Lamentation by C.J. Sansom

imageHaving already read Dissolution, Dark Fire, Sovereign, Revelation and Heartstone by C.J.Sansom I would like to read Lamentation. It begins during Summer, 1546 with king Henry VIII slowly, painfully dying. His Protestant and Catholic councillors are engaged in a final and decisive power struggle for control the government of Henry’s successor, eight-year-old Prince Edward. As heretics are hunted across London, and the radical Protestant Anne Askew is burned at the stake, the Catholic party focus their attack on Henry’s sixth wife, Matthew Shardlake’s old mentor, Queen Catherine Parr.

Shardlake, still haunted by events aboard the warship Mary Rose the year before, is working on the Cotterstoke Will case, a savage dispute between rival siblings. Then, unexpectedly, he is summoned to Whitehall Palace and asked to help the now beleaguered and desperate Queen Catherine Parr who reveals that she has secretly written a confessional book, Lamentation of a Sinner, so radically Protestant that if it came to the King’s attention it could bring both her and her sympathizers crashing down. But, although the book was kept secret and hidden inside a locked chest in the Queen’s private chamber, it has inexplicably vanished. Only one page has been found, clutched in the hand of a murdered London printer.

Shardlake’s investigations take him and his associate Jack Barack him from the backstreet printshops of London to the dark and labyrinthine world of the politics of the royal court and the world of intrigue inside Whitehall Palace, among Catholics and Protestants. The theft of Queen Catherine’s book proves to be somehow connected to the terrible death of Anne Askew and the Cotterstoke litigants and Shardlake realises that he himself could end up on a stake.

The Thomas Berryman Number by James Patterson

I would like to read The Thomas Berryman Number, the Edgar Award Winning debut novel by James Patterson. It is a civil Rights era Murder Mystery which begins in 1962 with three terrifying murders in the American South, Including the assassination of Jimmie Lee Horn, the mayor of Nashville. A reporter, named Ochs Jones, is sent to investigate and learns of an assassin named Thomas Berryman. Then Ochs, sees news footage of a chap named Bert Poole apparently killing Horn.

However a mental patient named Ben Toy claims that Poole is innocent and tells him that a man named Berryman was hired by a Southerner to kill Jimmie Lee Horn. So Ochs then goes to New York to investigate Berryman and finds incriminating evidence connecting him to a corrupt Lawyer in the employ of Johnboy Terrell, an ex-governor of Tennessee.

Ochs continues his investigation by speaking with Oona Quinn, Berryman’s girlfriend and soon finds himself in the middle of a deadly conspiracy involving involving Horn, Poole, Berryman and Terrell. Then he learns of another killer named Joe Cubbah who was sent to cover the whole thing up. Cubbah misses Berryman once but does shoot Poole and later catches up with Berryman again with deadly consequences for Johnboy Terrell….

World Animal Day

World Animal Day is celebrated each year on October the 4th. It started in Florence, Italy in 1931 at a convention of ecologists. On this day, animal life in all its forms is celebrated, and special events are planned in locations all over the globe. The 4th of October was originally chosen for World Animal Day because it is the feast day of Francis of Assisi, a nature lover and patron saint of animals and the environment. Numerous churches throughout the world observe the Sunday closest to October the 4th with a Blessing of the Animals.

World Animal Day, has now gone beyond being the celebration of a Christian saint and is today observed by animal-lovers of all beliefs, nationalities and backgrounds. Animal blessings are held in churches, synagogues, and by independent animal chaplains in parks and fields. Animal rescue shelters hold fundraising events and open days, wildlife groups organize information displays, schools undertake animal-related project work and individuals and groups of friends or co-workers donate to animal charities or pledge to sponsor a shelter animal.

In Argentina it is celebrated on April 29 as a tribute to the death (in 1926) of Dr. Lucas Ignacio Albarracín. Albarracín was, along with Domingo Faustino Sarmiento, one of the founders of the Sociedad Argentina Protectora de Animales (Argentine Society of Protection of Animals) and the proponent of the National Law on Protection of Animals (No. 2786).

World Space Week

World Space Week’  takes place annually from October 4 to October 10 in most of the world, to commemorate the launch of the first man made satellite Sputnik 1 on 4 October 1957 . It is officially defined as “an international celebration of science and technology, and their contribution to the betterment of the human condition.” On December 6, 1999, The United Nations General Assembly declared World Space Week as an annual event celebration . The choice of dates was based on recognition of two important dates in space history: the launch of the first human-made Earth satellite, Sputnik 1, on October 4, 1957; and the signing of the Outer Space Treaty on October 10, 1967.

World Space Week is the largest annual space event in the world. In 2007, World Space Week was celebrated in 54 countries and in space. A total of 435 events were reported in 244 cities, with attendance of over 377,000 and media audience of over 26,000,000. Events included rocket launches, school activities, exhibits, political events, and special events at planetaria around the world. Under the theme “50 Years in Space”, many events of World Space Week 2007 celebrated the 50th anniversary of the space age which began with the launch of Sputnik I on October 4, 1957. In space, Bigelow Aerospace illuminated its Genesis spacecraft with the World Space Week logo and beamed photos that week to Earth. In 2008, the theme for World Space Week was “Exploring the Universe”. In 2009, the theme was “Space for Education”. “Mysteries of the Cosmos” was the theme in 2010. In 2012, the central theme was human safety and security through space,promoting awareness of the roles that space satellites play in safeguarding the environment and protecting humans through functions such as Earth observation, navigation, search and rescue operations, and tele communication. Commemoration of WSW 2012 included media coverage about the historic launch of SpaceShipOne, Sputnik and future goals of the human colonization of worlds beyond Earth.WSW 2012 was celebrated in 65 nations.

World Space Week 2013 concerned the planet Mars. Humanity is quickly conquering this new frontier. Mars Curiosity is the largest rover ever brought to another planet, discovering new features of the Red Planet every day. In 2018 the first people will get a chance to see the planet from up close through Dennis Tito’s Inspiration mars fly-by mission, while several organizations are planning the first manned landing mission, some time in the next two decades. World Space week is co ordinated by The World Space Week Association, a non-government, non-profit organization which is supported by national coordinators in over 50 nations. It is led by an all volunteer Board of Directors including Buzz Aldrin, Bill Nye, Tom Hanks and space leaders from around the world. Its goals are to educate people around the world about the benefits that they receive from space, encourage use of space for sustainable economic development, foster enthusiastic education and interest in science and cooperation between nations through space outreach and education.

World Space Week 2014 aims to highlight the benefits of satellite navigation to humankind. Recently there have been many Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) introduced, like 3rd generation GPS, Glonass, Beidou and Galileo. With the increase in systems there is also an enourmous increase in satellite navigation applications, in road navigation, but also in aviation, shipping, agriculture, disaster recovery and the GPS receiver installed in many smartphones.

Buster Keaton

Best known for his silent slapstick films, the American comic actor, filmmaker, producer and writer Joseph Frank “Buster” Keaton was born October 4, 1895 . At the age of three, Keaton began performing with his parents in The Three Keatons. He first appeared on stage in 1899 in Wilmington, Delaware. The act was mainly a comedy sketch. Myra played the saxophone to one side, while Joe and Buster performed on center stage. The young Keaton would goad his father by disobeying him, and the elder Keaton would respond by throwing him against the scenery, into the orchestra pit, or even into the audience. A suitcase handle was sewn into Keaton’s clothing to aid with the constant tossing. The act evolved as Keaton learned to take trick falls safely; he was rarely injured or bruised on stage.

In February 1917, Keaton met Roscoe “Fatty” Arbuckle at the Talmadge Studios in New York City. During his first meeting with Arbuckle, he asked to borrow one of the cameras to get a feel for how it worked. He took the camera back to his hotel room, dismantled and reassembled it. With this rough understanding of the mechanics of the moving pictures, he returned the next day, camera in hand, asking for work. He was hired as a co-star and gag man, making his first appearance in The Butcher Boy. Keaton later claimed that he was soon Arbuckle’s second director and his entire gag department. Keaton and Arbuckle became close friends. In 1920, The Saphead was released, in which Keaton had his first starring role in a full-length feature. It was based on a successful play,The New Henrietta, which had already been filmed once, under the title The Lamb, with Douglas Fairbanks playing the lead. Fairbanks recommended Keaton to take the role for the remake five years later, since the film was to have a comic slant, His trademark was physical comedy with a consistently stoic, deadpan expression, earning him the nickname “The Great Stone Face”.

After Keaton’s successful work with Arbuckle, Schenck gave him his own production unit, Buster Keaton Comedies. He made a series of two-reel comedies, including One Week(1920), The Playhouse (1921), Cops (1922), and The Electric House (1922). Keaton then moved to full-length features. A scene fromSteamboat Bill Jr. required Keaton to run into the shot and stand still on a particular spot. Then, the facade of a two-story building toppled forward on top of Keaton. Keaton’s character emerged unscathed, thanks to a single open window. The stunt required precision, because the prop house weighed two tons, and the window only offered a few inches of clearance around Keaton’s body. Aside from Steamboat Bill Jr. (1928), Keaton’s most enduring feature-length films include Our Hospitality (1923), The Navigator (1924),Sherlock Jr. (1924), Seven Chances (1925), The Cameraman (1928), and The General (1927), which is set during the American Civil War, and is based on a real incident. The film combines physical comedy with Keaton’s love of trains, and including an epic locomotive chase through picturesque locations and is regarded as one of Keaton’s greatest films.

THE GENERAL

Aside from Steamboat Bill Jr. (1928), Keaton’s most enduring feature-length films include Our Hospitality (1923), The Navigator (1924),Sherlock Jr. (1924), Seven Chances (1925), The Cameraman (1928). One of his most biting parodies The Frozen North (1922), is a satirical take on William S. Hart’s Western melodramas, like Hell’s Hinges (1916) and The Narrow Trail (1917). In The Playhouse (1921), he parodied his contemporary Thomas H. Ince, Hart’s producer, who indulged in over-crediting himself in his film productions. The short also featured the impression of a performing monkey which was likely derived from a co-biller’s act (calledPeter the Great).[24] Three Ages (1923), Keaton’s first feature film, is a parody of D. W. Griffith’s Intolerance (1916), from which it replicates the three inter-cut shorts structure.

Keaton signed with MGM in 1928, a business decision that he later regretted Because the studio system MGM represented severely limited his creative input. Keaton was so depleted during the production of 1933’s What! No Beer? that MGM fired him after the filming was complete, despite the film being a resounding hit. In 1934, Keaton accepted an offer to make an independent film in Paris, Le Roi des Champs-Élysées. During this period, he made one other film in Europe, The Invader (released in America as An Old Spanish Custom in 1936). Upon Keaton’s return to Hollywood, he made a screen comeback in a series of 16 two-reel comedies for Educational Pictures. Most of these are simple visual comedies, with many of the gags supplied by Keaton himself, often recycling ideas from his family vaudeville act and his earlier films. The high point in the Educational series is Grand Slam Opera, featuring Buster in his own screenplay as an amateur-hour contestant. When the series lapsed in 1937, Keaton returned to MGM as a gag writer, including the Marx Brothers films, A Night at the Opera, (which included developing the famous crowded stateroom scene. At the Circus (1939) and Go West(1940), and providing material for Red Skelton. He also helped and advised Lucille Ball in her comedic work in films and television. In 1939, Keaton starred in ten two-reel comedies, Pest from the West, a shorter, tighter remake of Keaton’s little-viewed 1935 feature The Invader; The final entry was She’s Oil Mine, and Keaton swore he would never again “make another crummy two-reeler.

However, his career recovered in the 1940s, remarried and successfully revived his career to a degree as an honored comic performer. Keaton played character roles in both “A” and “B” features. He made his last starring feature Boom in the Moon (1946) in Mexico; the film was a low budget production, and it was not seen in the United States until its release on VHS in the 1980s. Critics rediscovered Keaton in 1949 and producers occasionally hired him for bigger “prestige” pictures. He had cameos in such films as In the Good Old Summertime (1949), Sunset Boulevard (1950), and Around the World in Eighty Days (1956). Keaton also appeared in a comedy routine about two inept stage musicians in Charlie Chaplin’s Limelight (1952), recalling the vaudeville of The Playhouse. He was a non-speaking card player in Sunset Blvd. (1950), providing additional weight to the silent era echoes of the movie.

In 1950, Keaton had a successful television series, The Buster Keaton Show, which was broadcast live on a local Los Angeles station. An attempt to recreate the first series on film as Life with Buster Keaton (1951), In 1960, Keaton returned to MGM for the final time, playing a lion tamer in a 1960 adaptation of Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.In 1961, he starred in The Twilight Zone episode “Once Upon a Time”, which included both silent and sound sequences. Keaton played time-traveler Mulligan, who traveled from 1890 to 1960, then back, by means of a special helmet. His film The Three Ages also featured parodies of Bible stories, like those of Samson andDaniel. In 1964, Keaton appeared with Joan Blondell and Joe E. Brown in the final episode of ABC’s circus drama, The Greatest Show on Earth, starring Jack Palance. In 1965, Keaton starred in the short film The Railrodder for the National Film Board of Canada. Wearing his traditional pork pie hat, he travelled from one end of Canada to the other on a motorized handcar, performing gags similar to those in films he made 50 years before. The film is also notable for being Keaton’s last silent screen performance. The Railrodder was made in tandem with a behind-the-scenes documentary about Keaton’s life and times, called Buster Keaton Rides Again. He played the central role in Samuel Beckett’s Film (1965), directed by Alan Schneider and traveled to Italy to play a role in Due Marines e un Generale, co-starring alongside with the famous Italian comedian duo of Franco Franchi and Ciccio Ingrassia. Keaton also had a cameo as Jimmy, appearing near the end of the film It’s A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World (1963) assisting Spencer Tracy’s character, Captain C. G. Culpepper, in his escape

Richard Reed Parry (Arcade Fire)

Richard Reed Parry, Canadian guitarist, songwriter, and producer (Arcade Fire and Bell Orchestre) was born 4 October1977. Arcade Fire are based in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, consisting of husband and wife Win Butler and Régine Chassagne, along with Will Butler, Richard Reed Parry, Tim Kingsbury, Jeremy Gara, and Sarah Neufeld. The band came to prominence in 2004 with the release of their critically acclaimed debut album Funeral.

Arcade Fire have won numerous awards, including the 2011 Grammy for Album of the Year (they hold the distinction of being the only musical group to have won their first and only Grammy in that category), the 2011 Juno Award for Album of the Year, and the 2011 Brit Award for Best International Album for their third studio album, The Suburbs, released in 2010 to critical acclaim and commercial success. They also won the 2008 meteor Music Award for Best International Album and the 2008 Juno Award for Alternative Album of the Year for their second studio album, Neon Bible. They have also received nominations for the Best Alternative Music Album Grammy for all three of their studio albums.

The band’s work has also been twice named as a short list nominee for the Polaris Music Prize in 2007 for Neon Bible and in 2011 for The Suburbs, winning the award for The Suburbs.The band plays guitar, drums, bass guitar, piano, violin, viola, cello, double bass,xylophone, glockenspiel, keyboard, French horn, accordion, harp, mandolin, and hurdy-gurdy, and take most of these instruments on tour; the multi-instrumentalist band members switch duties throughout shows.

Chris Lowe (Pet Shop Boys)

Chris Lowe, English singer and keyboard player with English electronic pop duo Pet Shop Boys was Born 4 October 1959. Lowe attended Arnold School, in Blackpool, Lancashire. He also worked in the Solarium. While there, Lowe played trombone in a seven-piece dance band called One Under the Eight, that played old-time favourites like “Hello Dolly”, “La Bamba” and “Moon River”. Lowe’s grandfather had been a trombonist and was a member of comedy jazz troupe The Nitwits. Lowe also became a skilled pianist. Lowe studied architecture at the University of Liverpool from 1978. During a work placement in 1981 at a London architectural practice, he designed a staircase for an industrial estate in Milton Keynes.

It was at this time that he met Neil Tennant in a hi-fi shop on the Kings Road in London. Recognising a mutual interest in dance music, they began to work on material together, first in Tennant’s flat in Chelsea and from 1982, in a small studio in Camden Town. It was during those early years that several future hit songs were created, including “It’s a Sin”, “West End Girls”, “Rent” and “Jealousy”. Starting out, the two called themselves West End because of their love of London’s West End, but later they came up with the name Pet Shop Boys, derived from friends of theirs who worked in a pet shop in Ealing. Their big break came in August 1983, when Tennant was assigned by Smash Hits to interview The Police in New York. The duo were obsessed with a stream of Hi-NRG records made by New York producer Bobby Orlando, simply known as Bobby ‘O’. According to Tennant: “I thought: well, if I’ve got to go and see The Police play, then I’m also going to have lunch with Bobby ‘O’.” They shared a cheeseburger and carrot cake, at a restaurant called the Apple Jack, on 19 August (two years to the day since Tennant and Lowe had met) and, after hearing a demo tape that Tennant had brought along with him, Orlando suggested making a record with the Pet Shop Boys.

From 1983-1984, Orlando recorded eleven tracks with Tennant and Lowe including; “West End Girls”, “Opportunities (Let’s Make Lots of Money”), “It’s A Sin”, “I Want A Lover”, “I Get Excited”, “Two Divided By Zero”, “Rent”, “Later Tonite”, “Pet Shop Boys”, “A Man Could Get Arrested” and “One More Chance”. In April 1984, the Orlando-produced “West End Girls” was released, becoming a club hit in Los Angeles and San Francisco. On 2 November, it was voted “Screamer of the Week” by listeners of Long Island, New York radio station WLIR. It was a minor dance hit in Belgium and France, but was only available in the United Kingdom as a 12″ import.

Since then Pet Shop Boys have sold more than 50 million records worldwide, and are listed as the most successful duo in UK music history by The Guinness Book of Records.Three-time Brit Award winners and six-time Grammy nominees, since 1985 they have achieved 42 Top 30 singles and 22 Top 10 hits in the UK Singles Chart, including four UK number ones: “West End Girls” (also number one on the US Billboard Hot 100), “It’s a Sin”, a remake of Wayne Carson’s “Always on My Mind” and “Heart”. Other hit songs include a remake of The Village People’s “Go West”, “Opportunities (Let’s Make Lots of Money)” (satire of Thatcherism which exemplified them as ironists) and “What Have I Done to Deserve This?” (with Dusty Springfield). At the 2009 Brit Awards, Pet Shop Boys received an award for Outstanding Contribution to Music. The band’s eleventh studio album, titled Elysium was released in September 2012 andThe twelfth album, entitled Electric, was released in 2013. The album was the biggest-selling record among the UK’s independent record shops during the week of its release, and went straight to the number 1 position on the Official Record Store Chart.The album was produced by Stuart Price and was supported by the ‘Electric World Tour’ which included Chile, Argentina, Paraguay, Brazil, Colombia, Asia (the duo will perform in the Philippines, Indonesia, China and Thailand for the first time), Lebanon, Israel, Turkey, Europe and North America.

On 23 July 2014, the Pet Shop Boys new work A Man from the Future received its world premiere at the 2014 BBC Proms.Performed by the BBC Singers, BBC Concert Orchestra and the Pet Shop Boys, the work was inspired by the life of WW2 code breaker Alan Turing and was orchestrated by Sven Helbig. The concert also included Overture to Performance, an orchestral arrangement of Pet Shop Boys songs used to open their 1991 Performance tour, and four Pet Shop Boys songs arranged by Angelo Badalamenti and sung by Chrissie Hynde – “Vocal”, “Love is a Catastrophe”, “Later Tonight” and “Rent”. On 6 September 2014, it was announced on the duo’s website that they plan to begin work on their thirteenth studio album in November.

Aside from Pet Shop Boys, Chris Lowe also wrote and produced the track “Do the Right Thing” for the footballer Ian Wright (Lowe is a die-hard Arsenal F.C. fan). The song featured backing vocals by the long-time Pet Shop Boys’ backing singer, Sylvia Mason-James, and the single featured remixes by Rollo and In 1995, he had a cameo in the Australian soap opera Neighbours and In 1997, his flat was the subject of an in-depth feature in Elle Decoration magazine