Posted in Events

Remembrance Sunday/Armistice Day

imageThe installation Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red, marks the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War. Created by ceramic artist Paul Cummins, with setting by stage designer Tom Piper, 888,246 ceramic poppies have been used to fill the moat at the Tower’s of London. So far four million or so people have gone to see it and a Huge demand from the public has triggered a campaign to extend the lifespan of the installation and floodlights are already being used to ensure that as many people as possible get to see it. However Historic Royal Palaces, which runs the Tower of London, has said it intends to start dismantling the artwork on November 12, the day after Armistice Day, removing and cleaning the ceramic poppies before dispatching them to buyers, who have paid £25 per poppy to raise money for armed forces charities. However The Weeping Willow and the Wave will stay in place for longer, before being sent on a tour of sites across the UK until 2018. They will then go on permanent display at the Imperial War Museum, ensuring that this poignant memorial will be saved for the nation.

There are also many events in London over the next few days to mark Armistice Day, including the festival of Remembrance and the traditional Remembrance Sunday cenotaph parade in Whitehall, attended by members of the Royal Family, politicians and current and ex-servicemen (from 9.20am); two matinee concerts of remembrance at the Royal Albert Hall from 2pm; and free children’s workshops at the Imperial War Museum until 11 November. There are similar events in almost every British town and city. In Edinburgh, there will be a service at 10.50am tomorrow on the Garden of Remembrance next to the Scott Monument. Wales will hold a national observance of remembrance in Cardiff.   Elsewhere on 11 November A new, circular, sunken panel carrying the names of more than 600,000 soldiers – French, British, German and many other nationalities – who died in this one region of France between August 1914 and 11 November 1918, will be unveiled at the French war memorial at Notre Dame de Lorette in northern France and the names of former comrades, former allies and former enemies will be listed together, alphabetically, with no distinction of rank or country. President François Hollande will open the memorial. PoppyDivider The Royal British Legion recently unveiled a 20ft high brass statue of a First World War soldier – Every Man Remembered by Mark Humphrey – in Trafalgar Square. The statue will go on a four-year tour of Britain to promote the legion’s campaign to ask the public to write a message of commemoration for each of the 1,117,077 Commonwealth servicemen and women who died in the First World War. The sculpture was unveiled by Mr Humphrey and Serena Alexander, whose marine son Sam Alexander MC, died in Afghanistan in 2011.

The Royal British Legion Festival of Remembrance takes place on Saturday 8 November at the Royal Albert Hall, London. The event, which has been held since 1927, is held in remembrance of all the soldiers who gave their lives during the First and Second World Wars. It will be Attended by HM Queen Elizabeth II AND HRH Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, Prime Minister David Cameron and his wife Samantha and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg. The Royal British Legion festival, includes the traditional two-minute silence as poppy petals fall from the roof of the Royal Albert Hall, each representing a life lost in war. The event, which had an audience of veterans and their families, is intended as a moving tribute to the country’s fallen. Around 150 personnel from the army, navy and Royal Air Force mark the two-minute silence and a bugler plays The Last Post before a piper from The Royal Dragoon Guards plays a traditional lament. The event culminates in the traditional release of thousands of scarlet poppy petals from the roof of the Albert Hall to represent all those who have died in combat and remember those who sadly paid the ultimate price. There are still four years of commemorations to come before we reach the centenary of the Armistice on 11 November 2018.

Posted in books, films & DVD, Television

Bram Stoker

2013-10-21-22-41-03-1996293285Best known today for his 1897 Gothic novel Dracula, the Irish novelist and short story writer Abraham “Bram” Stoker was Born 8th November 1847 in Clontarf, Dublin, Ireland. Stoker was bedridden until he started school at the age of seven, when he made a complete recovery. He was educated in a private school run by the Rev. William Woods. After his recovery, he grew up without further major health issues, even excelling as an athlete (he was named University Athlete) at Trinity College, Dublin, which he attended from 1864 to 1870. He graduated with honours in mathematics. He was auditor of the College Historical Society (‘the Hist’) and president of the University Philosophical Society, where his first paper was on “Sensationalism in Fiction and Society.

While a student Stoker became interested in the theatre & became the theatre critic for the Dublin Evening Mail, co-owned by the author of Gothic tales Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu. After giving a favourable review of Henry Irving’s Hamlet Irving invited him to dinner and the two became friends. Stoker also wrote stories, and in 1872 “The Crystal Cup” was published by the London Society, followed by “The Chain of Destiny” in four parts and “The Shamrock”. while a civil servant in Dublin, Stoker wrote a non-fiction book (The Duties of Clerks of Petty Sessions in Ireland. Stoker was also interested in art, and founded the Dublin Sketching Club. In 1874 The Stokers moved to London, where he became acting manager and then business manager of Henry Irving’s Lyceum Theatre, London, a post he held for 27 years. The collaboration with Irving was important for Stoker and through him he became involved in London’s high society, where he met James Abbott McNeill Whistler and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (to whom he was distantly related) ==============================================================================

DRACULA ==============================================================================

Working for Irving, the most famous actor of his time, and managing one of the most successful theatres in London made Stoker a notable if busy man. He was dedicated to Irving and his memoirs show he idolised him. In London Stoker also met Hall Caine, who became one of his closest friends – he dedicated Dracula to him. In the course of Irving’s tours, Stoker travelled the world, although he never visited Eastern Europe, a setting for his most famous novel, and began writing novels beginning with The Snake’s Pass in 1890 and Dracula in 1897. Stoker was also part of the literary staff of the London Daily Telegraph and wrote other fiction, including the horror novels The Lady of the Shroud (1909) and The Lair of the White Worm (1911)

Stoker also met Ármin Vámbéry who was a Hungarian writer and traveler and the story may have been inspired by Vámbéry’s dark stories set among the Carpathian mountains. He also spent several years researching European folklore and mythological stories of vampires, particularly That of Vlad Tepes, a.k.a Vlad III Dracula, the ruler of Targoviste, in Wallachia, Romania, whose brutal regime And predilection for impaling his enemies gave him a fearsome reputation. He may also have learnt about Hoia Baciu forest which is said to be haunted and is well known for its disturbing and inexplicable Paranormal phenomenon. Stoker also visited Whitby Abbey, Slains Castle in Aberdeenshire and the crypts of St. Michan’s Church in Dublin and also read the novella Carmilla by Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu. All of which gave him plenty of inspiration.

Sadly Though after suffering a number of strokes, Stoker passed away on 20 April 1912 and was cremated at Golders Green Crematorium where his ashes were place in a display urn . To visit his remains at Golders Green, visitors must be escorted to the room the urn is housed in, for fear of vandalism. However his Gothic novels, especially Dracula remain popular and have been adapted for film and television numerous time

Posted in Health, Science-tech

International Day of Radiology

ernational Day of Radiology (IDoR) is celebrated annually on November 8th to promote the role of medical imaging in modern healthcare and mark the anniversary of the discovery of x-rays on November 8th 1895 by Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen, who effectively layed the foundation for the new medical discipline of radiology.

It was first introduced in 2012, as a joint initiative, by the European Society of Radiology (ESR), the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA), and the American College of Radiology (ACR). The International Day of Radiology is a successor to the European Day of Radiology which was launched in 2011. The first and only European Day of Radiology was held on February 10, 2011 to commemorate the anniversary of Röntgen’s death. The European day was organised by the ESR, who later entered into cooperation with the RSNA and the ACR to establish the International Day of Radiology.

The International Day of Radiology 2012 marked the 117th anniversary of Röntgen’s discovery of x-rays and the main theme was medical imaging in oncology. The day was celebrated with events in many countries, mostly organised by national professional societies which represent radiologists. Many public lectures on the role of imaging in oncology took place across Europe. In the UK, the Royal College of Radiologists organised a free public lecture at the Wellcome Collection by Dr. Phil O’Connor, who served as head of musculoskeletal imaging at the London 2012 Olympics. The ESR also published two booklets to mark the occasion, ‘The Story of Radiology’, which was created in cooperation with the International Society for the History of Radiology, and ‘Making Cancer Visible: the role of cancer in oncology’

Posted in Events

World Urbanism Day

World Urbanism Day is celebrated annually on November 8th. it was instigated by The international organisation for World Urbanism and is also known as “World Town Planning Day”. The International Organisation for World Urbanism was founded in 1949 by the late Professor Carlos Maria della Paolera of the University of Buenos Aires, a graduate at the Institut d’urbanisme in Paris, to advance public and professional interest in planning.

It is celebrated in more than 30 countries on four continents each November 8th. It is a special day to recognise and promote the role of planning in creating livable communities. World Urbanism Day presents an excellent opportunity to look at planning from a global perspective, an event which appeals to the conscience of citizens and public authorities in order to draw attention to the environmental impact resulting from the development of cities and territories.