World Information Society Day

imageWorld Information Society Day takes place on 17 May.It was introduced by a United Nations General Assembly resolution, after the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) in Tunis called upon the United Nations General Assembly to declare May 17th as World Information Society Day. The Main Objective of World Information Society Day is to focus on the importance of Computerised Information Technology, to raise global awareness of changes brought about by the Internet and new computerised Technologies, to raise awareness concerning other issues relating to the Information Society and to help reduce the digital divide.

The day had previously been known as World Telecommunication Day to commemorate the founding of the International Telecommunication Union in 17 May 1865 which was instituted by the Plenipotentiary Conference in Malaga-Torremolinos. In March 2006 The General Assembly adopted a resolution (A/RES/60/252) stipulating that World Information Society Day shall be celebrated every year on 17 May. The first World Information Society Day took place on Wednesday, 17 May 2006.

Enya

Irish singer, instrumentalist, and songwriter Enya (born Eithne Ní Bhraonáin was born 17 May 1961. Enya began her musical career in 1980, when she briefly joined her family band Clannad before leaving to perform solo. She gained wider recognitionfor her music in the 1986 BBCseries The Celts. Shortly afterwards, her 1988 album Watermark propelled her to further international fame and she became known for her distinctive sound, characterised by voice-layering, folk melodies, synthesised backdrops and ethereal reverberations. She has performed in 10 languages.Enya continued to enjoy steady success during the 1990s and 2000s; her 2000 album A Day Without Rain sold 15 million copies,and became the top selling new age album of the 2000s in the US. She received the world’s best-selling female award at the World Music Awards in 2001 and is Ireland’s best-selling solo musician. Her records sales were more than 75 million worldwide, including over 26.5 million in album sales in the US,  making her one of world’s best-selling artists of all time and Her work has earned her four Grammy Awards and an Academy Award nomination.

Enya was born and brought up in Gaoth Dobhair, County Donegal, in the northwest corner of Ireland. She is part of an Irish-speaking and musical family. Enya recorded two solo instrumental pieces called “An Ghaoth Ón Ghrian” (Irish for “The Solar Wind”) and “Miss Clare Remembers” that were released on the 1984 album Touch Travel. She was first credited as Enya (as opposed to Eithne) for writing some of the music for the 1984 movie The Frog Prince, which was released on a soundtrack album of the same title. Another early appearance on record followed in 1987, where Enya provided spoken (not sung) vocals in Irish on the song “Never Get Old” on Sinéad O’Connor’s debut album,The Lion and the Cobra.Enya achieved a breakthrough in her career in 1988 with the album Watermark, which featured the hit song “Orinoco Flow” which was named after Orinoco Studios (nowMiloco Studios), where it was conceived, topped the charts in the United Kingdom, peaked at number 2 in Germany and the Watermark album sold eleven million copies. Three years later she followed with another hit album, Shepherd Moons, which sold twelve million copies and earned Enya her first Grammy Award. Shepherd Moons is also her longest charting album to date, spending 238 weeks on the Billboard 200. The songs “On Your Shore” and “Exile” (from Watermark) and “Epona” (from Enya) were featured in the 1991 film L.A. Story. “Ebudæ” is also featured on the soundtrack to the Robin Williams feature film Toys, while the 1990 feature film Green Card features “River”, “Watermark”, and “Storms In Africa”. “Book Of Days” was featured prominently in the movie Far and Away, with an English-lyric version created for the film then replacing the old Irish language version from 1993 onwards. In 1993, her recording of “Marble Halls” from Shepherd Moons was featured in the Martin Scorsese film, The Age of Innocence.

In 1992, a re-mastered version of the Enya album was released as The Celts including a longer, modified version of “Portrait”, which was renamed “Portrait (Out of the Blue)”. In 1995 she released The Memory of Trees, another Top Five success in both the UK and Germany, as well as her first Top 10 album in the U.S. Singles released from the album were “Anywhere Is” and “On My Way Home”.in 1997, Enya released her greatest hits collection, Paint the Sky with Stars: The Best of Enya, featuring two new songs: “Paint the Sky with Stars” and “Only If…”; “Only If…” later became a single. (“Only If You Want To”. In 2000 Enya released the album A Day Without Rain which became Enya’s most successful to date, featuring the single, “Only Time”, which was used in the film Sweet November. In May 2001, NBC began using “Only Time” to accompany commercials for their television series Friends, which helped the song top the Adult Contemporary and Adult Top 40 charts. After the 11 September 2001 attacks “Only Time” was used as a soundtrack in many radio and television reports about the attacks. In 2001, Enya recorded “May It Be”, which was featured in the first installment of The Lord of the Rings film trilogy, Fellowship of the Ring, and was her second consecutive single to enter the German charts at number one. The video features scenes from the Peter Jackson film

In November 2005, a new album, entitled Amarantine, was released, which won the Grammy Award for Best New Age Album for 2007, Enya’s fourth. In 2006, Enya released several Christmas-themed CDs with newly recorded material. On 10 October 2006 Sounds of the Season: The Enya Holiday Collection was released containing six songs: the previously released “Oíche Chiúin” (a.k.a. “Silent Night”) and “Amid the Falling Snow”, new recordings of the standards “Adeste Fideles” (a.k.a. “Oh Come All Ye Faithful”) and “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” as well as two original songs, “Christmas Secrets” and “The Magic of the Night”. At the World Music Awards in 2006 Enya was awarded the World’s Best-Selling Irish Act award and in March 2009, Warner Music Japan released Enya’s first 4 albums in a new format, called SHM-CD, Enya also released a new album called The Very Best of Enya, which included most of her hits from 1987 to 2008 including a new version of “Aníron”, from “The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship Of The Ring” in 2001. In 2010, singer Rihanna sampled “One By One” on the song “Fading” from her album Loud. In a May 2011 interview, Enya’s manager said that she is working on a new album with part of the recording taking place in Abbey Road Studios in London.”

Trent Reznor (Nine Inch Nails)

American singer-songwriter, composer, and record producer Michael Trent Reznor Jr. was born May 17, 1965. As both a vocalist and multi-instrumentalist, Reznor has led the splendidly noisy industrial rock project Nine Inch Nails since 1988; he left Interscope Records in 2007 and is now an independent recording artist. As of 2010, he and his wife Mariqueen Maandig are members of the post-industrial group How to Destroy Angels with Reznor’s fellow coposer Atticus Ross and graphic designer Rob Sheridan. Reznor and Ross scored the David Fincher films The Social Nework and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, winning the Academy Award for Best Original Score for the former and the Grammy Award for Best Score Soundtrack for Visual Media for the latter.Reznor was previously associated with the bands Option 30, The Innocent,and Exotic Birds in the mid-80s. He gained employment at Right Track Studios in Cleveland and began creating his own music during the studio’s closing hours under the name of Nine Inch Nails. Reznor’s first release as Nine Inch Nails, the 1989 album Pretty Hate Machine, was a commercial and critical success and Reznor has since released seven major studio albums.

Most of Reznor’s work as a musician has been as founding and primary member of Nine Inch Nails. Nine Inch Nails’ debut album, Petty Hate Machine was released in 1989. It was a moderate commercial success, and was certified Gold in 1992. Amidst pressure from his record label to produce a follow-up to Pretty Hate Machine, Reznor secretly began recording under various pseudonyms to avoid record company interference, resulting in an EP called Broken (1992). Nine Inch Nails was included in the Lollapalooza tour in the summer of 1991, and won a Grammy Award in 1993 under “Best Heavy Metal Performance” for the song “Wish”.Nine Inch Nails’ second full-length album, The Downward Spiral, entered the Billboard 200 chart in 1994 at number two,and remains the highest-selling Nine Inch Nails release in America. To record the album, Reznor rented and moved into the 10050 Cielo Drive mansion, where the 1969Manson Family murders took place. He built a studio space in the house, which he renamed Le Pig, after the word that was scrawled on the front door in Sharon Tate’s blood by her murderers.Reznor told Entertainment Weekly that, despite the notoriety attached to the house, he chose to record there because he “looked at a lot of places, and this just happened to be the one I liked most”.Nine Inch Nails toured extensively over the next few years, including a performance at Woodstock ’94, although he admitted to the audience that he did not like to play large venues.Around this time, Reznor’s studio perfectionism, struggles with addiction, and bouts of writer’s block prolonged the production of a follow-up to The Downward Spiral

Outside of Nine Inch Nails, he has contributed to the albums of artists such asMarilyn Manson and Saul Williams. In 1997, Reznor appeared in Time magazine’s list of the year’s most influential people and Spin magazine described him as “the most vital artist in music”. One of Reznor’s earliest collaborations was a Ministry side project in 1990 under the name of 1000 Homo DJs. Reznor sang vocals on a cover of Black Sabbath’s “Supernaut”. Due to legal issues with his label, Reznor’s vocals had to be distorted to make his voice unrecognizable. The band also recorded additional versions with Al Jourgensen doing vocals.While there is still debate as to which version is Reznor and which is Jourgensen, it has been definitively stated that Reznor’s vocals were used in the TVT Records’ Black Boxbox set.Reznor sang backing vocals on “Past The Mission” by Tori Amos on her 1994 album Under the Pink. He produced Marilyn Manson’s first album, Portrait of an American Family (1994), and several tracks on Manson’s albums Smells Like Children (1995) andAntichrist Superstar (1996). He also produced the soundtracks for Oliver Stone’s 1994 film Natural Born Killers and David Lynch’s 1997 film Lost Highway. Reznor is credited for “Driver Down” and “Videodrones; Questions” on the Lost Highway soundtrack; another song, “The Perfect Drug”, is credited to Nine Inch Nails. Reznor produced a remix of the Notorious B.I.G.’s song “Victory”, featuring Busta Rhymes, in 1998

In May 2008 Reznor founded The Null Corporation and Nine Inch Nails released the studio albumThe Slip as a free digital download. In April 2010, it was announced that Reznor had formed a new band with his wife, Mariqueen Maandig, and Atticus Ross, called How to Destroy Angels. The group digitally released a self-titled six song EP on June 1, 2010. Reznor announced that the group’s next release would be an EP entitled An Omen EP, they released a song and music video from An Omen EP entitled “Keep it Together” and some of the EP’s songs also appear on the band’s first full length album entitled Welcome to Oblivion which was released on March 5th 2013.

Anniversary of the Dambusters

On 17th May 1943 617 Squadren “The Dambusters began Operation Chastise against German dams during World War II. 617 Squadren was formed at RAF Scrampton specially during World War II to carry out the single special and dangerous task of attacking three major dams on the Ruhr in Germany: the Möhne, Eder and Sorpe. The plan was given the codename Operation Chastise and was carried out on 17 May 1943. The squadron also had to develop the tactics to deploy Barnes Wallis’s “Bouncing bomb” and the squadren included Royal Canadian Air Force, Royal Australian Air Force and Royal New Zealand Air Force personnel.

The mission grew out of a concept for a bomb designed by Barnes Wallis and developed by his team at Vickers. Wallis was Assistant Chief Designer at Vickers and had worked on both the Vickers Wellesley and Vickers Wellington bombers. While working on the Vickers Windsor he had also begun work, with support of the Admiralty, on a bomb designed initially for attacking ships, though dam-destruction was soon considered, and Prior to World War II, the British Air Ministry had identified Germany’s heavily industrialised Ruhr Valley, and especially its dams, as important strategic targets: in addition to providing hydro-electric power for industry and pure water for steel-making, they also supplied drinking water and water for the canal transport system.

Led by 24 year-old Wing Commander Guy Gibson, a veteran of over 170 bombing and night-fighter missions, 21 bomber crews were selected from existing squadrons in 5 Group. These crews included RAF personnel of several different nationalities, as well as members of the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF), Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) and Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF), who were frequently attached to RAF squadrons under the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan. The squadron was based at RAF Scampton, about 5 Miles (8 km) north of Lincoln

The targets selected were the two key dams upstream from the Ruhr industrial area, the Möhne Dam and the Sorpe Dam, with the Eder Dam on the Eder River, which feeds into the Weser, as a secondary target. While the loss of hydroelectric power was important, the loss of water supply to industry, cities, and canals would have greater effect. Also, there was the potential for devastating flooding if the dams broke. The aircraft used for the raid were modified Avro Lancaster Mk IIIs, known as B Mark III Special (Type 464 Provisioning). To reduce weight, much of the internal armour was removed, as was the mid-upper machine gun turret. The size of the bomb with its unusual shape meant that the bomb-bay doors had to be removed, and the bomb itself hung, in part, below the fuselage of the aircraft. It was mounted on two crutches, and before dropping it was spun up to speed by an auxiliary motor.

The men of 617 Squadren have since become legends in the annals of military history and the exploits of the squadron and Chastise in particular, have also been described in many books and the classic 1954 film starring Kenneth More, though the accuracy and completeness of these accounts were compromised by many of the documents relating to the war years, still being secured by the Official Secrets legislation. In 2006, it was also announced that New Zealand film director Peter Jackson and David Frost would co-produce a re-make of the film. It has been scripted by Stephen Fry and will be directed by Christian Rivers. The last living Dam Buster pilot, New Zealander Les Munro, also offered his services as a technical adviser for the film.