The Martian

Having read the book, I decided to watch this enjoyable and exciting science-fiction film, which is Based on the 2011 novel by Andy Wier and directed by Ridley Scott. It takes place during the 2030s, and features the crew of Ares III, a manned mission to Mars, who have established a temporary artificial habitat, called the Hab, on Mars, where they intend to stay for two months before departing back to Earth in their spacecraft The Hermes. However Eighteen days into the Mars mission, a massive Martian storm hits the base and the crew is forced to abandon the planet due to the danger that their escape vehicle will be destroyed and leave them permanently stranded on Mars. Unfortunately While evacuating, astronaut Mark Watney (Damon) is lost and presumed dead after his biomonitor is damaged. With the lives of her crew at stake, mission commander Melissa Lewis is forced to leave the planet, leaving Watney behind.

However unbeknownst to the rest of the crew Watney survives the storm and makes it back to the Hab. Unable to contact NASA and with the odds against him, Watney Faces a fight for survival on Mars until he can be rescued. However Being a resourceful fellow, Watney uses his knowledge as a Botanist to construct a makeshift farm and Habitat for himself which will allow him to grow crops that will sustain him until he can be rescued by The next Mission to Mars “Ares IV”. Watney also locates the Pathfinder probe, defunct since 1997, and uses it to regain contact with Earth and also modifies the Mars Rover in order to send and receive text messages from NASA under guidance from NASA director Teddy Sanders. However he faces many other problems in the Hab which threaten to blow him to smitherines at any given moment and he must be constantly vigilant.

Back at Mission Control Flight Director Mitch Henderson and JPL director Bruce Ng find out that Watney is still alive on Mars and face a tough decision whether to tell the other crew members who are en-route back to Earth that Watney is still alive. So Henderson comes up with an audacious plan to send a space probe to Mars and resupply Watney until Ares IV can reach him. Elsewhere The China National Space Administration (CNSA) also offers NASA a a classified booster that can carry a payload to Mars. Meanwhile Rich Purnell, a NASA astrodynamicist, tries to work out a way for the crew to return to Mars and rescue Watney…

Star Trek into Darkness

I have recently watched the exciting science fiction film Star Trek into Darkness again. It begins with Kirk and the crew of the Starship Enterprise observing the planet Nibiru, and preventing all the primitive inhabitants from being anialated by a volcano. However”Playing God” like this, is frowned upon by his superiors, and is against Starfleet Regulations, so upon returning to Earth, Kirk is releived of command, and Admiral Pike  reassumes command of the Enterprise. However Shortly afterward, a Starfleet agent named John Harrison bombs a secret “Section 31″ installation in London, Then he attacks an emergency meeting at Starfleet headquarters during which Pike is killed, and then escapes. So, Admiral Marcus authorizes Kirk to hunt down Harrison.

They find Harrison on the Klingon homeworld of Qo’noS which lies deep in Klingon territory, unfortunately relations between The Klingons and Starfleet are fragile and any action by the Enterprise could be seen as hostile, so the crew of the Enterprise try not to antagonize the Klingons which could start a war. However After arriving at Qo’nos the Enterprise breaks down and the Klingons try to clobber them until a mysterious figure shows up and Rescues them. They find Harrison who reveals his real identity: Khan, a genetically augmented superhuman, who has spent 300 years in cryo sleep after waging an unsuccessful war on Earth to eradicate all those inferior to himself and his superhuman genetically-engineered comrades who are all in cryo sleep hidden aboard the Enterprise. Khan explains that Admiral Marcus woke him from cryo sleep in order to use his superior intellect and savagery to develop advanced weapons to start a war with the Klingons,

Then An enormous unregistered Federation battleship, the USS Vengeance arrives with Admiral Marcus in command, demanding that Kirk hand over Khan. Kirk refuses, and the Enterprise warps away to Earth, to return Khan to stand trial for his crimes. However Admiral Marcus pursues the Enterprise back to Earth and Ultimately Kirk has to make a difficult decision in order to save the lives of his crew and protect millions of innocent lives on the Earth.

Ali Campbell (UB40)

English singer-songwriter Ali Campbell, the lead singer with Birmingham reggae band UB40 was born 15th February 1959. Formed in 1978 in Birmingham, England, UB40 were named after the Unemployment Benefit form, in protest of widespread unemployment (As was the song “One in Ten” and have gone on to enjoy massive success, having placed more than 50 singles in the UK Singles Chart, and also achieving considerable international success.

The band have also been nominated for the Grammy Award for Best Reggae Album four times, and in 1984, were nominated for the Brit Award for Best British Group. One of the world’s best-selling music artists, UB40 have sold over 70 million records. Among Their hit singles are their debut “Food for Thought” and two U.S. Billboard Hot 100 number ones with “Red Red Wine” and “Can’t Help Falling in Love”. Both of these also topped the UK Singles Chart, as did the band’s version of “I Got You Babe” featuring guest vocals from Chrissie Hynde of the Pretenders. Other great songs by UB40 include Rat in the Kitchen, Kingston town, Can’t Help Falling in Love with you, Don’t Break My Heart, One in Ten and Cherrio Baby.

The ethnic makeup of the band’s original lineup is diverse, with musicians of English, Scottish, Irish, Yemeni and Jamaican parentage. The band’s initial lineup lasted for 30 years from the band’s formation in 1978 until frontman Ali Campbell’s departure from the band in 2008. Since that time, two other founding members (Mickey Virtue and Astro) have also left the band, and the trio of Campbell, Virtue, and Astro have since formed UB40 Reunited and played concerts at Birmingham O2 Academy on 19 December, London IndigO2 on 20 December and Manchester Academy on 21 December 2014. The song “Reggae Music” was also available to download from the website http://www.ub40.org and they released a new album in 2015.

Ronnie Vanucci (The Killers)

Ronnie Vannucci Jnr the drummer and percussionist with Las Vegas band The Killers was born 15 February 1976. The killers were formed in 2001, by Brandon Flowers (lead vocals, keyboards) and Dave Keuning (guitar, backing vocals). Mark Stoermer (bass, backing vocals) and Ronnie Vannucci Jr. (drums, percussion) completed the current line-up of the band in 2002. The name The Killers is derived from a logo on the bass drum of a fictitious band portrayed in the music video for the New Order song “Crystal”. studio albums which the band have released include Hot Fuss (2004), Sam’s Town (2006) and Day & Age (2008)and Battle Born. They have also released one compilation album, Sawdust (2007) and one live album and DVD titled Live from the Royal Albert Hall (2009).

To date, the band has sold over 6 million albums in the United States, over 5 million albums in the United Kingdom, and over 15 million worldwide.Some of their best known songs are Mr Brightside,smile like you mean it, When You were Young, Bones, Read my Mind and For Reasons Unknown. The Killers have also performed at T in the Park, Lollapalooza, Glastonbury Festival, V Festival and recently performed a barnstorming set at the 2013 Isle of Wight Festival

THE KILLERS LIVE http://youtu.be/Vy-qOCrOzGI

On September 16, 2013 the Killers released “Shot at the Night” which was produced by Anthony Gonzalez and also released their first greatest hits compilation, Direct Hits celebrating a decade together as a band and fulfilling a contractual requirement with their record label. The album featured songs from all four studio albums, the new single “Shot At The Night” and another new song “Just Another Girl”.The release of Direct Hits was followed by a short promotional tour, the band also played a number of festivals in 2014. The Killers have stated that they will be taking an extended break before beginning work on their fifth studio album. On December 1, 2014, the band released “Joel the Lump of Coal”. The single features late night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel. The song marks the ninth consecutive year in which the band has released a Christmas song. All proceeds went to AIDS charities as part of the Product Red campaign.

John Helliwell (Supertramp)

SupertrampJohn Helliwell, the English musician with the British Rock Band Supertramp, was born 15th February 1945.Supertramp formed in 1969 under the name ”Daddy” before renaming themselves in early 1970. Though their music was initially categorised as progressive rock, they have since incorporated a combination of traditional Rock, pop and art rock into their music. The band’s work is marked by the inventive songwriting of Rick Davies and Roger Hodgson, the distinctive voice of Hodgson, and the prominent use of Wurlitzer electric piano and saxophone in their songs.

While the band’s early work was mainstream progressive rock, they would enjoy greater critical and commercial success when they incorporated more conventional and radio-friendly elements into their work in the mid-1970s, going on to sell more than 60 million albums.They reached their peak of commercial success with 1979′s Breakfast in America, which has sold more than 20 million copies.Though their albums were generally far more successful than their singles, Supertramp did enjoy a number of major hits throughout the 1970s and 1980s, including “Bloody Well Right”, “Give a Little Bit”, “The Logical Song”, “Goodbye Stranger”, “Take the Long Way Home”, “Dreamer”, “Breakfast in America”, “It’s Raining Again”, and “Cannonball”. The band attained significant popularity in the United States, Canada, Europe, South Africa and Australia With classic albums like Breakfast in America and It Was the Best of Times. Since Hodgson’s departure in 1983, founder Rick Davies has led the band by himself.

Mr Lordi (Tommi Petteri Putaansuu)

Tommi Petteri Putaansuu A.K.A Mr Lordi The lead singer of Finnish Heavy Metal band Lordi was born on 15 February 1974. Lordi were formed in 1996 by the band’s lead singer, songwriter and costume-designer, Mr. Lordi. The band is known for wearing monster masks and using pyrotechnics during concerts. They rose to domestic success with their 2002 single, “Would You Love a Monsterman?”. Lordi made history in 2006 by winning the Eurovision Song Contest with a record 292 points, becoming the first Finnish performer to win the contest. I’m hoping they invade the stage at this years Eurovision Song Contest and run amok before clobbering Jedward mind you I said that last year and nothing happened, which was disappointing.

Lordi were also featured on the 2006 MTV Europe Music Awards in Copenhagen when the band’s frontman, Mr. Lordi, presented the award for rock. They were also the closing act, playing their single “Hard Rock Hallelujah”. They also performed on Britain’s Making Your Mind Up for the Eurovision Song Contest. Lordi performed on the main stage at Ozzfest 2007 and later that year toured with Type O Negative and Twin Method until Halloween night. Lordi released their fourth album Deadache in 2008. produced by Nino Laurenne. The release spurred yet another change in the band’s costumes. The album was similar in style to its predecessors, melodic hard rock and heavy metal, though with more horror theme. Mr Lordi spent time in Los Angeles with Jeremy Rubolino and former Kiss guitarist Bruce Kulick writing two new tracks, “Cut Off My Head” and “Call Off The Wedding”. In March 2010 Mark Slaughter and Bruce Kulick played in a part of their new song. Babez for Breakfast was recorded in Nashville, and produced by legendary Michael Wagener, featuring the single “This is Heavy Metal”.

On 4 October 2010 it was announced that drummer Kita had left the band, and was replaced by Otus. In 2011 Mr Lordi took part in Finnish TV-series “Kuorosota” and they were unable to tour however they played a few metal festivals. Sadly in February 2012 Otus tragically died. Due to the death of Otus, Lordi cancelled all their concerts scheduled for the beginning of 2012, but they had some summer festival concerts that they couldn’t cancel. Lordi got help from Jimmy Hammer, the drummer of Finnish band Ironcross, who played drums for Lordi’s 2012 concerts.  In September 2012, Scarchives Vol. 1, a compilation CD+DVD, was released to celebrate Lordi’s 20th anniversary. The CD contains previously unreleased old Lordi songs, including all the songs from the unreleased album from 1997, Bend Over And Pray The Lord. The DVD contains Lordi’s very first concert in Helsinki 2002. The video was edited by Otus. Keyboardist Awa left the band in fall of 2012, her final Performance was at the 20th anniversary concert, at Simerock in Rovaniemi, Finland on August 11.[

Lordi’s sixth studio album To Beast or Not to Beast was recorded 2013 and included two new members, Mana as the new drummer and Hella as the new keyboardist and The first single from the new album, “The Riff”, was released digitally on February 8, 2013. After the release of the single the band took part in Wok WM competition in Germany. The album was released on March 1, 2013. A European tour in support of the new album, “Tour Beast Or Not Tour Beast”, started in April, 2013. The tour also included one concert in Japan. On June 28 2013 in Savonlinna, Finland Mr Lordi opened first official Lordi-exhibition, The Other side of Lordi. Which included Lordi’s former costumes and stage props, including Lordi’s album cover artworks (painted by Mr Lordi). Mr Lordi and Amen visited the exhibition during the opening night. Lordi’s seventh studio album “Scare Force One”was released on October in Europe, and November 2014 in North America. The first single from the album, “Nailed by the Hammer of Frankenstein”, was released digitally on September 19th 2014 and On November 1st, Lordi along with Finnish Folk Metal band Korpiklaani, performed at The Circus in Helsinki.