Sylvia Anderson

imageEnglish television and film producer, writer and voice actress, Sylvia Anderson sadly died 15 March 2016 at age 88, following a short illness. She was born in South London, England on 27 March 1927 and After graduating from the London School of Economics with a degree in economics and sociology, she became a social worker. She emigrated to the United States to live with her first husband, an American golfer. While in America, she worked as a journalist. She Returned to the United Kingdom with her daughter, Dee And joined the newly founded and short-lived Polytechnic Films as a secretary in 1957 and met Gerry Anderson, an editor and director. That year, when Anderson and Arthur Provis created AP Films following Polytechnic’s collapse, she joined them on the board of directors of the new company, alongside their colleagues John Read and Reg Hill.In 1960, the couple married, after which she played a wider role in production duties. Gerry Anderson and AP Films went on to create many popular and enduring classic television shows such as Fireball XL5, Joe 90,Stingray, Captain Scarlet and Thinderbirds using a technique dubbed Supermarionation.  In addition to serving as co-creator and co- on their TV series during the 1960s and early 1970s, Anderson’s primary contribution was character development and costume design .She regularly directed the bi-weekly voice recording sessions, and provided the voices of many female and child characters, in particular Lady Penelope in Thunderbirds.

Sadly the The Andersons’ creative partnership ended when their marriage broke down during the production of the first series of Space: 1999 in 1975. Gerry announced his intention to separate on the evening of the wrap party, following which Sylvia ceased her involvement with the company, which by this time had twice been renamed and was now called Group Three. The Andersons divorced at the start of the 1980s, following a 5-year separation. In 1983, she published a novel titled Love and Hisses and in 1994, she reprised her voice role as Lady Penelope for an episode of Absolutely Fabulous. She worked as a London-based talent scout for HBO for 30 years.

Her autobiography Yes M’Lady was first published in 1991; in 2007, it was re-published as My FAB Years with new material to bring it up to date with the latest developments in her life, such as her role as a production consultant for the 2004 live-action film adaptation of Thunderbirds. Of the film, Anderson commented, “I’m personally thrilled that the production team have paid us the great compliment of bringing to life our original concept for the big screen. If we had made it ourselves (and we have had over 30 years to do it!) we could not have improved on this new version. It is a great tribute to the original creative team who inspired the movie all those years ago. It was a personal thrill for me to see my characters come to life on the big screen. My FAB Years was re-released as a spoken CD, narrated by Anderson, in 2010.

In 2013, Anderson worked with her daughter Dee, a jazz singer, on a concept for a new TV series named “The Last Station”. They set up a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo for followers to contribute and be a part of the series. In 2015, Anderson traveled to Italy to receive a Pulcinella Award in recognition of her career in television production. Anderson was also known for her charity work, particularly in support of Breast Cancer Care and Barnardo’s.

Ant Man

I have recently watched Ant Man based on the Marvel character of the same name and starring Michael Douglas and Paul Rudd. It begins with Dr Hank Pym developing a suit that can shrink the wearer to minuscule size .Believing the technology is dangerous, Pym vows to hide it as long as he lives. Unfortunately Pym’s estranged daughter, Hope van Dyne, and former protégé, Darren Cross, force him out of his company, Pym Technologies. Pym is alarmed to find his former protégé Darren Cross attempting to replicate his Ant-Man shrinking technology for nefarious purposes and is very close to perfecting a shrinking suit of his own, the Yellowjacket.

Meanwhile after being released from prison, well-meaning thief Scott Lang moves in with his old cellmate, Luis. While visiting his daughter Cassie unannounced, Lang is rebuked by his former wife Maggie and her police-detective fiancé, Paxton, for not providing child support. Unable to hold a job because of his criminal record, Lang agrees to join Luis’ crew and commit a burglary. Lang breaks into a house and cracks its safe, but only finds what he believes to be an old motorcycle suit, which he takes home. After trying the suit on, Lang accidentally shrinks himself to the size of an insect. Terrified by the experience, he returns the suit to the house, but is arrested on the way out. Pym, the homeowner, visits Lang in jail and smuggles the suit into his cell to help him break out.

Scott Lang (Paul Rudd), discovers he has been manipulated through an unknowing Luis into stealing the suit as a test, and that Pymcwants Lang to become the new Ant-Man to steal the Yellowjacket from Cross. Having been spying on Cross after discovering his intentions, van Dyne helps Pym train Lang to fight and to control ants. However van Dyne harbors resentment towards Pym about her mother Janet’s death, and reveals that Janet, known as the Wasp, disappeared into a subatomic quantum realm while disabling a Soviet nuclear missile. Pym warns Lang that he could suffer a similar fate if he overrides his suit’s regulator.

Elsewhere Cross reveals the Yellowjacket suit at a ceremony at Pym Technologies’ headquarters., Meanwhile Lang along with his crew and a swarm of flying ants, infiltrates the building during the event, and Lang attempts to steal the Yellowjacket, however, he along with Pym and Hope, are captured by Cross, who intends to sell both the Yellowjacket and Ant-Man suits to Hydra, led by former S.H.I.E.L.D officer Mitchell Carson. Lang (Ant Man) and Cross (Yellow Jacket) confront one another, Cross takes Cassie hostage and Hope van Dyne dispatches most of the Hydra agents and Ant Man must stop Cross’s evil plans before it is too late which means undertaking a hazardous journey into the quantum realm.

Nancy Wilson (Heart) Leena Peisa (Lordi)

Nancy Wilson the American singer, songwriter, guitarist and producer with the Seattle/Vancouver rock band Heart was born on this day 16th March in 1954 and she and her sister, Ann, grew up in Southern California and Taiwan before moving to the Seattle suburb of Bellevue. Nancy finished high school, then attended Pacific University in Oregon and Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle where she majored in art and German literature. She then played solo gigs until 1974 when she quit college and moved to Canada to join her older sister Ann and lead guitarist Roger Fisher, to become the core of the Rock band Heart.

While Ann is the lead singer on the majority of the Heart recordings, Nancy is the lead vocalist on notable tracks like “Treat Me Well”, “These Dreams“, “Stranded“, “There’s the Girl”, and “Will You Be There (In the Morning)” and frequently performs background and harmony vocals on other great songs like Alone and Never Nancy is the band’s rhythm and lead guitarist. In 1999 Nancy Wilson released the solo live album, Live at McCabe’s Guitar Shop.

Nancy Wilson married film director and former Rolling Stone writer Cameron Crowe and she has played a role in composing music for most of Crowe’s films including Jerry Maguire, Almost Famous, Vanilla Sky, and Elizabethtown. She had cameo roles in Crowe’s The Wild Life (1984) as David’s wife and Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982) credited as “Beautiful Girl in Car”. In 1990, she also contributed to the Say Anything… soundtrack with “All for Love”

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Leena Peisa (A.K.A Awa) the Keyboard Player with Finnish hard rock/heavy metal band Lordi was also born on this day 16th March in 1979. 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.

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.

Open letter from quadriplegic to Osborne: how is taking £120 a month from me going to get me back to work?

We need to do something about the conservative Government in the UK

Pride's Purge

This open letter to George Osborne was posted on Facebook. Please feel free to share:

I don’t usually do this sort of thing, but I am so downright disgusted I feel the need to say something. Please feel free to share this post, in the vain hope that somebody who can make a difference might get to see it.

Dear Mr Osborne,
I am intrigued by your methods and incentives to get disabled people back to work.
I have been a quadriplegic for a last 13 years of my life. Let me give you a brief description of what this entails. I have to employ a team of four carers as there is practically nothing I can do for myself. A few of these things I can’t do include going to the toilet as I need someone to stimulate my bowels digitally, holding and having any kind of sexual relationship…

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