Northanger Abbey by Val McDermid

This novel is a Contempory reworking of the classic Jane Austen novel Northanger Abbey, for a Modern Audience by Crime Novellist Val McDermid. It features Seventeen-year-old Catherine ‘Cat’ Morland who has led a sheltered existence in rural Dorset, and yearns for some romance and excitement. Then Cat’s wealthy neighbours, the Allens, invite her to the Edinburgh Festival, where Cat meets Susie Allen who is obsessed by shopping and her brother Andrew Allen, who is obsessed by the Fringe.

She also meets Henry Tilney, a pale, dark-eyed gentleman at A Highland Dance Class and Bella Thorpe, who shares her passion for supernatural novels, And her brother John, an obnoxious banker whose vulgar behaviour seems designed to thwart Cat’s growing fondness for Henry. Then Henry’s Father General Tilney invites Cat to stay at Northanger, an ancient abbey, with crumbling turrets and secret chambers, with his son Henry and daughter Eleanor and she jumps at the chance. But Cat gets far more than she bargained for in this isolated corner of the Scottish Borders and she discovers that Northanger is altogether more disturbing than she imagined….

Ozzy Osbourne

imageEnglish rock vocalist, songwriter, and television personalityJohn Michael “Ozzy Osbourne Was born 3 December 1948. He joined his first band in 1967, after being invited by Geezer Butler . The band played two shows, then broke up. Osbourne and Butler reunited in Polka Tulk Blues, along with guitarist Tony Iomi and drummer Bill Ward, whose band Mythology had recently broken up. They renamed themselves Earth, but after being accidentally booked for a show instead of a different band with the same name, they decided to change their name again. They finally settled on the name Black Sabbath in August 1969, based on the film of the same name.the band decided to play a heavy blues style of music laced with gloomy sounds and lyrics.While recording their first album in a castle, Butler read an occult book and woke up to a dark figure at the end of his bed. Butler told Osbourne about it and together they wrote the lyrics to “Black Sabbath”, their first song in a darker vein. Black Sabbath met with swift and enduring success. Built around Tony Iommi’s guitar riffs, Geezer Butler’s lyrics, Bill Ward’s dark tempo drumbeats, and topped by Osbourne’s eerie vocals, early records such as their debut album Black Sabbath and Paranoid sold huge numbers.Osbourne first met his future wife, Sharon Arden. Just five months after the release of Paranoid the band released Master of Reality. Black Sabbath’s Volume 4 was released in September 1972. In 1971 Osbourne met his first wife Thelma (née Riley) at a nightclub in Birmingham called the Rum Runner. They married in 1971 and had two children Louis and Jessica. Sadly his drug and alcohol abuse, coupled with his frequent absences while touring with Black Sabbath, took their toll on his family life, In November 1973, Black Sabbath released the critically acclaimed Sabbath Bloody Sabbath. Sabotage was released in July 1975. The next album Technical Ecstasy, released on 25 September 1976,

In 1978, Osbourne temporarily left Black Sabbath to pursue a solo project called the Blizzard of Ozz, supported by members of the band Necromandus. Osbourne then rejoined Sabbath.The band recorded Never Say Die! “Touring in 1978 with Van Halen. The performance at the Hammersmith Odeon in June 1978, was subsequently released on DVD as Never Say Die. Unfortunately Osbourne was fired from Black Sabbath on April 27, 1979 and replaced with former Rainbow singer Ronnie James Dio. After leaving Black Sabbath, the Ozzy Osbourne Band formed again as The Blizzard of Ozz. The first line-up of the band featured drummer Lee Kerslake (of Uriah Heep), bassist / lyricist Bob Daisley (of Rainbow and later Uriah Heep), keyboardist Don Airey, and guitarist Randy Rhoads (of Quiet Riot). Osbourne’s second album, Diary of a Madman, featured the singles “Over the Mountain” and “Flying High Again”. Unfortunately though guitarist Randy Rhoads and Rachel Youngblood, the band’s costume and make up designer, were killed in an air crash

imageThe tour was canceled and Osbourne, his wife/manager Sharon, and drummer Aldridge returned to Los Angeles.Gary Moore refused to replace Rhoads and Night Ranger’s Brad Gillis was selected in 1982 the live album,Speak of the Devil (Talk of the Devil,) was released, consisting entirely of Black Sabbath covers recorded with Brad Gillis, bassist Rudy Sarzo, and drummer Tommy Aldridge. In 1982 Osbourne also appeared as lead vocalist on the Was (Not Was) pop dance track “Shake Your Head (Let’s Go to Bed)”. In 1983 a new guitarist was recruited to play with Osbourne. Jake E. Lee, formerly of Ratt and Rough Cutt, and record Bark at the Moon. which featured former Rainbow keyboard player Don Airey. In 1986’s The Ultimate Sin followed, which features “Shot in the Dark”, “Killer of Giants”, “Lightning Strikes”, and “Secret Loser”. In 1988 Osbourne appeared in The Decline of Western Civilization Part II: The Metal Years and found Zakk Wylde, and recorded No Rest for the Wicked . Osbourne was also reunited with former Black Sabbath bandmate Geezer Butler and A live EP (entitled Just Say Ozzy) featuring Geezer was released two years later. In 1989 Osbourne performed at the Moscow Music Peace Festival. In 1991 Ozzy released No More Tears, And was awarded his only solo Grammy for the track “I Don’t Want to Change the World” from live album Live & Loud for Best Metal Performance of 1994, this was to be Osbourne’s final album and Osbourne’s entire CD catalogue was remastered and reissued in 1995. However Osbourne released Ozzmosis and returned to touring, dubbing his concert performances “The Retirement Sucks Tour”. The album features “Perry Mason”, “Ghost Behind My Eyes”, “Thunder Underground”, and “See You on the Other Side. The line-up on Ozzmosis featured Zakk Wylde, Geezer Butler, Steve Vai, Deen Castronovo and Keyboards were played by Yes’s Rick Wakeman. Wylde joined Guns N’ Roses and Butler and Castronovo left, Ultimately, Faith No More’s Mike Bordin and ex-Suicidal Tendencies bassist Robert Trujillo joined on drums and bass respectively. A greatest hits package, The Ozzman Cometh was issued in 1997.

Osbourne worked on Ozzfest, with his wife/manager Sharon and assisted by his son Jack, which was created to showcase up-and-coming groups to broad exposure and commercial success.The first Ozzfest was held in Phoenix, Arizona on 25 October 1996 and in Devore, California on 26 October. It proved an instant hit with metal fans. Some acts also shared the bill with a reformed Black Sabbath during the 1997 Ozzfest tour, beginning in West Palm Beach, Florida during which Osbourne was reunited with the original members of Sabbath and Since its beginning, f Ozzfest, has helped promote many new hard rock and heavy metal acts of the late 1990s and early 2000s. In 2005 Osbourne and his wife Sharon starred in an MTV competition reality show entitled “Battle for Ozzfest”. Which featured A number of yet unsigned bands competing to win a spot on the 2005 Ozzfest and a possible recording contract. Shortly after Ozzfest 2005, Osbourne announced his retirement from Ozzfest. In 2006 Osbourne closed the event for just over half the concerts, leaving the others to be closed by System of a Down. In 2008, Ozzfest was reduced to a one-day event in Dallas, Texas, where Osbourne played, along with Metallica and King Diamond. In 2010, Osbourne appeared as the headliner closing the show after opening acts Halford and Mötley Crüe.

Osbournes’s next album Down to Earth, was released in 2001. A live version was filmed in Japan, Live at Budokan which features “Dreamer”. In 2002, Osbourne performed the Black Sabbath anthem “Paranoid” at the Party at the Palace concert in the grounds of Buckingham Palace, To commemorate the Golden Jubilee of Elizabeth II. Sadly in 2003, Osbourne had an accident with his all-terrain vehicle on his estate in Buckinghamshire. Osbourne broke his collar bone, eight ribs, and a neck vertebra.While in hospital, Osbourne achieved his first ever UK number one single, a duet of the Black Sabbath ballad, “Changes” with daughter Kelly. Since the quad accident, aside from some short-term memory problems, he fully recovered and headlined the 2004 Ozzfest, in the reunited Black Sabbath. In 2005 Osbourne released a 4CD box set called Prince of Darkness. This features live performances, B-sides, demos and singles, duets and other odd tracks with other artists, including “Born to Be Wild” withMiss Piggy and covers of favourite songs by his biggest influences and favourite bands, including The Beatles, John Lennon, David Bowie and others. Osbourne also helped judge the 2005 series of the X-Factor. In March 2006, he said that he hoped to release a new studio album soon with long time on-off guitarist, Zakk Wylde of Black Label Society.

In 2007 Tony Iommi, Ronnie James Dio, Vinny Appice, and Geezer Butler toured under the moniker Heaven and Hell and Osbourne’s released the album, Black Rain. Osbourne also provided his voice and likeness to the video game Brütal Legend character The Guardian of Metal. ln November, Slash featured Osbourne on vocals in his single “Crucify The Dead”,and Osbourne and Sharon were guest hosts on WWE Raw. A new album titled Scream with Gus G, Tommy Clufetos on drums, and Blasko on basS was released featuring the singles Let Me Hear You Scream, and”Life Won’t Wait”. The original Black Sabbath line up of Ozzy, Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler, and Bill Ward also reunited for a world tour and new album,entitled 13

During his career Osbourne has been received many awards Including a Grammy Award for the track “I Don’t Want to Change the World” from Live & Loud for Best Metal Performance of 1994.At the 2004 NME Awards in London, Osbourne received the award for Godlike Genius. In 2005 Osbourne was inducted into the UK Music Hall of Fame both as a solo artist and as a member of Black Sabbath.In 2006, he was inducted into the US Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with Black Sabbath band mates Tony Iommi, Bill Ward, and Geezer Butler. In 2007 Osbourne was honoured at the second annual VH1 Rock Honors, along withGenesis, Heart, and ZZ Top. A bronze star honouring Osbourne was placed on The Birmingham Walk of Stars on Broad Street in Birmingham, England.In 2008 Osbourne was crowned with the prestigious Living Legend award in the Classic Rock Roll of Honor, alongside Alice Cooper, Lemmy, and Jimmy Page.In 2010 Osbourne won the “Literary Achievement” honour for his memoir, I Am Ozzy, at the Guys Choice Awards. So far Ozzy Osbourne has released 11 studio albums, though he has reunited with Black Sabbath on several occasions, most recently in 2011 to record the album 13, which was released in 2013. Osbourne’s longevity and success have earned him the informal title of “Godfather of Heavy Metal”.

International Day of Persons with Disabilities

imageInternational Day of Persons with Disabilities is an international observance promoted by the United Nations since 1992 and is celebrated on December 3rd each year. It aims to promote an understanding of disability issues and mobilize support for the dignity, rights and well-being of persons with disabilities. It also seeks to increase awareness of gains to be derived from the integration of persons with disabilities in every aspect of political, social, economic and cultural life.Over one billion people, or approximately 15 per cent of the world’s population, live with some form of disability. Persons with disabilities, “the world’s largest minority”, often face barriers to participation in all aspects of society. Barriers can take a variety of forms, including those relating to the physical environment or to information and communications technology (ICT), or those resulting from legislation or policy, or from societal attitudes or discrimination. The result is that persons with disabilities do not have equal access to society or services, including education, employment, health care, transportation, political participation or justice.Evidence and experience shows that when barriers to their inclusion are removed and persons with disabilities are empowered to participate fully in societal life, their entire community benefits. Barriers faced by persons with disabilities are, therefore, a detriment to society as a whole, and accessibility is necessary to achieve progress and development for all.

The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) recognizes that the existence of barriers constitutes a central component of disability. Under the Convention, disability is an evolving concept that “results from the interaction between persons with impairments and attitudinal and environmental barriers that hinder their full and effective participation in society on an equal basis with others.”Accessibility and inclusion of persons with disabilities are fundamental rights recognized by the CRPD and are not only objectives, but also pre-requisites for the enjoyment of other rights. The CRPD (Article 9, accessibility) seeks to enable persons with disabilities to live independently and participate fully in all aspects of life and development. It calls upon States Parties to take appropriate measures to ensure that persons with disabilities have access to all aspects of society, on an equal basis with others, as well as to identify and eliminate obstacles and barriers to accessibility. In spite of this, in many parts of the world today, lack of awareness and understanding of accessibility as a cross-cutting development issue remains an obstacle to the achievement of progress and development through the Millennium Development Goals, as well as other internationally agreed outcomes for all. The commemoration of International Day of Persons with Disabilities in 2012 aims to address this exclusion by focusing on promoting accessibility and removing all types of barriers in society.Each year the day focuses on a different issue and themes from previous years have included

  • “Arts, Culture and Independent Living”,
  • “Accessibility for all for the new Millennium”
  • “Making information technologies work for all”,
  • “Full participation and equality: The call for new approaches to assess progress and evaluate outcome”,
  • “Independent Living and Sustainable Livelihoods”,
  • “A Voice of our Own”,
  • “Nothing about Us, Without Us”,
  • “Rights of Persons with Disabilities: Action in Development”,
  • “E-Accessibility”,
  • “Decent Work for Persons with Disabilities”,
  • “Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities: Dignity and justice for all of us”,
  • “Making the MDGs Inclusive: Empowerment of persons with disabilities and their communities around the world”,
  • “Keeping the promise: Mainstreaming disability in the Millennium Development Goals towards 2015 and beyond”,
  • “Together for a better world for all: Including persons with disabilities in development”
  • “Removing barriers to create an inclusive and accessible society for all.

In 1976, the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed 1981 the International Year of Disabled Persons. It called for a plan of action at the national, regional and international levels, with an emphasis on equalization of opportunities, rehabilitation and prevention of disabilities. The theme of IYDP was “full participation and equality”, defined as the right of persons with disabilities to take part fully in the life and development of their societies, enjoy living conditions equal to those of other citizens, and have an equal share in improved conditions resulting from socio-economic development. To provide a time frame during which Governments and organizations could implement the activities recommended in the World Programme of Action, the General Assembly proclaimed 1983-1992 the United Nations Decade of Disabled Persons.