Diwali/ Festival of Light

imageDiwali (or Deepawali, the “festival of lights”) is an ancient Hindu festival celebrated in autumn (northern hemisphere) or spring (southern hemisphere) every year. Diwali is one of the largest and brightest festivals in India. The festival spiritually signifies the victory of good over evil. The preparations and rituals typically extend over a five-day period, but the main festival night of Diwali coincides with the darkest, new moon night of the Hindu Lunisolar month Kartika. In the Gregorian calendar, Diwali falls between mid-October and mid-November.

Before Diwali night, people clean, renovate, and decorate their homes and offices. On Diwali night, Hindus dress up in new clothes or their best outfit, light up diyas (lamps and candles) inside and outside their home, participate in family puja (prayers) typically to Lakshmi – the goddess of wealth and prosperity. After puja, fireworks follow, then a family feast including mithai (sweets), and an exchange of gifts between family members and close friends. Deepavali also marks a major shopping period in nations where it is celebrated.

Diwali is an important festival for Hindus. The name of festive days as well as the rituals of Diwali vary significantly among Hindus, based on the region of India. In many parts of India, the festivities start with Dhanteras (in Northern & Western part of India), followed by Naraka Chaturdasi on second day, Deepavali on the third day, Diwali Padva dedicated to wife–husband relationship on the fourth day, and festivities end with Bhau-beej dedicated to sister–brother bond on the fifth day. Dhanteras usually falls eighteen days after Dussehra. On the same night that Hindus celebrate Diwali, Jains celebrate a festival of lights to mark the attainment of moksha by Mahavira, Sikhs celebrate Bandi Chhor Divas and some Buddhists also celebrate Diwali remembering Ashoka’s conversion to Buddhism. Diwali is an official holiday in Nepal, India, Sri Lanka, Mauritius, Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago, Suriname, Malaysia, Singapore and Fiji.

D.J. Ashba

American musician, producer, songwriter and CEO of Ashba Media Daren Jay “DJ” Ashba was born November 10, 1972 . He is one of the co-lead guitarists in Guns N’ Roses (along with Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal) and the lead guitarist in Sixx:A.M. He is also known for his work with hard rock bands BulletBoys and Beautiful Creatures. Ashba has worked with various artists including Mötley Crüe, Drowning Pool, Marion Raven, Aimee Allen and Neil Diamond.he joined the group Barracuda and toured with the band for two years. In 1996, he released his debut instrumental album titled, Addiction to the Friction In 1998, Ashba joined BulletBoys as part of the band’s new lineup It was during his time with the band that he met Joe Lesté of Bang Tango. In 1999, he departed the group to start a new band with Lesté.

In 1999, Ashba formed the band Beautiful Creatures with Bang Tango frontman Joe Lesté. They added former Shake The Faith and No. 9 bassist Kenny Kweens and session drummer Anthony Focx, who performed in the 1992 film Wayne’s World appearing as the drummer in Tia Carrere’s club band Focx became the group’s second guitarist and Glen Sobel, another session drummer, was brought in to take over drums. Prior to naming, the band opened one show in Houston, Texas for Kiss during their reunion tour after Ted Nugent pulled out The band then signed with Warner Bros. and released their self-titled debut Beautiful Creatures, produced by Marilyn Manson cohortSean Beavan, on August 14, 2001 Album track 1 A.M. was featured in the soundtrack for the 2001 horror film Valentine and TV series Smallville. Ride was featured on the soundtrack to the 2002 remake of Rollerball. Despite appearing at Ozzfest, the Rolling Rock Tour the band was dropped from their label due to poor album sales.  Ashba then left Beautiful Creatures.

He formed another solo band, simply titled ASHBA after his departure from Beautiful Creatures where he added former Tuff guitarist Michael Thomas, who was Ashba’s replacement in BC but left the group in 2003, bassist John Younger and drummer Blas Eliasrounded out the groups lineup. Ashba was also invited to join the group Brides of Destruction with Nikki Sixx and Tracii Guns but turned it down to focus on his solo project. In 2005, a small controversy was caused when it was suggested that neither Tommy Lee nor Mick Mars played on the new tracks for Mötley Crüe’s compilation album Red, White & Crüe (duties were supposedly handled by Vandals’ drummer Josh Freese and Ashba as well as Mick being replaced by Ashba on their reunion album. Ashba released the critically acclaimed album The Heroin Diaries Soundtrack after collaborating with Mötley Crüe bassist Nikki Sixxand producer James Michael under the name Sixx:A.M. in August, 2007 serving as a soundtrack to Sixx’s autobiography The Heroin Diaries: A Year in the Life of a Shattered Rock Star.

The single Life is Beautiful reached #2 on the Billboard Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks. Originally the group stated they had no intention of touring. After constant support for the band and interest in a tour, they held a nationwide vote for tour dates. The tour was scheduled to start in spring 2008, but had been postponed to the summer due to unforeseeable circumstances On April 15, 2008, Sixx:A.M. announced they would be touring as part of Mötley Crüe’s Crüe Fest, along with Buckcherry, Papa Roach and Trapt. The tour began on July 1, 2008, in West Palm Beach, Florida. During Crüe Fest, Papa Roach drummer Tony Palermo served as a touring drummer for the band. A deluxe tour edition of The Heroin Diaries Soundtrack was released on November 25, 2008, which included a bonus live EP entitled Life Is Beautiful which features recorded performances from the band’s summer tour. On May 3, 2011 the current Sixx:A.M. album “This Is Gonna Hurt” was released. In March 2009 Ashba was announced as the new lead guitarist of Guns N’ Roses replacing Robin Finck, who had left the band to rejoin Nine Inch Nails He first toured with the band as part of the Chinese Democracy Tour where on December 11, 2009 Guns N’ Roses played in Taiwan.He is currently on tour with the band as part of its 2013 Australian Tour”. ‘

In 2003 Ashba founded Ashba Media, Inc. This creative agency was announced the Agency of Record for Virgin Entertainment. AMI designs the look and feel of every Virgin Megastore. They also have other clients, such as Ovation guitars, Royal Undergroundand many more. Daren owns two corporations, Ashba Media, Inc. which handles the art side of things and Ashbaland, Inc. which handles the music side of things. Ashba also contributed to Mötley Crüe’s 2008 album Saints of Los Angeles penning all tracks with the exception of This Ain’t a Love Song The title track Saints of Los Angeles was nominated for a Grammy the same year.

William Hogarth

729px-William_Hogarth_019English painter,printmaker, pictorial satirist, social critic, and editorial cartoonist William Hogarth was born 10 November 1697. He has been credited with pioneering western sequential art. His work ranged from realistic portraiture to comic strip-like series of pictures called “modern moral subjects”. Knowledge of his work is so pervasive that satirical political illustrations in this style are often referred to as “Hogarthian” He first worked as an engraver in 1720, engraving coats of arms, shop bills, and designing plates for booksellers. ThenIn 1727, he was hired by Joshua Morris, a tapestry worker, to prepare a design for the Element of Earth. In 1757 he was appointed Serjeant Painter to the King. Early satirical works included an Emblematical Print on the South Sea Scheme, about the disastrous stock market crash known as the South Sea Bubble, in which many English people lost a great deal of money. This features Protestant, Catholic, and Jewish figures gambling, while in the middle there is a huge machine, like a merry-go-round, which people are boarding. At the top is a goat, written below which is “Who’l Ride”. Other early works include The Lottery ; The Mystery of Masonry brought to Light by the Gormogons ; A Just View of the British Stage ; some book illustrations; and the small print, Masquerades and Operas. He continued this theme in 1727, with the Large Masquerade Ticket.

In 1726 Hogarth prepared twelve large engravings for Samuel Butler’s Hudibras including The Assembly at Wanstead House. he then turned his attention to the production of small “conversation pieces” . Among his paintings were The Fountaine Family (c.1730), The Assembly at Wanstead House, The House of Commons examining Bambridge, and several pictures of The Beggar’s Opera. Hogarth’s depiction of John Dryden’s The Indian Emperor, or The Conquest of Mexico at the home of John Conduitt, master of the mint, in St George’s Street, Hanover Square, A Midnight Modern Conversation, Southwark Fair , The Sleeping Congregation Before andAfter, Scholars at a Lecture’ The Company of Undertakers (Consultation of Quacks), The Distrest Poet (1, The Four Times of the Day, and Strolling Actresses Dressing in a Barn are also Masterpeices.

In 1731, Hogarth completed the earliest of the series of moral works A Harlot’s Progress, which features six scenes, featuring the miserable downfall of a country girl who began a prostitution career in town is traced out remorselessly from its starting point, the meeting of a bawd, to its shameful and degraded end, the whore’s death of venereal disease and the following merciless funeral ceremony. This was followed in 1735 by the sequel A Rake’s Progress which portrays the reckless life of Tom Rakewell, the son of a rich merchant, who starts off promisingly, but wastes all his money on luxurious living, whoring, and gambling, and ultimately finishes his life in Bedlam.

In 1743–1745, Hogarth painted the six pictures of Marriage à-la-mode, a moralistic satire of upper-class 18th-century society which shows the miserable tragedy of an ill-considered marriage for money rather than love. They are set in a Classical interior, and show the story of the fashionable marriage of the son of bankrupt Earl Squanderfield to the daughter of a wealthy but miserly city merchant, starting with the signing of a marriage contract at the Earl’s mansion and ending with the murder of the son by his wife’s lover and the suicide of the daughter after her lover is hanged at Tyburn for murdering her husband.

In the twelve prints of Industry and Idleness (1747) Hogarth shows the progression in the lives of two apprentices, one of whom is dedicated and hard working, the other idle. This shows that those who work hard such as the industrious apprentice get rewarded, and he becomes Sheriff, Alderman, and finally the Lord Mayor of London. Whilst idle apprentice, begins with being “at play in the churchyard”, holes up “in a Garrett with a Common Prostitute” after turning highwayman) and is eventually “executed at Tyburn” after being sent to the gallows by the industrious apprentice himself.

Later important prints include his pictorial warning of the unpleasant consequences of alcoholism in Beer Street and Gin Lane, which shows a happy city drinking the ‘good’ beverage of English beer, versus Gin Lane which showed the effects of drinking gin which, as a harder liquor, caused more problems for society. People are shown as healthy, happy and prosperous in Beer Street, while in Gin Lane they are scrawny, lazy and careless. The prints were published in support of what would become theGin Act 1751.

Another print The Four Stages of Cruelty, is a cautionary print in which Hogarth depicts what happens to people who are cruel to animals and people. It features the downfall of Tom Nero, a coach driver whose cruelty to his horse causes it to break its leg. Tom is then depicted murdering a woman, until in the last print titled Reward of Cruelty, Tom gets his comeuppance and is executed for his crimes and is shown being dissected by scientists after his execution. The method of execution, and the dissection, reflect the 1752 Act of Parliament. Other notable prints include The Pool of Bethesda and The Good Samaritan, Moses brought before Pharaoh’s Daughter, Paul before Felix, his altarpiece for St. Mary Redcliffe, Bristol and The Gate of Calais. Hogarth sadly died in London on 26 October 1764 and was buried at St. Nicholas’s Churchyard, Chiswick Mall, Chiswick, London.