Doctor Strange

I would like to watch Doctor Strange which is based on the Marvel Comics superhero. It is the fourteenth film of the Marvel Universe. It stars Benedict Cumberbatch, as, an acclaimed neurosurgeon, named Stephen Strange who loses the use of his hands in a car accident

Meanwhile In Kathmandu, Nepal, an evil sorcerer named  Kaecilius and his zealots enter the secret compound Kamar-Taj and murder its librarian, keeper of ancient and mystical texts. They steal a ritual from a book belonging to the Ancient One, a sorcerer who has lived for an unknown time and taught all at Kamar-Taj, including Kaecilius, in the ways of the mystic arts. The Ancient One pursues the traitors, but Kaecilius escapes with the pages and some of his followers.

Doctor Strange’s co-worker and former lover Christine Palmer tries to help him move on, but Strange, believing he can regain use of his hands, instead uses all his resources pursuing experimental surgeries in vain. After learning of Jonathon Pangborn, a paraplegic who mysteriously was able to walk again, Strange seeks him out, and is directed to Kamar-Taj. There, Strange is taken in by another sorcerer under the Ancient One, Mordo. The Ancient One shows Strange her power, revealing the astral plane and other dimensions such as the Mirror Dimension. Strange begs her to teach him, and she eventually agrees despite his arrogance, which reminds her of Kaecilius.

Strange begins his tutelage under the Ancient One and Mordo, and learns from the ancient books in the library, now presided over by the master Wong. Strange learns that Earth is protected from other dimensions by a spell formed from three buildings called Sanctums, found in New York City, London, and Hong Kong. The task of the sorcerers is to protect the Sanctums, though Pangborn chose to forgo this responsibility in favor of channeling mystical energy into walking again. Strange learns to bend time with the mystical Eye of Agamotto. Mordo and Wong warn Strange against breaking the laws of nature, comparing his arrogant yearning for power to that of Kaecilius, who believes, after the deaths of his loved ones, that everyone should have eternal life.

Kaecilius and his followers begin summoning the powerful Dormammu of the Dark Dimension, where time does not exist and all can live forever. This destroys the London Sanctum, and sends Strange from Kamar-Taj to the New York Sanctum. The zealots then attack there, where Strange holds them off with the mystical Cloak of Levitation until Mordo and the Ancient One arrive. Strange and Mordo become disillusioned with the Ancient One after Kaecilius reveals that her long life has come from her own use of Dormammu’s power. Kaecilius confronts the Ancient One, and escapes to Hong Kong followed by Strange and Mordo who find Wong dead and the Sanctum destroyed, with the Dark Dimension already engulfing Earth. Doctor Strange faces a race against time to save Wong, stop Dormammu and Kaecilius from destroying Earth and return the Infinity Stone, to Kamar-Taj.

The film also stars Chiwetel Ejiofor, Rachel McAdams, Benedict Wong, Michael Stuhlbarg, Benjamin Bratt, Scott Adkins, Mads Mikkelsen, and Tilda Swinton.

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Hawker Hurricane

Hawker Hurricane

Hawker Hurricane

The Prototype Hawker Hurricane K5083 made it’s debut flight 6 November 1935 in the hands of Hawker’s chief test pilot, Flight Lieutenant (later Group Captain) George Bulman. The Hawker Hurricane Was a British single-seat fighter aircraft that was designed and predominantly built by Hawker Aircraft Ltd for the Royal Air Force (RAF). Bulman was later assisted by two other pilots in subsequent flight testing .Philip Lucas flew some of the experimental test flights, while John Hindmarsh conducted the firm’s production flight trials.RAF trials of the aircraft at Martlesham Heath began in February 1936. Sammy Wroath, later to be the founding Commandant of the Empire Test Pilot School, was the RAF test pilot for the Hurricane: his report was favorable, stating “The aircraft is simple and easy to fly and has no apparent vices” and going on to praise its control response. The type name “Hurricane” proposed by Hawkers was approved by the Air Ministry on 26 June; an informal christening ceremony was carried out the next month when King George VI paid a visit to Martlesham Heath.

Although largely overshadowed by the Supermarine Spitfire, the aircraft became renowned during the Battle of Britain, accounting for 60% of the RAF’s air victories in the battle, and served in all the major theatres of the Second World War.The 1930s design evolved through several versions and adaptations, resulting in a series of aircraft which acted as interceptor-fighters, fighter-bombers (also called “Hurribombers”), and ground support aircraft. Further versions known as the Sea Hurricane had modifications which enabled operation from ships. Some were converted as catapult-launched convoy escorts, known as “Hurricats”. More than 14,000 Hurricanes were built by the end of 1944 (including at least 800 converted to Sea Hurricanes and some 1,400 built in Canada by Canadian Car and Foundry).

The first 50 Hurricanes reached squadrons by 1938.  production was slightly greater than the RAF’s capacity to introduce the new aircraft and the government gave Hawkers the clearance to sell the excess to nations likely to oppose German expansion. As a result, there were some modest sales to other countries. Production was then increased with a plan to create a reserve of aircraft as well as re-equip existing squadrons and newly formed ones such as those of the Auxiliary Air Force. Expansion scheme E included a target of 500 fighters of all types by the start of 1938. By the time of the Munich Crisis there were only two fully operational squadrons of the planned 12 with Hurricanes. By the time of the German invasion of Poland there were 18 operational Hurricane squadrons and three more converting.

Severn Valley Railway Season finale Gala

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GWR 4566 Prairie tank

The Severn Valley Railway Season finale Gala takes place on November 4th, 5th & 6th. 2016. it features an intensive service of trains running into the early evenings, a number of very special Experiences and other attractions up and down the Railway. Appearing at the event will be:

LMS ‘Crab’ No. 13065 – appearing in crimson lake livery! courtesy of the East Lancashire Railway Company Limited

GWR No. 4270 – heavy-freight locomotive Courtesy of Jeremy Hosking & Gloucestershire & Warwickshire Steam Railway Plc.

A1 class Pacific 60163 2-6-4 “Tornado” which is visiting the Severn Valley Railway again following the successful Pacific Power event in October.

They will be joined by newly-overhauled Ex Port Talbot 0-6-0 saddle tank No. 813 and GWR Pannier Tank 0-6-0 no. 7714. Plus the home fleet of Pannier tank Engine no. 1501, Manor Class Locomotives GWR 7812 Erlestoke Manor and GWR 7802 Bradley Manor, Standard class 4 43106, Battle of Britain class 34053 Sir Keith Park and West Country class 34027 Taw Valley. GWR Prairie Tank 4566 is also making it’s final appearance at the Gala before having it’s overhaul as its ten year boiler certificate is due to expire.

Jonny Greenwood (Radiohead)

Jonny Greenwood, guitarist with English rock band Radiohead was born Born 5th November 1971. Formed in 1985, Radiohead hail from Abingdon, Oxfordshire, and The band consists of Thom Yorke (lead vocals, guitar, piano), Jonny Greenwood (lead guitar, keyboards, other instruments), Colin Greenwood (bass), Phil Selway (drums, percussion) and Ed O’Brien (guitar, backing vocals). Radiohead released their debut single “Creep” in 1992. The song was initially unsuccessful, but it became a worldwide hit several months after the release of their debut album, Pablo Honey (1993). Radiohead’s popularity rose in the United Kingdom with the release of their second album, The Bends (1995) featuring awesome songs like The Bends, Fake Plastic Trees, High and Dry and Planet Telex. Radiohead’s third album, OK Computer (1997), propelled them to even greater international fame. Featuring an expansive sound and themes of modern alienation, OK Computer is often acclaimed as one of the landmark records of the 1990s. Kid A (2000) and Amnesiac (2001) marked an evolution in Radiohead’s musical style, as the group incorporated experimental electronic music, krautrock and jazz influences.

Kid A, though somewhat polarizing at the time of its release, is now frequently recognized as one of the most important albums of the 2000s. Hail to the Thief (2003), a mix of piano and guitar driven rock, electronics and lyrics inspired by war, was the band’s final album for their major record label, EMI. Radiohead self-released their seventh album, In Rainbows (2007), as a digital download for which customers could set their own price, and later in physical form to critical and chart success. Radiohead’s eighth album, The King of Limbs (2011), was an exploration of rhythm and quieter textures, which the band released independently. Radiohead have sold more than 30 million albums worldwide, with the band’s work being placed highly in both listener polls and critics’ lists, they have the distinction of doing so in both the 1990s and 2000s. In 2005, Radiohead were ranked number 73 in Rolling Stone’s list of “The Greatest Artists of All Time”, while Jonny Greenwood and Ed O’Brien were both included in Rolling Stone’s list of greatest guitarists, and Thom Yorke in their list of greatest singers. In 2009, Rolling Stone readers voted the group the second best artist of the 2000’s. Radiohead’s latest album Moon Shaped Pool was released in 2016 to positive reviews.

Art Garfunkel

Best known for being one half of the folk duo Simon & Garfunkel the Grammy-award winning American singer, poet, and Golden Globe-nominated actor Arthur Ira “Art” Garfunkel was born November 5, 1941.Highlights of his solo music Career include a top 10 hit, three top 20 hits, six top 40 hits, 14 Adult Contemporary top 30 sngles, five Adult Contemporary number ones, two UK number ones and a People’ Choice Award. Through his solo and collaborative work, Garfunkel has earned six Grammys, including the Lifetime Achievement Award. In 1990, he and former musical partner Paul Simon were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Garfunkel was born in Forest Hills, Queens, New York City & has two brothers; Jules and Jerome. His cousin on his mother’s side is Lou Pearlman founder of ‘N Sync and the Backstreet Boys. Asa child Garfunkel’s father bought him a wire recorder and from then on, Garfunkel spent his afternoons singing, recording and playing it back, so he could listen for flaws and learn how to improve.At his bar mitzvah in 1954, Garfunkel sang as a cantor performing over four hours of his repertoire to his family. He met his future singing partner Paul Simon in the sixth grade at PS 174, when they were both cast in the elementary school graduation play, Alice In Wonderland .Between 1956 and 1962, the two performed together as “Tom & Jerry”. They were Inspired by The Everly Brothers, close two-part vocal harmony. In 1957, Simon and Garfunkel recorded “Hey, Schoolgirl” under the name Tom & Jerry, which reached number forty-nine on the pop charts. He also released some singles as a solo folk-styled crooner under the name Artie Garr entitled “Beat Love” and “Dream Alone”.After graduating from Forest Hills High School alongside Simon, Garfunkel studied at Columbia College, Columbia University inManhattan in the early 1960s. Garfunkel also competed at tennis, skiing, fencing, and bowling at the college & was a member of the all-male a cappella group the Columbia Kingsmen. , Garfunkel earned a B.A. in art history ,followed by a M.A. in mathematics from Columbia in 1967 & studied for a doctorate in mathematics education at Teachers College, Columbia University during the peak of Simon and Garfunkel’s commercial success.

In 1963, he and Simon (who graduated from Queens College before dropping out ofBrooklyn Law School) reformed their duo as “Simon and Garfunkel”. They released their first album, Wednesday Morning, 3 A.M. In 1964 & although this Was an initial failure The next year, producer Tom Wilson lifted the song “The Sound of Silence” from the record, dubbed an electric backing onto it, and released it as a single Which toppped the Billboard pop charts’Simon went to England ‘ to pursue a solo career but reunited with Garfunkel After “The Sounds of Silence” became a commercial success and they recorded four more influential albums, Sounds of Silence; Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme; Bookends; and the hugely successful Bridge over Troubled Water. Simon and Garfunkel also contributed extensively to the soundtrack of the 1967 Mike Nichols film The Graduate (starring Dustin Hoffman and Anne Bancroft). Simon and Garfunkel returned to England in the Fall of 1968 and did a concert appearance at Kraft Hall which was broadcast on the BBC, and also featured Art’s solo performance of “For Emily, Whenever I May Find Her”, .While Garfunkel was not a songwriter per se, he did write the poem “Canticle” as a re-write of Simon’s “Side of A Hill” from his debut album, for “Scarborough Fair/Canticle”. He also worked as the vocal arranger for the duo, . He is also credited as having written the arrangement on “The Boxer”, and creating the Audio montage, “Voices Of The Old People” on “Bookends”In 1970 Simon & Garfunkel split following the release of their most critically acclaimed album, Bridge over Troubled Water . Citing personal differences and divergence in career interests. Both pursued solo projects after 1970.

During a three-year hiatus after Simon & Garfunkel’s break-up, Garfunkel starred in two Mike Nichols films, Catch-22 (1970) andCarnal Knowledge (1971). He also worked as a mathematics teacher at the Litchfield Private School in Connecticut. After Simon & Garfunkel released their Greatest Hits album and briefly reunited to perform a benefit concert for presidential candidate George McGovern, Garfunkel felt ready to return to his musical career. His first album was 1973’s Angel Clare, which contained “All I Know” along with “I Shall Sing” and “Travelling Boy” as singles. The album was received with mixed reviews, reaching no.5 in the U.S. In 1974, Garfunkel released the hit record, “Second Avenue”.On his next album, 1975’s Breakaway, Garfunkel briefly reunited with Paul Simon for the 1975 hit “My Little Town”. The album also included the singles “Breakaway” (B-Side: “Disney Girls”) and “I Only Have Eyes For You” (a 1934 song written by Harry Warren)which is noted as being Garfunkel’s first UK Number One. Occasionally they would reunite, as in 1975 for their Top Ten single “My Little Town”, which Simon originally wrote for Garfunkel, claiming Garfunkel’s solo output was lacking “bite.” The song was included on their respective solo albums; Paul Simon’s Still Crazy After All These Years, and Garfunkel’s Breakaway.ln 1976, Garfunkel recorded both background and duet vocals for several artists, including Stephen Bishop’s Careless album, James Taylor’s In The Pocket album and J.D. Souther’s Black Rose album.

Garfunkel’s next release was the 1978 album, Watermark featuring thesingle, “Crying In My Sleep” (“Mr. Shuck ‘N’ Jive”& Garfunkel’s cover of Sam Cooke’s “(What a) Wonderful World” (B-Side: “Wooden Planes”) . In 1978 Garfunkel toured the U.S. and Canada & also made an appearance on Saturday Night Live as Well as releasIng the album, Fate For Breakfast Containing the singles, “In A Little While (I’ll Be On My Way)” (B-Side: “And I Know and, “Since I Don’t Have You” (B-Side: “When Someone Doesn’t Want You & “Bright Eyes” (B-Side: “Sail on a Rainbow”( written by Mike Batt). A version of “Bright Eyes” also appeared in the movie (based on the famous novel) Watership Down. Garfunkel’s next album , Scissors Cut contained three singles, “A Heart in New York” (B-Side: “Is This Love” “Scissors Cut” and “Hang On In”, Garfunkel reunited with Simon for The Concert in Central Park and a world tour. They had disagreements during the tour & the aborted reunion album Think Too Much, was eventually released as Hearts and Bones.. In 1986, Garfunkel played the part of the butcher on the Mike Batt concept album The Hunting Of The Snark.Garfunkel’s 1988 album, Lefty yeilded three singles, “So Much in Love” (US #76 AC #11), “When A Man Loves A Woman,” and “This Is The Moment.”Garfunkel released his first compilation album in 1984, The Art Garfunkel Album whichcontained “Sometimes When I’m Dreaming this was followed by 1988’s Garfunkel and 1993 Up ’til Now.

His live 1996 concert Across America features musical guests James Taylor, Garfunkel’s wife, Kim, and his son James. Garfunkel performed the theme song for the 1991 television series, Brooklyn Bridge, and “The Ballad of Buster Baxter” for a 1998 episode of the children’s educational television series Arthur Garfunkel’s performance of “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life” was used in the end credits of the 1997 film As Good as It Gets.In 2003, Simon and Garfunkel reunited again for a successful world tour that extended into 2004. , his song “Sometimes When I’m Dreaming” was re-recorded by ex-ABBA singer Agnetha Fältskog on her album My Colouring Book.In 2006, Garfunkel releaSed the album Some Enchanted Evening ‘which was a dedicated celebration of pop standards of Garfunkel’s childhood.

ln 2009, Garfunkel appeared as himself on the HBO television show Flight of the Conchords episode entitled “Prime Minister.” He continued to tour in 2009 with four musicians and his son. they also participated together in the 25th anniversary of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame concerts at New York’s Madison Square Garden alongside Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band; U2; Metallica; Aretha Franklin; Stevie Wonder, and Crosby, Stills & Nash. In November 2010, Garfunkel said that, having quit smoking two and a half months before, he was recovering from paresis, and would be touring in 2011. in August 2012, he released a 34-song retrospective, “The Singer.” Together, they were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990.In 2003, the two reunited again when they received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. This reunion led to a US tour—the acclaimed “Old Friends” concert series—followed by a 2004 international encore, which culminated in a free concert at the Colosseum in Rome

The Silmarillion

GondolinI am currently reading the Illustrated Silmarillion, the epic Fantasy novel by J.R.R. Tolkien, with artwork by Ted Nasmith. Set eons before The Hobbit or Lord of the Rings, it comprises five parts. The first part, Ainulindalë, tells of the creation of Eä, the “world that is”. The second part, Valaquenta, gives a description of the Valar and Maiar and the supernatural powers in Eä. The next section, Quenta Silmarillion, which forms the bulk, is a collection, chronicles detailing the history of the events before and during the First Age, including the wars over the Silmarils which gave the book its title. The fourth part, Akallabêth, relates the history of the Downfall of Númenor and its people, which takes place in the Second Age. The final part, Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age, is a brief account of the circumstances which led to and were presented in The Lord of the Rings.Ainulindalë and Valaquenta.The first section of The Silmarillion, Ainulindalë (“The Music of the Ainur”), takes the form of a primary creation narrative. Eru (“The One”, also called Ilúvatar (“Father of All”), first created the Ainur, a group of eternal spirits or demiurges, called “the offspring of his thought”. Ilúvatar brought the Ainur together and showed them a theme, from which he bade them make a great music.

However Melkor — whom Ilúvatar had given the “greatest power and knowledge” of all the Ainur — broke from the harmony of the music to develop his own song. Some Ainur joined him, while others continued to follow Ilúvatar, causing discord in the music. This happened thrice, with Eru Ilúvatar successfully overpowering his rebellious subordinate with a new theme each time. Ilúvatar then stopped the music and showed them a vision of Arda and its peoples. The vision disappeared after a while, and Ilúvatar offered the Ainur a chance to enter into Arda and govern over the new world. Many Ainur descended, taking physical form and becoming bound to that world. The greater Ainur became known as Valar, while the lesser Ainur were called Maiar. The Valar attempted to prepare the world for the coming inhabitants (Elves and Men), while Melkor, who wanted Arda for himself, repeatedly destroyed their work; this went on for thousands of years until, through waves of destruction and creation, the world took shape. Valaquenta “Account of the Valar” describes Melkor and each of the 14 Valar in detail, as well as a few of the Maiar. It also reveals how Melkor seduced many Maiar — including Sauron into serving him.

QUENTA SILMARILLION

Quenta Silmarillion (“The History of the Silmarils”) ,makes up the bulk of the book, and is a series of interconnected tales set in the First Age that make up the tragic saga of the three jewels, the Silmarils. It features the God-like Valar, who create the world for Elves and Men, but are continually plagued by the evil Melkor, who destroys the two lights that illuminated the world, so the Valar move to Aman, a continent to the west of Middle-earth, and establish Valinor, illuminated by Two trees, leaving Middle-earth in darkness. Soon stars began to shine on Middle Earth waking the Elves and the Valar try to keep them safe from Melkor, who is eventually captured. The Elves are invited to live in Aman and some leave, while others stay in Middle Earth, including the Sindar, who are ruled by the Elf King Thingol and Melian, a Maia. Of the three Elf tribes that set out, all of the Vanyar and Noldor, and many of the Teleri reached Aman, where Fëanor, son of Finwë, King of the Noldor, creates the Silmarils, jewels which glowed with the light of the Two Trees. However after being released Melkor, destroyd the Two Trees with the help of Ungoliant, kills Finwë, and steals the Silmarils, fleeing to Middle-earth, and attacking the Elvish kingdom of Doriath. However he is defeated in the first of five battles of Beleriand, and barricades himself in his northern fortress of Angband. So Fëanor and his sons swear an oath of vengeance against Melkor and anyone who withholds the Silmarils from them, inclluding the Valar. The Noldor pursue Melkor, whom Fëanor renames Morgoth. Fëanor’s sons seize ships from the Teleri, attacking and killing many of them, and leave the other Noldor to make the voyage by foot. Upon arriving in Middle-earth, the Noldor under Fëanor attacked Melkor and defeat him, though Fëanor is killed by a Balrog . After a period of peace, Melkor attacks the Noldor but is defeated and besiege for 400 years before eventually breaking the siege and driving the Noldor back. Following the destruction of the Trees and the theft of the Silmaril, the Valar create the moon and sun, which awakens Men who settle in Beleriand and ally themselves to the Elves.

Beren a man who had survived the latest battle, arrives in Doriath, falls in love with the elf named Lúthien, the king’s daughter. However the king tries to prevent their marriage by imposing an impossible task: retrieving one of the Silmarils from Melkor. So Beren and Lúthien set out to retrieve a Silmaril but are caught and imprisoned by Sauron a powerful servant of Melkor, however the manage to escape and get inside Melkor’s fortress at Angband before taking a Silmaril from Melkor’s Crown. Having achieved the task, the first union of man and elf was formed, though Beren was soon mortally wounded and Lúthien also died of grief. The Noldor, seeing that a mortal and an elf-woman could infiltrate Angband, attacked again with a great army of Elves, Dwarves and Men. But are deceived by Melkor, and defeated. However, many Men remained loyal to the Elves and were honoured thereafter. None more so than the brothers Húrin and Huor. Unfortunately Melkor captured Húrin, and cursed him to watch the downfall of his kin. Húrin’s son, Túrin Turambar, was sent to Doriath, leaving his mother and unborn sister behind in his father’s kingdom (which had been overrun by the enemy). Túrin achieved many great deeds of valor, the greatest being the defeat of the dragon Glaurung. Despite his heroism, however, Túrin was plagued by the curse of Melkor, which led him unwittingly to murder his friend Beleg and to marry and impregnate his sister Nienor, whom he had never met before, and who had lost her memory through Glaurung’s enchantment.

However Before their child was born, the bewitchment is lifted as the dragon lay dying. Nienor, realizing what grew within her, took her own life. Upon learning the truth, Túrin threw himself on his sword. Huor’s other son, Tuor, became involved in the fate of the hidden Noldorin kingdom of Gondolin. He married the elf Idril, daughter of Turgon, Lord of Gondolin (the second union between Elves and Men). When Gondolin fell, betrayed from within by Maeglin, Tuor saved many of its inhabitants from destruction. All of the Elvish kingdoms in Beleriand eventually fell, and the refugees fled to a haven by the sea created by Tuor. The son of Tuor and Idril, Eärendil the Half-elven, was betrothed to Elwing, herself descended from Beren and Lúthien. Elwing brought Eärendil the Silmaril of Beren and Lúthien, and using its light Eärendil travelled across the sea to Aman to seek help from the Valar. The Valar obliged; they attacked and defeated Melkor, completely destroying his fortress Angband and sinking most of Beleriand; and they expelled Melkor from Arda. This ended the First Age of Middle-earth. Eärendil and Elwing had two children: Elrond and Elros. As descendants of immortal elves and mortal men, they were given the choice of which lineage to belong to: Elrond chose to belong to the Elves, while his brother Elros became the first king of Numenor

AKALLABETH

Akallabêth (“The Downfallen” recounts the rise and fall of the island kingdom of Númenor, inhabited by the Dúnedain. After the defeat of Melkor, the Valar gave the island to the three loyal houses of Men who had aided the Elves in the war against him. Through the favor with the Valar, the Dúnedain were granted wisdom and power and life more enduring than any other of mortal race had possessed, making them comparable to the High-Elves of Aman. Indeed, the isle of Númenor lay closer to Aman than to Middle-earth. But their power lay in their bliss and their acceptance of mortality. The fall of Númenor came about  through the influence of the corrupted Maia Sauron (formerly a chief servant of Melkor), who arose during the Second Age and tried to conquer Middle-earth.

The Númenóreans moved against Sauron, who saw that he could not defeat them with force and allowed himself to be taken prisoner to Númenor. There he quickly enthralled the king, Ar-Pharazôn, urging him to seek out the immortality that the Valar had apparently denied him, thus nurturing the seeds of envy that the Númenóreans had begun to hold against the Elves of the West and the Valar. all the knowledge and power of Númenor was turned towards avoiding death; but this only weakened them further and sped the gradual waning of the lifespans to something more similar to that of other Men. Sauron urged them to wage war against the Valar themselves to win immortality, and to worship his old master Melkor, whom he said could grant them their wish. So Ar-Pharazôn created the mightiest army and fleet Númenor had seen, and sailed against Aman.

The Valar and Elves of Aman, stricken with grief over their betrayal, called on Ilúvatar for help. When Ar-Pharazôn landed, Ilúvatar destroyed his fleet and drowned Númenor itself with a great wave, as punishment for the rebellion against the rightful rule of the Valar, killing all but those Dúnedain who had already sailed east, and changing the shape of all the lands of Middle-earth. Sauron’s physical manifestation was also destroyed in the ruin of Númenor, but as a Maia his spirit returned to Middle-earth, now robbed of the fair form he once had. Some Númenóreans who had remained loyal to the Valar were spared and were washed up on the shores of Middle-earth, where they founded the kingdoms of Arnor and Gondor.

Among these survivors were Elendil their leader, and his two sons Isildur and Anárion who had also saved a seedling from Númenor´s white tree, the ancestor of that of Gondor. They founded the Númenórean Kingdoms in Exile: Arnor in the north and Gondor in the south. Elendil reigned as High-king of both kingdoms, but committed the rule of Gondor jointly to Isildur and Anárion. The power of the kingdoms in exile was greatly diminished from that of Númenor, “yet very great it seemed To the Wild Men of Mddle Earth. The Children of Húrin was also published posthumously by Christopher Tolkien and expands upon the story of the Children of Hurin Thalion, who is chained to a rock by the evil Melkur/Morgoth and forced to watch the ultimately tragic downfall of his son Túrin Turambar, who starts off as a a mighty warrior, felling many enemies and achieving many great deeds, after being seperated from  his sister and journeying to Doriath, but falls foul of the sinister machinations of the evil dragon Glaurung, with tragic results, around the fall of Elven kingdom of Gondolin.

Guy Fawkes night

guy_fawkesTraditionally November the 5th is Bonfire Night or Guy Fawkes Night, which is held yearly in the UK to commemorate the failed Gunpowder Plot on 5th November 1605, During which a group of provincial English Catholics nnamed Robert Catesby, John Wright, Thomas Wintour, Thomas Percy, Guy Fawkes, Robert Keyes, Thomas Bates, Robert Wintour, Christopher Wright, John Grant, Sir Ambrose Rookwood, Sir Everard Digby and Francis Tresham, planned to blow up the House of Lords during the State Opening of England’s Parliament on 5 November 1605, killing protestant King James I of England and VI of Scotland and restoring a Catholic monarch to the throne.This was to be the prelude to a popular revolt in the Midlands during which James’s nine-year-old daughter, Princess Elizabeth, was to be installed as the Catholic head of state.

Guy Fawkes was born on 13 April 1570 and was educated in York. His father died when he was eight years old, after which his mother married a recusant Catholic. Fawkes later converted to Catholicism and left for the continent, where he fought in the Eighty Years’ War on the side of Catholic Spain against Protestant Dutch reformers. He travelled to Spain to seek support for a Catholic rebellion in England but was unsuccessful.Whilst in Spain he met Thomas Wintour, with whom he returned to England, and Upon their return, Wintour introduced Fawkes to Robert Catesby, who planned to assassinate King James I and restore a Catholic monarch to the throne. The plotters secured the lease to an undercroft beneath the House of Lords, and Fawkes was placed in charge of the gunpowder they stockpiled there.

Robert Catesby may have embarked on the scheme after hopes of securing greater religious tolerance under King James had faded, leaving many English Catholics disappointed.To this end The plotters secured the lease to an undercroft beneath the House of Lords, and Fawkes was placed in charge of the gunpowder they stockpiled there, due to his 10 years of military experience fighting in the Spanish Netherlands in suppression of the Dutch Revolt. However The plot was revealed to the authorities in an anonymous letter sent to William Parker, 4th Baron Monteagle, on 26 October 1605. As a result the authorities searched Westminster Palace and the House of Lords and at about midnight on 4 November 1605, Fawkes was discovered guarding 36 barrels of gunpowder—enough to reduce the House of Lords to rubble—and he was arrested.

Upon learning of the plot’s discovery Most of the conspirators fled from London trying to enlist support for their cause along the way. Several made a stand against the pursuing Sheriff of Worcester and his men at Holbeche House; in the ensuing battle Catesby was one of those shot and killed. At their trial on 27 January 1606, eight of the survivors, including Fawkes, were found guilty of of High Treason and sentenced to be hanged, drawn and quartered. However Immediately before his execution on 31 January 1606, Fawkes jumped from the scaffold where he was to be hanged and broke his neck thus avoiding the agony of the mutilation that followed.

Francis Tresham meanwhile ,Was ‘the eldest son of Sir Thomas Tresham and Merial Throckmorton, and was also a member of the group of English provincial Catholics who planned the failed Gunpowder Plot of 1605, a conspiracy to assassinate King James I of England.Tresham joined the Earl of Essex’s failed rebellion against the government in 1601, for which he was imprisoned. Only his family’s intervention and his father’s money saved him from attainder. Despite this, he became involved in two missions to Catholic Spain to seek support for English Catholics (then heavily persecuted), and finally with the Gunpowder Plotters.According to his confession, Tresham joined the plot in October 1605. Its leader, Robert Catesby, asked him to provide a large sum of money and the use of Rushton Hall, but Tresham apparently provided neither, instead giving a much smaller amount of money to fellow plotter Thomas Wintour. Tresham also expressed concern that if the plot was successful, two of his brothers-in-law would be killed. An anonymous letter delivered to one of them, William Parker, 4th Baron Monteagle, found its way to the English Secretary of State, Robert Cecil, 1st Earl of Salisbury, an event which eventually proved decisive in the conspiracy’s failure.

Historians have long suspected that Tresham wrote the letter, a hypothesis that remains unproven. Catesby and Wintour shared the same suspicion and threatened to kill him, but he was able to convince them otherwise. He was arrested on 12 November and confined to the Tower of London. In his confession, he sought to allay his involvement in the plot, but never mentioned the letter. He died of natural causes on 23 December 1605.Fawkes meanwhile despite being only one of 13 conspirators became synonymous with The thwarting of the Gunpowder Plot and since November 1605 people have been encouraged to celebrate the King’s escape from assassination by holding special sermons and other public events such as the ringing of church bells,and lighting of bonfires, “always provided that ‘this testemony of joy be carefully done without any danger or disorder’”. An Act of Parliament was also passed, which designated each 5 November as a day of thanksgiving for “the joyful day of deliverance” and this day has been commemorated ever since by the lighting of Bonfires during which an effigy of Guy Fawkes is traditionally burned & Spectacular Firework Displays take place