Posted in books, films & DVD, Science fiction, Television

The Shannara Chronicles

elfChannel 5 is screening a ten Episode adaptation of Terry Brooks epic Shannara fantasy saga. The Shannara Chronicles tell the story of the Four Lands, normally a land of magic and peace, which faces a threat when Demons who were Banished ages ago, start reappearing. The Demons have been held back by a magical wall known as the Forbidding, Which has been protecting the Four Lands ever since. Unfortunately The source of this magic, a tree, known as the Ellcrys, is dying and as it dies the spell gets weaker and more Demons start to appear in the Four Lands.

Then the acolytes who tend to the tree are all killed, so the wise Druid Allanon turns to Amberle, the last remaining disciple, to save the tree. Only she can take the seed of the elven tree to the faraway Bloodfire, to replant the Ellcrys and stop the Demons. To protect her, Allanon sends the young Wil Ohmsford, a descendant of Shea Ohmsford (The Sword of Shannara) and the two youths face a race against time as they embark on a perilous journey towards the Elven capital of Arborlon to a place called Safehaven. Here Amberle has to unlock magic that the Elves haven’t used in thousands of years to save theEllcrys and stop the Demons from reappearing in the Four Lands before it’s too late. Wil also acquires the Elfstones of Shannara and must learn to use them to protect the Ellcrys’.

However unbeknownst to them, they are being tracked relentlessly by a sinister unknown terror which is intent on stopping them. Meanwhile Allanon and the entire Elven Nation stand together to hold back the Demons and stop them from destroying the Four Lands.

Posted in books

The Unexpected Inheritance of Inspector Chopra

I would like to read The Unexpected Inheritance of Inspector Chopra by Vaseem Khan, which is book one of the Baby Ganesh Investigation Agency, featuring Inspector Ashwin Chopra. It starts after the body of a young boy is brought to the police station on Inspector Chopra’s last day before he retires. No one seems to be investigating the matter. In fact Chopra’s superior wants the case closed, saying the boy drowned. However Chopra thinks the death could have been the result of foul play and wants to investigate.

On that same day Chopra gets a rather unusual retirement present when he inherits a baby elephant (hmmmm , what happened to it’s mother?). And finds that On his arrival home, the small baby elephant has been delivered. The problem is Inspector Chopra and his wife Poppy live on the 15th floor of a tower block. However Chopra is one of these people who seems to be able to deal with anything that comes along and his wife Poppy seems the strong quiet type. So they look after the elephant.

Meanwhile Chopra continues to investigate the boy’s death unofficially and uncovers some terrible goings on as the murder investigation leads him across Mumbai – from its richest mansions to its murky underworld,

Chopra quickly discovers that raising a baby elephant may be exactly what he needs to take his mind off the horrors he has witnessed at work and So begins the start of a quite unexpected partnership, and an utterly delightful new series during which Mumbai, murder and a baby elephant combine in a charming, joyful mystery.

Posted in music

Alice Cooper

American rock singer, songwriter and musician Alice Cooper (A.K.A Vincent Furnier) was born on 4th February in 1948. His career spans four decades and He was originally in a band which featured him on vocals and harmonica, Glen Buxton on lead guitar , Michael Bruce on rhythm guitar, Dennis Dunaway on bass guitar and Neal Smith onDrums. The original Alice Cooper band broke into the international music mainstream with the 1971 hit “I’m Eighteen” from the album Love It to Death, which was followed by the even bigger single “School’s Out” in 1972. The band reached their commercial peak with the 1973 album Billion Dollar Babies.

In the mid seventies Furnier went solo, adopting the band’s name Alice Cooper as his own name, and began with the 1975 concept album Welcome to My Nightmare, Expanding from his original Detroit rock roots, over the years Cooper has also experimented with many various musical styles, including conceptual rock, art rock, hard rock, New Wave, pop rock, experimental rock and industrial rock and is credited with helping to shape the sound and look of heavy metal. Cooper is also famous for his stage shows which often feature guillotines, electric chairs, fake blood, boa constrictors and baby dolls, Cooper has drawn equally from horror movies, vaudeville and garage rock and he is regarded as being the artist who “first introduced horror imagery to rock’n’roll, and pioneered a grandly theatrical and violent brand of heavy metal designed to shock, and his stagecraft and showmanship have permanently transformed the genre”.

Between I’m Eighteen and his 2011 release Welcome 2 My Nightmare, he has done many great songs including Schools Out, No More Mr Nice Guy, Trash,Poison and Hey Stoopid. in 2011 the original Alice Cooper band was inducted into The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Welcome 2 My Nightmare is Alice’s 19th album as a solo artist, and his 26th album in total.

Posted in music

Tim Booth (James)

Tim Booth, the lead singer with the band James was born 4th February 1960. James were formed in 1982 in Whalley Range, Manchester, by Paul Gilbertson and his friend Jim Glennie. the band renamed themselves James in August 1982. A gig at The Haçienda caught the attention of Tony Wilson of Factory Records. He offered James an album deal with Factory. Their debut release, was Jimone EP, and their second EP, James II, was released over a year later. Their third release, the Sit Down EP (no relation to the song of that name) came out in February 1986, and was followed by their debut album, Stutter in July 1986. the band recorded their second album, Strip-mine, with a more conventional song structure which was released in September 1988. In 1989 James hired three new members — guitarist-violinist-percussionist Saul Davies (whom Gott recruited from an amateur blues night), keyboard player Mark Hunter and onetime Diagram Brothers/Pale Fountains trumpeter/percussionist Andy Diagram.

The third James album. Gold Mother was released IN 1990 and contained the songs SIT DOWN and COME HOME and coincided with the’Madchester’ movement, which won them mainstream recognition.More Singles including “How Was It for You”, the remixed “Come Home” and “Lose Control” soon followed. The band also played two sell-out dates at the Manchester G-Mex at the end of the year. In March 1991, Gold Mother was re-released to include “Sit Down” and previous single “Lose Control”, and the album sold ten times more copies than originally predicted. The band’s next album, Seven, was released in 1992 and In 1993 James were invited on an acoustic tour of the US supporting Neil Young.

They recorded two albums with Brian Eno: the ‘song’ album, Laid, and the experimental Wah Wah, which showcased the band’s improvised jams recorded on the spot, then mixed by Eno. The new James album, Whiplash, followed in February 1997 & contained the song “She’s a Star”.. The band’s next album Millionaires, was released in October 1999 but did not reach the phenomenal sales level predicted. After the disappointing performance of Millionaires the band chose to start anew in their approach to their next album, working with Eno once again. They spent most of 2000 recording the album; writing the songs, then performing them live before actually recording them. They embarked on a small-scale tour in the autumn of that year on which their setlists consisted almost entirely of new material. The resulting album, Pleased To Meet You, was released in July 2001. Shortly after its release, Tim Booth announced he was leaving the band to concentrate on other projects of his own. They played a farewell tour of the UK at the end of the year. Their final hometown gig, at the Manchester Evening News arena on 7 December, was recorded for a live CD and DVD, Getting Away With It… Live.

However Tim rejoined James in 2007 for seven live shows, they also appeared at V-Festival 2007 and T-in-the-Park and, Barcelona’s top music concert Summercase. In 2008 James released a new compilation album, Fresh as a Daisy — The Singles, accompanied by a DVD compilation of all the band’s promo videos a new album Hey Ma was also released on 7 April 2008. Followed by An arena tour called “We Are Sound” featuring new songs (“Porcupine” and “Look Away”).In 2010 The band released two mini-albums The Night Before and The Morning After and embarked on a UK tour, the Mirrorball Tour. James played at the Lollapalooza festival in Chile, they also appeared at Hard Rock Calling 2011 and were joined by Kaiser Chiefs and headline act The Killers. The band joined the Orchestra of the Swan and the Manchester Consort Choir for a UK wide tour in 2011 And appeared at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in Indio, California. The band Headlined Kendal Calling 2012 and also also toured during 2013.

Posted in Events, Health, nature, Science-tech

World Cancer Day

imageWorld Cancer Day takes place annually on February 4 to raise awareness of Cancer and to encourage its prevention, detection, and treatment. World Cancer Day was founded by the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) to support the goals of the World Cancer Declaration, written in 2008. The primary goal of the World Cancer Day is to significantly reduce death and illness caused by cancer by 2021. The Union of International Cancer control (UICC) (French: Union Internationale Contre le Cancer, Spanish: Unión Internacional Contra el Cáncer) is a membership based, non-governmental organization that exists to help the global health community accelerate the fight against cancer. Founded in 1933 and based in Geneva, Switzerland, UICC’s growing membership of over 760 organizations across 155 countries, features the world’s major cancer societies, ministries of health, research institutes and patient groups. Together with its members, key partners, the World Health Organization, World Economic Forum and others, UICC is tackling cancer on a global scale. Under the leadership of Cary Adams, Chief Executive Officer of UICC, the Secretariat focuses on these three areas of priority through the following:

World Cancer Congress This is held every two years and serves as a platform for discourse and advocacy as well as a learning and sharing opportunity for our members and partners around the world.
Global Roundtable Series, with key meetings scheduled for Europe, Latin America and Asia; these exclusive events respond to the most pressing topics including the outcomes from the UN High-level Meeting on Non-communicable Diseases (NCDs), tackling cervical cancer and cancer in children.
World Cancer Leaders’ Summit, an annual high-level policy meeting dedicated exclusively to furthering global cancer control. It convenes key players from among UICC’s membership and network, health ministers and leaders of international businesses.
UICC is working to promote 4 February as a World Cancer Day .
Their advocacy goals are to Press for cancer control to be included in the revised Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in 2015.
To Encourage governments to fulfil their commitments from the UN High-level Meeting on NCDs, with a special focus on the importance of national cancer control plans and surveillance.
to Support WHO to develop robust systems for measuring progress against targets, ensuring governments can be held accountable.
UICC’s global programmes focus on five priority areas and target advocacy, education and training, as well as in-country activities in collaboration with partners and local UICC members.

GAPRI (Global Access to Pain Relief Initiative) seeks to make essential pain medicines universally available. Providing direct support to more government ministries around the world, GAPRI aims to simplify the complicated international regulations around the distribution and use of morphine.
CCI (Cervical Cancer Initiative) aims to advocate for cervical cancer to become a priority at the highest level, increase access to prevention, screening and treatment services and develop crucial information on the cost of scaling up cervical cancer control activities.
ChiCa (Childhood Cancer) – This programme seeks to ensure decision-makers around the world understand the importance of early treatment of cancer in children. The programme is developing resources to help governments, particularly in low- and middle- income countries, improve the way they respond to this issue.
GETI (Global Education and Training Initiative) facilitates the professional development of oncology healthcare workers and global leaders in cancer control. Through targeted fellowships, workshops and training the programme helps develop future leaders in cancer control and influence healthcare policy and practice across each of our priority programmes.
GICR (Global Initiative for Cancer Registries) aims to increase the number and quality of population-based cancer registries in low- and middle-income countries. Working in collaboration with the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), UICC will roll- out hubs of excellence.

In 1933, cancer researchers recognized a need to share knowledge and expertise globally, and so founded UICC. Since then, UICC has grown into a respected forum for all professionals engaged in cancer prevention and control. Its objective is to advance scientific and medical knowledge in research diagnosis, therapy and prevention of cancer and to promote all aspects of campaigns to prevent cancer throughout the world. Over the years, UICC has fostered the development of cancer institutions, the sharing and exchange of knowledge, the transfer of skills and technologies, and the education of professionals engaged in cancer control. The UICC sponsors a biannual World Cancer Congress that brings together the world’s leaders in the fight to control cancer. Leading clinicians, practitioners, government agencies and NGO’s, patient-care providers and advocates, researchers and behavioural scientists and public health experts focus on transforming the latest knowledge into strategies that countries, communities, institutions and individuals can employ to reduce the cancer burden. The last World Cancer Congress, which took place in Montreal, Canada in 2012,had the four following topics

Prevention and early detection (including tobacco control)
Cancer care and survivorship
Palliation and pain control
Systems in cancer control

The last World Cancer Congress took place in Melbourne, Australia from 3-6 December 2014. The UICC brings together a wide range of organizations, including voluntary cancer leagues and societies, research and treatment centres, public health authorities, patient support networks, advocacy groups, and in some countries, ministries of health. UICC has consultative status with the United Nations (UN) Economic and Social Council. It works closely with the World Health Organization, the International Agency for Research on Cancer,and the Programme of Action for Cancer Therapy(PACT) initiated by the International Atomic Energy Agency. Cancer networks, partnerships, coalitions, and alliances may join UICC in the category of common interest groups, offering cancer control professionals, volunteers and advocates the chance to become part of a vibrant international community – accessing and sharing information, discussing and debating key cancer control issues with their peers, contributing to shared activities, and helping shape UICC’s strategic directions as well as the programme of the UICC World Cancer Control. The World Health Assembly resolution on cancer prevention and control adopted in May 2005, calls on all countries to intensify action against cancer by developing and reinforcing cancer control programmes. This resolution has added momentum to theWHO’s longstanding work against cancer. WHO is working with partners like UICC to create a global plan of action against cancer. A series of six WHO modules provides practical advice for programme managers and policymakers on how to advocate, plan and implement effective cancer control programmes, particularly in low-and-middle-income countries.