Alan Turing

imageBritish mathematician, logician, cryptanalyst, and computer scientist Alan Turing OBE, FRS was Born on June 23rd, 1912 in Maida Vale, and grew up in Hastings. He displayed great individuality from a young age. At 14 he went to Sherborne School in Dorset.Turing subsequently read mathematics at Cambridge,He was completely original thinkerwho shaped the modern world, and assisted in the development of the innovative Manchester computers. He was also highly influential in the development of computer science, providing a formalisation of the concepts of “algorithm” and “computation” with the Turing machine, which played a sinificant role in the creation of the modern computer. Turing is widely considered to be the father of computer science and artificial intelligece.He also became interested in mathematical biology and wrote a paper on the chemical basis of morphogenesis, and predicted oscillating chemical reactions such as the Belousov–Zhabotinsky reaction, which were first observed in the 1960s.

On 4 September 1939 the day after Britain declared war on Germany, Turing reported to Bletchley Park where he worked for the Government Code and Cypher School (GCCS)the forerunner of GCHQ, Britain’s codebreaking centre. For a time he was head of Hut 8, the section responsible for German naval cryptanalysis. Turing led a team whose ingenuity and intellect were turned to the task of breaking German ciphers. He devised a number of techniques for breaking German ciphers and One of Turing’s main contributions whilst there was to invent the Bombe, an electromechanical machine used to find the daily settings of the Enigma machine. as a result he played an absolutely vital part of the British war effort and It is without question that his efforts helped shorten the war significantly, saving the lives of millions of people.He was also a remarkable British hero who helped create the modern world. Now known as the father of computer science, his inventions contributed greatly to the groundwork for the modern computer.

After the war he worked at the National Physical Laboratory, where he created one of the first designs for a stored-program computer, the ACE. In 1948 Turing joined Max Newman’s Computing Laboratory at Manchester University, where he assisted in the development of the Manchester computers and invented a type of theoretical machine now called a Turing Machine, which formalized what it means to compute a number. Turing’s importance extends far beyond Turing Machines. His work deciphering secret codes drastically shortened World War II and pioneered early computer technology.He was also an early innovator in the field of artificial intelligence, and came up with a way to test if computers could think – now known as the Turing Test. Besides this abstract work, he was down to earth; he designed and built real machines, even making his own relays and wiring up circuits. This combination of pure math and computing machines was the foundation of computer science.

Despite his invaluable help during World War II AND all his other achievements, he was treated badly. A burglary at his home led Turing to admit to police that he was a practicing homosexual, at a time when it was illegal in Britain. This led to his arrest and conviction in 1952 for ‘gross indecency’. He was subsequently forced to choose between imprisonment and chemical castration. He chose chemical castration (treatment with female hormones) as an alternative to prison.As a result of his conviction he lost security clearance and was not allowed to continue his work. Sadly On 8 June 1954 just over two weeks before his 42nd birthday, Turing was found dead from cyanide poisoning. An inquest determined that his death was suicide and he had poisoned himself with cyanide.

Since Turing’s birth, attitudes have changed and The US-based Association of Computing Machinery has given The Turing Award annually since 1966. This is the computing world’s highest honour for technical contribution to the computing community and considered equivalent to the Nobel prize.On 10 September 2009, following an Internet campaign, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown also made an official public apology on behalf of the British government for “the appalling way he was treated”.Despite his valuable contributions Turing did not receive the recognition and plaudits that he deserved while alive, However this has now been redressed and there is now A fully functional replica of the Bombe which can be found today at Bletchley Park, along with the excellent Turing exhibition. Turing has also been immortalised on film in The Imitation Game starring Benedict Cumberbatch.

UN Public Service Day

The United Nations Public Service Day takes place Annually on June 23 To celebrate the value and virtue of public service to the community”. A Public Service is described as a service which is provided by government to people living within its jurisdiction, either directly (through the public sector) or by financing provision of services. The term is associated with a social consensus such as democratic elections, that certain services should be available to all, regardless of income. Even where public services are neither publicly provided nor publicly financed, for social and political reasons they are usually subject to regulation going beyond that applying to most economic sectors. Public service is also a course that can be studied at a college and/or university. Examples of public services are the fire brigade, police, army, and paramedics.

The UN Economic and Social Council established that the United Nations Public Service Awards be bestowed on Public Service Day for contributions made to the cause of enhancing the role, prestige and visibility of public service. Experience demonstrates that without good governance, nationally or internationally, and an efficient, competent, professional, responsive and highly dedicated public service, sustainable development and livelihood are jeopardized.

The United Nations Millennium Declaration emphasized the role of democratic and participatory governance in assuring the rights of men and women to “live their lives and raise their children in dignity, free from hunger and from the fear of violence, oppression, or injustice”. It also noted that good governance within each country is a prerequisite to “making development a reality for everyone and to freeing the entire human race from want”.

The United Nations (UN) Public Service Award is the most prestigious international recognition of excellence in public service. It rewards the creative achievements and contributions of public service institutions that lead to a more effective and responsive public administration in countries worldwide. Through an annual competition, the UN Public Service Awards promotes the role, professionalism and visibility of public service. The overall purpose of the United Nations Public Service Awards is to recognize the institutional contribution made by public servants to enhance the role, professionalism, image and visibility of the public service in the following categories: Preventing and combating corruption, Improving the delivery of services, Fostering participation in policy-making decisions. Advancing knowledge management in government and Promoting gender responsive delivery of public services.

James Horner

220px-Titanic_posterOn June 22, 2015,the Prolific Oscar Award winning Film Score Composer James Horner was tragically killed at the age of 61 when his Embraer EMB 312 Tucano turboprop aircraft crashed into the Los Padres National Forest in southern California. Born August 14, 1953. Horner was an accomplished concert hall composer before he moved into writing film scores and he became known for integrating choral and electronic elements in many of his film scores, and frequently used Celtic musical elements.

He began his career scoring films by working for B film director and producer Roger Corman. His first composer credit was for Roger Corman’s Battle Beyond the Stars. He then scored Lady in Red and his works steadily gained notice in Hollywood, Horner made a breakthrough in 1982, when he had the chance to score for Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, establishing himself as a mainstream composer. Horner continued composing music for high-profile releases during the 1980s, including 48 Hrs. (1982), Krull (1983), Star Trek III: The Search for Spock (1984), Commando (1985), Cocoon (1985), Aliens (1986), *batteries not included (1987), Willow (1988), Glory and Field of Dreams (both 1989). Horner also collaborated multiple times with directors Jean-Jacques Annaud, Mel Gibson, Walter Hill, Ron Howard, and Joe Johnston. Horner composed music for over 100 films, and won two Academy Awards, two Golden Globe Awards, three Satellite Awards, three Saturn Awards, and was nominated for three British Academy Film Awards.

MV5BMTYwOTEwNjAzMl5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwODc5MTUwMw@@._V1_SY317_CR0,0,214,317_Horner’s score for Titanic is the best selling orchestral film soundtrack of all time while Titanic and Avatar, both directed by James Cameron, are the two highest-grossing films of all time. At the 70th Academy Awards, Horner won Oscars for Best Original Dramatic Score and Best Original Song for “My Heart Will Go On” (which he co-wrote with Will Jennings). In addition, Horner and Jennings won three Grammy Awards and two Golden Globe Awards for the soundtrack and My Heart Will Go On. Titanic also marked the first time in ten years that Horner worked with director James Cameron (following the highly stressful scoring sessions for Aliens, Horner declared that he would never work with Cameron again and described the experience as “a nightmare”). After Titanic, Horner scored The Perfect Storm, A Beautiful Mind, Enemy At The Gates, The Mask of Zorro, The Legend of Zorro, House of Sand and Fog and Bicentennial Man). Horner also worked on smaller projects such as Iris, Radio and Bobby Jones: A Stroke of Genius. He received his eighth and ninth Academy Award nominations for A Beautiful Mind (2001) and House of Sand and Fog (2003), but lost on both occasions to Howard Shore. He frequently collaborated with film director Ron Howard, beginning with Cocoon in 1985. Horner composed the 2006–2011 theme music for the CBS Evening News. The theme was introduced as part of the debut of Katie Couric as anchor on September 5, 2006. Horner recollaborated with James Cameron on the 2009 film Avatar, which became the highest-grossing film of all time, surpassing Titanic (also directed by Cameron and scored by Horner) and was nominated for a Golden Globe, British Academy Film Award and Grammy Award but lost out to Michael Giacchino for Up.

Horner also composed the score for the 2010 version of The Karate Kid and In 2011, Horner scored Cristiada (aka For Greater Glory) which was released a year later and Black Gold. In 2012 Horner scored The Amazing Spider-Man, and in 2015, and wrote the music for Jean-Jacques Annaud’s adventure film Wolf Totem, which marked his fourth collaboration with Annaud and also Horner’s first film score in nearly three years. At the time of his death in 2015, projects to which Horner was attached included the forthcoming film The 33 for director Patricia Riggen, and Southpaw, a sports drama film directed by Antoine Fuqua and starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Rachel McAdams. Both films are slated for release later in 2015.

Horner’s scores have been sampled in trailers for other films. The climax of the track Bishop’s Countdown from his score for Aliens ranks fifth in the most commonly used soundtrack cues for film trailers. In 2014, Horner composed the commission piece Pas de Deux, a Double Concerto for Violin and Cello, which was premiered on November 12, 2014, by Mari and Hakon Samuelsen with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Vasily Petrenko. The work was commissioned to mark the 175th season of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic. Horner also composed Collage, a Concerto for Four Horns, which premiered on March 27, 2015, at the Royal Festival Hall in London by the London Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Jaime Martin, with David Pyatt, John Ryan, James Thatcher and Richard Watkins.

International Widows Day

International Widows Day takes place annually on 23 June. It was set up by the United Nations to address the “poverty and injustice faced by millions of widows and their dependents in many countries” and raise awareness of the issue of widowhood. The significance of 23 June is that it was on that day in 1954 that Shrimati Pushpa Wati Loomba, mother of the foundation’s founder, Lord Loomba, became a widow. One of the foundation’s key goals is to highlight what it describes as an invisible calamity. A 2010 book, Invisible, Forgotten Sufferers: The Plight of Widows Around the World, estimates that there are 245 million widows worldwide, 115 million of whom live in poverty and suffer from social stigmatization and economic deprivation purely because they have lost their husbands.As part of the Loomba Foundation’s awareness campaign, this study was presented to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on 22 June 2010.

The first International Widows Day took place in 2005 and was launched by Lord Loomba and the foundation’s president, Cherie Blair. By the sixth International Widows Day in 2010, events were held in Rwanda, Sri Lanka, the USA, the UK, Nepal, Syria, Kenya, India, Bangladesh and South Africa. On 21 December 2010, the United Nations General Assembly formally adopted 23 June as International Widows Day, endorsing by unanimous acclaim a proposal introduced by President Ali Bongo Ondimba of Gabon. As well as formally recognizing 23 June as a day of observance, the accompanying resolution called upon “Member States, the United Nations system and other international and regional organizations to give special attention to the situation of widows and their children.”