big Gig at the O2. and the Reading & Leeds Festival. ln 2009, he recorded an album with the band titled Ignore the Ignorant, In the late 2007, Marr’s daughter Sonny performed backing vocals on the track “Even a Child” on Crowded House’s album Time on Earth, on which her father Marr played guitars. He played a large role in making the score for the 2010 science-fiction/drama film Inception, written and directed by Christopher Nolan. Marr has been working since 2007 with Fender to develop and design his own guitar. Marr also released his debut solo album, The Messenger,’In 2012 and his second album Playland in 2014.

Jonny Greenwood (Radiohead)

Jonny Greenwood, guitarist with English rock band Radiohead was born Born 5th November 1971 Formed in 1985, Radiohead hail from Abingdon, Oxfordshire, and The band consists of Thom Yorke (lead vocals, guitar, piano), Jonny Greenwood (lead guitar, keyboards, other instruments), Colin Greenwood (bass), Phil Selway (drums, percussion) and Ed O’Brien (guitar, backing vocals). Radiohead released their debut single “Creep” in 1992. The song was initially unsuccessful, but it became a worldwide hit several months after the release of their debut album, Pablo Honey (1993). Radiohead’s popularity rose in the United Kingdom with the release of their second album, The Bends (1995). Radiohead’s third album, OK Computer (1997), propelled them to greater international fame. Featuring an expansive sound and themes of modern alienation, OK Computer is often acclaimed as one of the landmark records of the 1990s.Kid A (2000) and Amnesiac (2001) marked an evolution in Radiohead’s musical style, as the group incorporated experimental electronic music, krautrock and jazz influences.

Kid A, though somewhat polarizing at the time of its release, is now frequently recognized as one of the most important albums of the 2000s. Hail to the Thief (2003), a mix of piano and guitar driven rock, electronics and lyrics inspired by war, was the band’s final album for their major record label, EMI. Radiohead self-released their seventh album, In Rainbows (2007), as a digital download for which customers could set their own price, and later in physical form to critical and chart success. Radiohead’s eighth album, The King of Limbs (2011), was an exploration of rhythm and quieter textures, which the band released independently.Radiohead have sold more than 30 million albums worldwide, with the band’s work being placed highly in both listener polls and critics’ lists, they have the distinction of doing so in both the 1990s and 2000s. In 2005, Radiohead were ranked number 73 in Rolling Stone’s list of “The Greatest Artists of All Time”, while Jonny Greenwood and Ed O’Brien were both included in Rolling Stone’s list of greatest guitarists, and Thom Yorke in their list of greatest singers. In 2009, Rolling Stone readers voted the group the second best artist of the 2000s