There’s nothing like good television…

…And the new series of Celebrity Brother all stars, is nothing like good television. It Began Tuesday 3 January 2017 on Channel 5 and was Once again presented by Emma Willis and narrated by Marcus Bentley. People taking part this year include:

Spencer Pratt
Heidi Montag
James Jordan
Jasmine Waltz
Ray J
Bianca Gascoigne
Austin Armacost
Coleen Nolan
James Cosmo
Stacy Francis
Brandon Block
Nicola McClean
Jamie O’Hara
Calum Best
Angie Best

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Michael Stipe (REM)

RemMicheal Stipe the lead singer of R.E.M was born January 4th 1960. REM First emerged in 1980s from the college radio scene, and at first they were scrappy and lo-fi, abrasive but somehow beautiful, and the development of this sound helped them become bona-fide stadium-fillers later on in their their career. They played their first gig in a church on 5 April 1980 under the name of Twisted Kites, and they played with a mixture of post-punk poise and jangly guitars which made them seem simultaneously cutting-edge and a romantic reminder of rock’s past and they soon became popular. Their music was influenced by their small-town surroundings and is closer to real life stating that “It’s great just to bring out an emotion… better to make someone feel nostalgic or wistful or excited or sad. REM’s breakthrough came when they released the single “The One I Love” which was taken from the 1987 Album “Document”. The next single “Freaks” saw REM outgrow the university centred underground music scene which had so-far sustained them, and they hit the big time, and Their next release 1988′s “Green” was released by a major label and was seen by many as their true peak. Lyrically, the album saw the band dealing with a number of important issues – World leader Pretend is a deft criticism of the remote ruling classes, while Pop Song ’89 tackles claims the band had sold out by purporting to be, in Stipe’s words, “the prototype of, and hopefully the end of, a pop song”.

REM_Collapse Into Now_COVERThe next album “Out of Time” proved to be an even bigger hit. Featuring the career-defining singles Losing My Religion, which some regard to be the touchstone of alternative rock and Shiny Happy People, featuring fellow Athenian Kate Pierson from the B52′s. With this album it seems that The band were aiming to make a massively successful, mainstream record without embarrassing, or compromising, themselves – They certainly succeeded. Michael Stipe’s inner demons also came to the fore In the next album, 1992′s Automatic For The People, which is A more sombre, reflective album that features string arrangements by Led Zeppelin’s John Paul Jones. This album was also to yield some wonderful songs like “The Sidewinder Sleeps Tonight” and “Everybody Hurts”.The band’s next two albums Monster and New Adventures In Hi-Fi were largely recorded live – some tracks taken from soundchecks taken during the massive stadium tour, and featured some new classics, such as Let Me In, a tribute to the recently deceased Kurt Cobain.

Unfortunately drummer Bill Berry suffered a brain aneurysm and quit the band in 1997, and things never quite returned to the giddy heights of “Out of Time” and Moments of brilliance, such as The Great Beyond or Imitation Of Life, became less frequently. Leading some band members to pursue side-projects, Stipe pursued his film work,while Peter Buck concentrated more on his country supergroup Tired Pony. Despite this REM continued to be unbeatable live performers to the end and their final album, Collapse Into Now, was hailed, like many of its predecessors, as a return to form. Certainly, the band sounded rejuvenated and a lot more energetic than on some of the previous work which was released in the mid-2000s. In addition They also recently re-released an earlier album ”Lifes Rich Pageant” which is also a great album. On November 14th 2011 , REM released a definitive greatest hits Double CD album, entitled: “R.E.M., PART LIES, PART HEART, PART TRUTH, PART GARBAGE, 1982 – 2011. ″ through Warner Bros, the album contained tracks from the band’s entire back catalogue, including tracks from both the IRS and Warner years plus three brand-new songs, as a final farewell.

Bernard Sumner (New Order, Joy Division, Electronic)

neworderBernard Sumner Vocalist with New Order and member of Joy Division was born 4th January 1956. Joy Division were formed in 1976 in Salford, Greater Manchester. Originally named Warsaw, the band primarily consisted of Ian Curtis (vocals and occasional guitar), Bernard Sumner (guitar and keyboards), Peter Hook (bass guitar and backing vocals) and Stephen Morris (drums and percussion). They evolved from their initial punk rock influences to develop a sound and style that pioneered the post-punk movement of the late 1970s. They self-released their debut EP, An Ideal for Living in 1978 and an album, Unknown Pleasures, in 1979 which drew critical acclaim from the British press. Despite the band’s growing success, vocalist Ian Curtis was beset with depression and personal difficulties, including a dissolving marriage and his diagnosis of epilepsy and found it increasingly difficult to perform at live concerts, and often having seizures during performances. On the eve of the band’s first American tour in May 1980, Curtis committed suicide. Joy Division’s posthumously released second album, Closer (1980), and the single “Love Will Tear Us Apart” became the band’s highest charting releases.

After the untimely demise of Curtis in 1980, the remaining members formed New Order, with Bernard Sumner on vocals, guitars, synthesisers), Peter Hook playing bass, synthesisers and Stephen Morris playing drums, electronic drums, synthesisers, they were also joined by Gillian Gilbert playing keyboards, guitars, synthesizers. By combining post-punk and New Wave with electronic dance music, New Order became one of the most critically acclaimed and influential bands of the 1980s. Though the band’s early years were shadowed by the legacy and basic sound of Joy Division, their experience of the early 1980s New York City club scene increased their knowledge of dance music and saw them incorporate elements of that style into their work. The band’s 1983 hit Blue Monday”, the best-selling 12-inch single of all time, is one example of how the band transformed their sound. Thanks to fantastic albums like SUBSTANCE and TECHNIQUE New Order became the flagship band for Factory Records.

Their minimalist album sleeves and “non-image” (the band rarely gave interviews and were known for performing short concert sets with no encores) reflected the label’s aesthetic of doing whatever the relevant parties wanted to do, including an aversion to including singles as album tracks.Sadly In 1993 the band broke-up amidst tension between bandmembers, but reformed in 1998. In 2001, Phil Cunningham (guitars, synthesisers) replaced Gilbert, who left the group due to family commitments. In 2007, Peter Hook left the band and the band broke-up again, with Sumner saying in 2009 that he no longer wishes to make music as New Order. The band reunited in 2011 with Gilbert returning and Tom Chapman replacing Hook on bass. During the band’s career and in between lengthy breaks, band members have also been involved in several solo projects, such as Sumner’s Electronic and Bad Lieutenant; Hook’s Monaco and Revenge and Gilbert’s and Morris’ The Other Two. New Order’s latest album Music Complete was released in 2015.

Louis Braille

Louis Braille, French teacher of the blind and inventor of braille Was Born 4 January 1809 in Coupvray, France, a small town located east of Paris. He had an unfortunate accident At the age of three when he was toying with some of the tools, trying to make holes in a piece of leather with an awl. Squinting closely at the surface, he pressed down hard to drive the point in, and the awl glanced across the tough leather and struck him in one of his eyes. A local physician bound and patched the affected eye and even arranged for Louis to be met the next day in Paris by a highly-respected surgeon, but no treatment could save the damaged organ. Braille suffered for weeks as the wound became severely infected and spread to his other eye and by the age of five he was completely blind in both eyes. He learned to navigate the village and country paths with canes his father hewed for him, and he grew up seemingly at peace with his disability. His bright and creative mind impressed the local teachers and priests, and he was encouraged to seek higher education. Braille studied in Coupvray until the age of ten. Because of his combination of intelligence and diligence, Braille was permitted to attend one of the first schools for blind children in the world, the National Institute for Blind Youth in Paris. The school was an underfunded, ramshackle affair, but it provided a stable environment for blind children to learn and associate together. The children were taught how to read by a system devised by the school’s founder, Valentin Haüy. Not blind himself, Haüy was a committed philanthropist who devoted his life to helping the blind. He designed and manufactured a small library of books for the children using a technique of embossing heavy paper with the raised imprints of Latin letters. Readers would trace their fingers over the text, comprehending slowly but in a traditional fashion which Haüy could appreciate.

Braille was helped by the Haüy books, but he also despaired over their lack of depth: the amount of information kept in such books was necessarily small. Because the raised letters were made using a complex process, the children could not hope to “write” by themselves. The handcrafted Haüy books all came in uncomfortable sizes and weights, were laboriously constructed, exquisitely delicate, and greatly expensive to obtain. Haüy promoted their use with zeal: the books presented a new and handsome system which could be readily comprehended by those with eyesight. Braille and his schoolmates, however, could detect the books’ limitations. Nonetheless, Haüy’s well-intentioned efforts still provided a breakthrough achievement – the recognition of the sense of touch as a workable strategy for sightless reading. Braille proved to be a highly proficient student and, after he had exhausted the school’s curriculum, he was immediately asked to remain as a teacher’s aide. By 1833, he was elevated to a full professorship. For much of the rest of his life, Braille stayed at the Institute where he taught history, geometry, and algebra. Braille’s ear for music also enabled him to become an accomplished cellist and organist, his musical talents led him to play the organ for churches all over France. He held the position of organist in Paris at the Church of Saint-Nicolas-des-Champs and the Church of Saint-Vincent-de-Paul.

Braille was determined to fashion a system of reading and writing that could bridge the critical gap in communication between the sighted and the blind. In 1821, Braille learned of a communication system devised by Captain Charles Barbier of the French Army. Barbier willingly shared his invention called “night writing” which was a code of dots and dashes impressed into thick paper. which could be interpreted entirely by the fingers, letting soldiers share information on the battlefield without having light or needing to speak.The captain’s code turned out to be too complex to use in its original military form, but it inspired Braille to develop a system of his own and he worked tirelessly on his ideas, which were largely completed by 1824, when he was just fifteen years of age. From Barbier’s night writing, he innovated by simplifying its form and maximizing its efficiency. He made uniform columns for each letter, and he reduced the twelve raised dots to six. He published his system in 1829, and by the second edition in 1837 had discarded the dashes because they were too difficult to read. Crucially, Braille’s smaller cells were capable of being recognized as letters with a single touch of a finger. Braille created his own raised-dot system by using an awl, the same kind of implement which had blinded him. In the process of designing his system, he also designed an ergonomic interface for using it, based on Barbier’s own slate and stylus tools which would keep the lines straight and readable. he system was later extended to include braille musical notation.

Passionate about his own music, Braille also took meticulous care in its planning to ensure that the musical code would be “flexible enough to meet the unique requirements of any instrument. In 1829, he published the first book about his system, Method of Writing Words, Music, and Plain Songs by Means of Dots, for Use by the Blind and Arranged for Them. Ironically this book was first printed by using the Haüy system. In 1839, Braille published details of a method he had developed for communication with sighted people, using patterns of dots to approximate the shape of printed symbols. his friend Pierre Foucault was also working on the development of a device that could emboss letters in the manner of a typewriter.

Braille had always been a sickly child, and his condition worsened in adulthood. A persistent respiratory illness, long believed to be tuberculosis, dogged him, and by the age of forty, he was forced to relinquish his position as a teacher. When his condition reached mortal danger, he was taken back to his family home in Coupvray, where he passed away on 6th January 1852, two days after he had reached the age of forty-three. Through the overwhelming insistence of the blind pupils, Braille’s system was finally adopted by the Institute in 1854. The system spread throughout the French-speaking world, but was slower to expand in other places. In the Netherlands though, braille was already taught at the institute for the blind in Amsterdam at least as early as 1846. braille was officially adopted by schools for the blind in the United States in 1916, and a universal braille code for English was formalized in 1932. New variations in braille technology continue to grow, including such innovations as braille computer terminals; RoboBraille email delivery service; and Nemeth Braille, a comprehensive system for mathematical and scientific notation. Braille’s revolutionary form of communication that transcended blindness and transformed the lives of millions. After two centuries, the braille system remains an invaluable tool of learning and communication for the blind, and it has been adapted for languages worldwide.