Posted in films & DVD

Deadpool

Deadpool has recently been released on DVD. Deadpool, a.k.a Wade Wilson is a foul mouthed, wise cracking Special Forces operative turned Mercenary turned Superhero. The film is the eighth installment of the X-Men film series and stars Ryan Reynolds as Wade Wilson, a former special forces operative who works as a mercenary in New York City. He meets escort Vanessa Carlysle (Homeland’s Morena Baccarin) at a local bar and they become romantically attached and plan to marry. However after he suddenly collapses. Wade is diagnosed with terminal cancer and though Vanessa vows to remain by his side, he fears losing her.

Then A recruiter from a secret program approaches Wade offering an experimental cure for his cancer. Although Wade initially refuses, he decides to leave Vanessa and undergo a controversial and highly dangerous procedure to cure his cancer. At a laboratory, Wade meets Ajax (Ed Skrein) and Angel Dust. (Gina Carano). Ajax injects Wade with a serum designed to awaken latent mutant genes. Ajax tortures Deadpool/Wade And thanks to this rather stressful and unconventional treatment his Antibodies gradually start fighting back, curing his cancer, however the treatment severely disfigures his face and skin. Needless to say this really upsets Wade Who escapes from the chamber and attacks Ajax, however Ajax tells Wade that his disfigurement can be cured.

Wade then fears that Vanessa will reject him because of his appearance, and keeps himself away from her. So instead Wade plots vengeance against Ajax and to have his disfigurement cured. Deadpool eventually tracks down Ajax and confronts him But is interrupted by the arrival of two X-Men, Colossus and Negasonic Teenage Warhead, (Stefan Kapicic) and Brianna Hildebrand). who have been trying to recruit Deadpool. Sadly Ajax escapes then learns the whereabouts of Vanessa at the Strip Club and kidnaps her before Deadpool can stop him. Ajax and Angel Dust then tell him to meet them for a final explosive showdown. Deadpool convinces Colossus and Negasonic to help him. Then While Colossus and Megasonic battle Angel Dust, Deadpool seeks out Ajax and tries to rescue Vanessa.

Posted in music

Noddy Holder and Jim Lea (Slade)

Noddy Holder, singer-songwriter, guitarist, and actor with glam rock band Slade was born 15 June 1946, in addition Jim Lea, the singer-songwriter, bass guitarist / keyboard player / violinist / guitarist and producer also with Slade was born 14 June 1949. He joined Slade after meeting Fellow members Dave Hill and Don Powell playing in a band called The Vendors, who changed the name Of the band to The N’ Betweens. After Jim Lea auditioned, Drummer Don Powell then spotted Noddy Holder playing with Steve Brett & The Mavericks and he and Hill got Holder to join the N’Betweens. They regrouped as Ambrose Slade, and changed the name to Slade.

Slade rose to prominence during the glam rock era of the early 1970s with 17 consecutive top 20 hits and six number ones. The British Hit Singles & Albums names them as the most successful British group of the 1970s based on sales of singles. They were the first act to achieve three singlesenter at number one; all six of the band’s chart-toppers were penned by Noddy Holder and Jim Lea. Total UK sales stand at 6,520,171, and their best selling single, “Merry Xmas Everybody”, has sold in excess of one million copies. Following an unsuccessful move to the United States in 1975, Slade’s popularity waned but was unexpectedly revived in 1980 when they were last minute replacements for Ozzy Osbourne at the Reading Rock Festival. The band later acknowledged this to have been one of the highlights of their career. Though Hill is left-handed, he played and still plays guitar right-handed. Hill’s best known guitar was the “John Birch Superyob” that was built in 1973. The guitar was used by Madness guitarist Chris Foreman in the video for Madness’ song “Shut Up” and is now owned by Marco Pirroni of Adam and the Ants. He is known for his flamboyant costumes.

The original line up split in 1992 but the band reformed the following year as Slade II. The band has continued, with a number of line-up changes, to the present day. They have now shortened the group name back to Slade. A number of diverse artists have cited Slade as an influence, including grunge icons Nirvana and the Smashing Pumpkins, punk pioneers the Ramones, the Sex Pistols, the Undertones, the Runaways and the Clash, glam followers Kiss, Mötley Crüe, Twisted Sister ,Quiet Riot, Poison and Def Leppard, pop-rock stalwarts the Replacements, Cheap Trick and Oasis.

Over the years Slade have become known for Holder’s powerful vocals, guitarist Dave Hill’s equally arresting dress sense and the deliberate misspelling of their song titles. Their song Merry Christmas is also repeated annually during every Christmas Season. Since Slade split Noddy Holder has also acted in a couple of television series such as Max and Paddy’s road to nowhere and adverts like Nobby’s Nuts.

Posted in music

Dom Brown (Duran Duran)

guitarist and singer-songwriter Dominic “Dom” Brown was born 14June 1972. He has worked with many popular musicians, including Duran Duran, Elton John, Lionel Richie and Take That. He has also done both studio and live recordings with Justin Timberlake, Liam Gallagher and the Sugababes, along with many others. Dom cites his influences as “Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, David Bowie, Nirvana, Rolling Stones, Stevie Ray Vaughan, The Police, James Brown, Miles Davis, Jimmy Page, Stevie Wonder, Jeff Beck, Jeff Buckley, Dave Gilmour, Charles Mingus, Charlie Parker, Meters, Eric Clapton, Duran Duran, Otis Redding, Chic, Ben Harper, AC/DC, Robert Johnson, Mick Ronson, Mozart, Frank Zappa, White Stripes, Massive Attack, Soundgarden, Cream, John Mayer, Howlin’ Wolf, Smashing Pumpkins, Ian Hunter, The Stranglers, Marvin Gaye, Steely Dan, Sly Stone, Beck, Fleetwood Mac, Roxy Music, Muddy Waters, Curtis Mayfield and more…”

He began playing guitar at the age of 14, and by 16 had put together the band Nexus, based in Twickenham. He was soon touring with his father, musician Rob Brown. He has performed solo and in his own bands around the world, as well as serving as a sessions and live backup player for numerous other performers.

Brown first appeared with Duran Duran in December 2004 as a stand-in for ill guitarist Andy Taylor, and performed in Taylor’s place several more times over the following two years. After Taylor left the band in October 2006, Brown was hired to record guitar parts for their next album, Red Carpet Massacre (2007), and perform on the supporting world tour. He also played with the band at the Concert for Diana and Live Earth London at Wembley Stadium. Brown continues in his role as Duran Duran’s guitarist albeit not as a full member of the band. He co-wrote 13 of the 15 tracks on the band’s 2011 album All You Need Is Now and 4 of the 12 tracks on their 2015 album Paper Gods.Dominic’s solo albums are published by the independent UK record label Remedy Records.

Duran Duran were formed in Birmingham in 1978. They were a successful band of the 1980s and a leading band in the MTV-driven “Second British Invasion” of the US. Since the 1980s, they have placed 14 singles in the Top 10 of the UK Singles Chart and 21 in the Billboard Hot 100, and have sold over 70 million records. While they were generally considered part of the New Romantic scene, along with bands such as Spandau Ballet, when they first emerged, the band later shed this image. The band worked with fashion designers to build a sharp and elegant image. The band has won a number of awards throughout their career: two Brit Awards including the 2004 award for Outstanding Contribution to Music, two Grammy Awards, and an MTV Video Music Award for Lifetime Achievement. They were also awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

The band’s controversial videos, which included partial nudity and suggestions of sexuality, became popular in the early 1980s on the then-new music video channel, MTV. Duran Duran were among the first bands to have their videos shot by professional directors with 35 mm film movie cameras, which gave their videos a much more polished look than was standard at the time. In 1984, the band were early innovators with video technology in their live stadium shows.

The group was formed by keyboardist Nick Rhodes and bassist John Taylor, with the later addition of drummer Roger Taylor, and after numerous personnel changes, guitarist Andy Taylor and lead singer Simon Le Bon. These five members featured in their most commercially successful line-up. The group has never disbanded, but after separation of Andy Taylor in 1986, the line-up has changed to include former Missing Persons American guitarist Warren Cuccurullo from 1989 to 2001 and American drummer Sterling Campbell from 1989 to 1991. The reunion of the original five members in the early 2000s created a stir among the band’s fans and music media. Andy Taylor left the band once again in mid-2006, and guitarist Dom Brown has since been working with the band as a session player and touring member.

Posted in Uncategorized

G.K. Chesterton

Prolific English writer G.K Chesterton sadly died 14 June 1936. He was born 29th May 1874 and published works on philosophy, ontology, poetry, plays, journalism, public lectures and debates, literary and art criticism, biography, Christian apologetics, and fiction, including fantasy and detective fiction. Chesterton has been called the “prince of paradox”. Time magazine, in a review of a biography of Chesterton, observed of his writing style: “Whenever possible Chesterton made his points with popular sayings, proverbs, allegories— first carefully turning them inside out.” For example, Chesterton wrote “Thieves respect property. They merely wish the property to become their property that they may more perfectly respect it.”Chesterton is well known for his reasoned apologetics and even some of those who disagree with him have recognized the universal appeal of such works as Orthodoxy and The Everlasting Man.

Chesterton, as a political thinker, cast aspersions on both progressivism and conservatism, saying, “The whole modern world has divided itself into Conservatives and Progressives. The business of Progressives is to go on making mistakes. The business of the Conservatives is to prevent the mistakes from being corrected.” Chesterton routinely referred to himself as an “orthodox” Christian, and came to identify such a position more and more with Catholicism, eventually converting to Roman Catholicism from High Church Anglicanism. George Bernard Shaw, Chesterton’s “friendly enemy” according to Time, said of him, “He was a man of colossal genius”. Biographers have identified him as a successor to such Victorian authors as Matthew Arnold, Thomas Carlyle, John Henry Cardinal Newman, and John Ruskin.Among his best known works are The Napoleon of Notting Hill, Heretics, Charles Dickens: A Critical Study, The Man Who Was Thursday, Orthodoxy, Manalive, Father Brown short stories (detective fiction), Eugenics and Other Evils, Saint Francis of Assisi (1923), Doubleday, The Everlasting Man & Saint Thomas Aquinas. A lot of these can be found on the Project Gutenberg WebsitE.

Posted in Health, Science-tech

World Blood Donor Day

Every year on 14 June, countries around the world celebrate World Blood Donor Day (WBDD). The event, established in 2004, serves to raise awareness of the need for safe blood and blood products, and to thank blood donors for their voluntary, life-saving gifts of blood. World Blood Donor Day takes place on the day of birthday anniversary of Scientist Karl Landsteiner on 14 June in 1868, who is credited with, and won the Nobel Prize, for discovering the ABO blood group system.

Transfusion of blood and blood products helps save millions of lives every year. It can help patients suffering from life-threatening conditions live longer and with higher quality of life, and supports complex medical and surgical procedures. It also has an essential, life-saving role in maternal and perinatal care. Access to safe and sufficient blood and blood products can help reduce rates of death and disability due to severe bleeding during delivery and after childbirth. In many countries, there is not an adequate supply of safe blood, and blood services face the challenge of making sufficient blood available, while also ensuring its quality and safety. An adequate supply can only be assured through regular donations by voluntary unpaid blood donors. The WHO’s goal is for all countries to obtain all their blood supplies from voluntary unpaid donors by 2020. It emphasizes thanking of blood donors who save lives every day through their blood donations and inspires more people all over the world to donate blood voluntarily and regularly with the slogan “Give freely, give often. Blood donation matters.” This year campaign pays attention to stories from people whose lives have been saved through blood donation.

Activities include special events, meetings, publication of relevant stories on media, scientific conferences, publication of articles on national, regional and international scientific journals, and other activities that would help in encouraging the title of this year’s World Blood Donor Day. The host country for World Blood Donor Day 2015 is China through its blood center in Shanghai, Shanghai Blood Centre, also the WHO Collaborating Center for Blood Transfusion Services. The focus of the WBDD 2014 campaign was “Safe blood for saving mothers”. The goal of the campaign was to increase awareness about why timely access to safe blood and blood products is essential for all countries, as part of a comprehensive approach to prevent maternal deaths. According to the World Health Organization, 800 women die every day from pregnancy and childbirth-related complications. Severe bleeding is the cause of 34% of maternal deaths in Africa, 31% in Asia and 21% in Latin America and the Caribbean. The global host for the WBDD 2014 event was Sri Lanka. Through its national blood transfusion service, Sri Lanka promotes voluntary unpaid donation to increase access to safe and sufficient blood and blood products.

The host country for World Blood Donor Day 2013 was France. Through its national blood service, the Etablissement Français du Sang (EFS), France has been promoting voluntary non-remunerated blood donation since the 1950s. The focus for the WBDD 2013 campaign – which marked the 10th anniversary of World Blood Donor Day – was blood donation as a gift that saves lives. The WHO encouraged all countries to highlight stories from people whose lives have been saved through blood donation, as a way of motivating regular blood donors to continue giving blood and people in good health who have never given blood, particularly young people, to begin doing so. The 2012 campaign focused on the idea that any person can become a hero by giving blood. Blood cannot yet be manufactured artificially, so voluntary blood donation remains vital for healthcare worldwide. Many anonymous blood donors save lives every day through their blood donations.

World Blood Donor Day is one of eight official global public health campaigns marked by the World Health Organization (WHO), along with World Health Day, World Tuberculosis Day, World Immunization Week, World Malaria Day, World No Tobacco Day, World Hepatitis Day, and World AIDS Day.

Posted in music

Alan White (Yes)

Yes_Wonderous+StoriesAlan White the drummer and songwriter with the bands Yes, Plastic Ono Band, White, and Circa, was born 14 June 1949. Yes were Formed in 1968 by Jon Anderson and Bill Bruford and went on to achieve worldwide success with their progressive music, mystical lyrics, elaborate album art, live stage sets and symphonic style of rock music. They are regarded as one of the pioneers of the progressive genre. They were Formed in 1968 by Jon Anderson and Bill Bruford and released two albums together but began to enjoy success after the release of The Yes Album and Fragile,which featured new arrivals Steve Howe and Rick Wakeman. They achieved further success with the albums Close to the Edge and Tales from Topographic Oceans. Wakeman was replaced by Patrick Moraz, who played on Relayer (1974). Wakeman returned on Going for the One (1977) and Tormato (1978). Anderson and Wakeman left the group due to musical differences amongst the band in 1980, and both went on to pursue solo careers. Their replacements, Trevor Horn and Steve Downes, featured on Drama (1980) and its supporting tour before disbanding in 1981. Howe and Downes went to form Asia.

Yes -Fly From Here
Yes -Fly From Here

Yes reformed in 1982 after Squire and White were joined by the returning Jon Anderson and Tony Kaye, with the addition of guitarist Trevor Rabin. They adopted a pop rock sound and released the number one single “Owner of a Lonely Heart” and 90125 (1983), their best-selling album to date, followed by Big Generator (1987). Anderson left and co-formed the side project Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe with the named members in 1989. Following a legal battle amongst both Yes groups, they formed an eight-man band to perform on Union (1991) and its supporting tour. Rabin and Kaye featured on Talk (1994) before leaving, while Wakeman and Howe returned with Keys to Ascension (1996) and Keys to Ascension 2 (1997). Wakeman was then replaced by Igor Khoroshev, who was featured on Open Your Eyes (1997) and The Ladder (1999) along with guitarist Billy Sherwood. The release of Magnification (2001) marked the first album since 1970 to feature an orchestra. Squire also joined the short-lived supergroup XYZ, (ex-Yes, Zeppelin) which featured Squire, Yes’ Alan White, and Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page.

In 2002, Wakeman returned for the band’s 35th anniversary tour. The band ceased to tour in 2004, partly due to health concerns regarding Anderson and Wakeman. Following a hiatus, Yes restarted in 2008 with keyboardist Oliver Wakeman and singer Benoît David. After the release of Fly from Here (2011), which saw Downes returning on keyboards, David was replaced by Jon Davison, lead singer of progressive rock band Glass Hammer, on vocals. Sadly though Chris Squire, died 27 June 2013 at the age of 67, following his battle with Acute Erythroid Leukemia, with which he was diagnosed in 2015. He had been a member of the band’s current line-up alongside singer Jon Davison, guitarist Steve Howe, drummer Alan White, and keyboardist Geoff Downes and was the longest serving member of the band and will be sadly missed.

Posted in books

Little Boy Blue by M.J.Arlidge

Having read the four previous DI Helen Grace novels, I would like to read Little BoyBlue, The fifth exciting fast paced murder mystery novel by M.J.Arlidge to feature Detective Inspector Helen Grace. Grace is no stranger to tragedy, But when a body is found in a Southampton nightclub, which was hosting a fetish ball, the death cuts too close to the bone and as soon as Helen arrives she realises that she has her own personal connection to the murder.

But it is difficult for Helen to confess the fact that she knew the victim personally as that might open the door to her other life that she has kept hidden from the public eyes for so long. Hiding her personal connection to the victim – and a double-life which must remain secret at all costs – Helen becomes a woman possessed, working her team around the clock to chase down every lead.

However the killer strikes again, and the investigation begins to take its toll not only on Helen but also her senior officers. Tempers flare, friendships fray and Helen faces an impossible choice. Confess her sins and lose control of the case, Or keep living a lie, protecting her darkest secrets, and risk getting trapped in a tangled web of deceit.

Posted in music

Maxi Jazz (Faithless)

cMaxi Jazz, British rapper with the band Faithless waws born 14th June 1957. Faithless was a British electronica band consisting of Maxi Jazz, Sister Bliss and Rollo. The group is best known for their dance songs (“Insomnia”, “God Is a DJ” and “We Come 1″). Faithless recorded six albums. During their career they sold over 15 million records worldwide. The band have now officially split up after the climax of their Passing The Baton dates at Brixton Academy which was on the 7 and 8 April 2011.

The band was formed in early 1995, and their debut single “Salva Mea (Save Me)” was released in July that year. Jazz acted as a vocalist, whilst Bliss constructed most of the music herself electronically, but also played the piano, violin, saxophone and bass guitar. Rollo heads and produces the band. Lead female vocals for many of their songs are performed by Pauline Taylor, who also performed lead vocals for singles by Rollo released under his monikers Rollo Goes Mystic and Rollo Goes Spiritual. Albums released by Faithless include Reverence (which reached number 26), Sunday 8Pm, Outrospective and No Roots, with a greatest hits compilation album out in 2005. Each of the four studio albums has also been followed with a subsequent bonus disc of remixes. Their fifth album, To All New Arrivals, was released in 2006 and Their sixth album, The Dance, was released on 16 May 2010, after a four year hiaitus and they returned to the Glastonbury Festival after eight years, playing on the Pyramid Stage. They performed many of their most popular songs including “Insomnia”, “God is a DJ”, and “We Come 1”.

On 16 March 2011, Maxi Jazz announced on his website that Faithless would cease to be, commenting “But, like when writing a song, you always just know when it’s finished… this is and was the Thank YOU And Goodbye tour. They played two nights at Brixton Academy on 7 and 8 April 2011. The latter date would allegedly be the final full Faithless touring band show and was transmitted live via satellite to cinemas across Europe. On 2011 The Faithless ‘Sound System’ (consisting of Maxi Jazz, Sister Bliss and percussionist Sudha Kheterpal) performed shows on 22 July 2011 at the Tomorrowland festival in Belgium, at the Waterford Music Fest in Ireland on 30 July and in Split (Croatia) at the Riva Discothèque on 12 August. However, in February 2015 they reunited to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the band and their latest aLbum, Faithless 2.0 was released in 2015 and contains even more remixes of their best tunes.

Posted in books

Jerome K. Jerome

best known for the humorous travelogue Three Men in a Boat, the English Writer and Humourist Jerome K Jerome, sadlly passed away 14th June 1927. born 2nd May 1859 in Caldmore, Walsall, England, he moved to London, where He attended St Marylebone Grammar School. 14 June 1927). The young Jerome wished to go into politics or be a man of letters, but the death of his father at age 13, and his mother at age 15, forced him to quit his studies and find work to support himself. He was employed at the London and North Western Railway, initially collecting coal that fell along the railway, and remained there for four years.In 1877, inspired by his older sister Blandina’s love for the theatre, Jerome decided to try his hand at acting, under the stage name Harold Crichton.

He joined a repertory troupe that produced plays on a shoestring budget, Jerome was penniless at the time. After three years on the road and with no evident success, the 21-year-old Jerome decided he’d had enough with stage life, and sought other occupations. He tried to become a journalist, writing essays, satires and short storie, but most of these were rejected. Over the next few years he was a school teacher, a packer, and a solicitor’s clerk. Finally, in 1885, he had some success with On the Stage — and Off, a comic memoir of his experiences with the acting troupe. Idle Thoughts of an Idle Fellow, a collection of humorous essays, followed in 1886. On 21 June 1888, Jerome married Georgina Elizabeth Henrietta Stanley Marris (a.k.a. Ettie), nine days after she had divorced her first husband. She had a daughter from her previous, five-year marriage, nicknamed Elsie (her actual name was also Georgina). The honeymoon took place on the Thames “in a little boat,” a fact which was to have a significant influence on his next, and most important work, Three men in a boatt.which Jerome sat down to write as soon as the couple returned from their honeymoon. In the novel, his wife was replaced by his longtime friends George Wingrave (George) and Carl Hentschel (Harris). This allowed him to create comic situations which were nonetheless intertwined with the history of the Thames region. The book, published in 1889, became an instant success and is still in print. Its popularity was such that the number of registered Thames boats went up fifty percent in the year following its publication, and it contributed significantly to the Thames becoming a tourist attraction.

The book has also been adapted to movies, TV and radio shows, stage plays, and even a musical. Its writing style influenced many humorists and satirists in England and elsewhere. Following on from this success Jerome dedicated all of his time to writing and wrote a number of plays, essays and novels, but was never able to recapture the success of Three Men in a Boat.In 1898, a short stay in Germany inspired Three Men on the Bummel, the sequel to Three Men in a Boat. While reintroducing the same characters in the setting of a foreign bicycle tour, the book was unable to capture the life-force and historic roots of its predecessor, and only enjoyed a mild success. In 1902 he published the novel Paul Kelver, which is widely regarded as autobiographical. His 1908 play The Passing of the Third Floor Back introduced a more sombre and religious Jerome. This was a tremendous commercial success but was condemned by critics.During World War I, he volunteered as an ambulance driver for the French Army but this experience was said to have dampened his spirit, as did the death in 1921 of his stepdaughter, Elsie. In 1926, Jerome published his autobiography, My Life and Times. Shortly afterwards, the Borough of Walsall conferred on him the title Freeman of the Borough. During these last years, Jerome spent more time at his farmhouse in Ewelme near Wallingford.

Sadly in June 1927 Jerome suffered a paralytic stroke and a cerebral haemorrhage during a motoring tour and lay in Northampton General Hospital for two weeks before succumbing on 14 June. He was cremated at Golders Green and his ashes buried at St Mary’s Church, Ewelme, Oxfordshire. Elsie, Ettie, and his sister Blandina are buried beside him. His legacy lives on in the form of a French graphic novel series named Jérôme K. Jérôme Bloche after the author and There is a street named after him called Jerome Road in Alumwell and Walsall Museum has some of Jerome’s writing equipment on permanent display