American Gods

The televison seriesAmerican Gods is out on DVD. It is based on the convoluted Series of interconnected tales written by Neil Gaiman. The television series was developed by Bryan Fuller and Michael Green. Gaiman serves as an executive producer along with Fuller, Green, Craig Cegielski, Stefanie Berk, and Thom Beers.

It starts In the present day when A chap named Shadow Moon is caught trying to rob the casino where he first met his wife Laura and is sent to prison. Sadly Laura, dies in a car accident just before Shadow Moon is released from prison. Shadow then meets Wednesday, who offers him a job as a bodyguard and meets Wednesday again at a bar where he learns that his best friend, Robbie, died in the same car accident as his wife Laura. Mad Sweeney introduces himself to Shadow as a leprechaun, and goads him into a fight. Shadow later attends Laura’s funeral, and learns of her affair with Robbie. He is then abducted by the Technical Boy who tries to kill him, after escaping Shadow meets the New God Media, who takes the form of Lucy Ricardo.

Shadow and Wednesday then travel to Chicago to an apartment belonging to three sisters and a slaughterhouse worker named Czernobog, who takes a dislike to Wednesday. Shadow dreams of Zorya Polunochnaya, youngest of the Zorya, who pulls the Moon from the sky and gives it to him in the form of a silver dollar. Shadow then forces Czernobog to go to Wisconsin.

Meanwhile Laura awakes in the desert where she is discovered by two Old Gods, Mr. Ibis and Mr. Jacquel, who restore her damaged body. Jacquel reveals himself as Anubis and vows to reclaim Laura’s soul when her mission is done. Laura tries to find Shadow. Back In New York City, an Omani businessman named Salim meets a taxi driver, who is revealed to be an Ifrit. Elsewhere, Shadow is confronted by Mad Sweeney, Who exhumes Laura’s coffin. Shadow then assists Wednesday in conning a bank’s business depositors. Later he finds the newly restored Laura waiting for him.

During the last ice age, a tribe of people travel across Beringia, with a symbol of their god, Nynyunnini. They encounter people and gods already indigenous to the North American Nynyunnini dies and is forgotten. Back In the present, Media (in the form of David Bowie) confronts Technical Boy on behalf of Mr. World, the New God of Globalization,

Unfortunately Shadow and Wednesday are later arrested for Their crime. Mad Sweeney then tries to retrieve his coin from Laura but discovers that it is inside her, giving her life. He warns her not to trust Wednesday. In the jail, Media (now in the form of Marilyn Monroe) and Mr. World confront Technical Boy again. The New Gods offer an alliance with Wednesday, promising to help him “find his audience” by sending a missile named Odin to attack North Korea. Meanwhile Shadow and Wednesday manage to escape from prison.

A group of Mexican illegal immigrants attempting to illegally cross the border into the U.S. pray to Jesus, who comes and attempts to protect them. He is shot dead while doing so. Shadow questions what he saw at the police station and admits to Wednesday that Laura is back from the dead. Sweeney teams up with Laura, seeking her resurrection so he can reclaim his coin. They meet Salim, who joins them in order to find the jinn. In Virginia, Wednesday takes Shadow to meet the Old God Vulcan, who maintains control over a small town through their belief in the right to bear arms. Vulcan agrees to stand with Wednesday and forges him a sword, but he later betrays them by telling the New Gods where they are. In revenge, Wednesday kills him and curses his believers.

Essie, is an Irish girl is On a ship to America, who seduces the ship captain and asks him to take her to London. There she becomes a thief; but she is caught and ends up Pregnant and transported to America again, where she marries her master who, upon his death, leaves her in charge of his farm. the leprechaun Mad Sweeney visits Essie on her deathbed. Later As Sweeney and Laura are driving, he tells her that he is taking part in Wednesday’s war to atone for deserting as a soldier. The truck overturns and Sweeney’s lucky coin falls out of Laura.

Mr. Nancy tells Shadow and Wednesday the story of Bilquis, a powerful but fallen Old Goddess, which convinces Wednesday to seek out a queen. He and Shadow visit Easter, an Old Goddess of spring and resurrection who has successfully adapted to the new era by capitalizing on the Christian celebration of Christ’s resurrection. Laura and Mad Sweeney track Shadow to Easter’s estate where it transpires that Wednesday arranged both Laura’s death and Shadow’s imprisonment. so Media, Technical Boy, and Mr. World arrive to confront Wednesday…

Group Captain Leonard Cheshire VC OM DSO and two bars DFC

Best known for his work for disabled people, Group Captain Geoffrey Leonard Cheshire, Baron Cheshire, VC, OM, DSO and Two Bars, DFC sadly died 31 July 1992. He was Born 7 September 1917 In Chester, and was educated at the Dragon School, Oxford, Stowe School and Merton College, Oxford. Whilst at Oxford he became friends with John Niel Randle. On one occasion at Oxford he was bet half a pint of beer that he could not walk to Paris with no more than a few pennies in his pocket; he won his bet. He stayed in Germany in 1936 with a family in Potsdam and whilst there, witnessed an Adolf Hitler rally. Cheshire caused great offence by pointedly refusing to give the Nazi salute. Cheshire graduated jurisprudence in 1939.

Having learnt basic piloting skills with the Oxford University Air Squadron he joined the RAF following the outbreak of the Second World War. He was initially posted in June 1940 to 102 Squadron, flying Armstrong Whitworth Whitley medium bombers, from RAF Driffield. In November 1940, Cheshire was awarded the DSO for flying his badly damaged bomber back to base. In January 1941, Cheshire completed his tour of operations, but then volunteered immediately for a second tour. He was posted to 35 Squadron with the brand new Handley Page Halifax and completed his second tour early in 1942, by then, a Squadron Leader. August 1942 saw a return to operations as CO of No. 76 Squadron RAF. The squadron had recently suffered high losses operating the Halifax, and Cheshire immediately tackled the low morale of the unit by ordering an improvement in the performance of the squadron aircraft by removing the mid-upper and nose gun turrets along with exhaust covers and other weighty non-essential equipment. This allowed the bombers to fly higher and faster. Losses soon fell and morale rose accordingly.

Many Halifax bombers did not return and there were reports the Halifax was unstable in a “corkscrew” which was the manoeuvre used by bomber pilots to escape night fighters. So The test pilot Capt. Eric Brown DSC, flying uncrewed except for an accompanying flight engineer, undertook risky tests to establish the cause. The fault was in the Halfax’s rudder design and Cheshire became enraged when Handley Page at first declined to make modifications. During his time as the Commanding Officer of 76 Squadron at RAF Linton, Cheshire took the trouble to recognise and learn the name of every single man on the base. He was determined to increase the efficiency of his squadron and improve the chances of survival of its crews, to this end he constantly lectured crews on the skills needed to achieve those aims. The crews knew he was devoted to their interests and when, on an operation to Nuremberg, they were told to cross the French Coast at 2,000 ft (the most dangerous height for light flak). Cheshire simply refused, stating they would fly at 200 ft or 20,000 ft. Typically, Cheshire inspired great loyalty and respect among 76 Squadron.

In 1943, Cheshire published an account of his first tour of operations in his book, Bomber Pilot which tells of his posting to RAF Driffield and the story of flying his badly damaged bomber (“N for Nuts”) back to base. In the book, Cheshire fails to mention being awarded theDSO for this, but does describe the bravery of a badly burnt member of his crew.Cheshire became Station Commander RAF Marston Moor in March 1943, as the youngest Group Captain in the RAF, although the job was never to his liking and he pushed for a return to an operational command. These efforts paid off with a posting as commander of the legendary 617 “Dambusters” Squadron in September 1943. While with 617, Cheshire helped pioneer a new method of marking enemy targets for Bomber Command’s 5 Group, flying in at a very low level in the face of strong defences, using first, the versatile de Havilland Mosquito, then a North American Mustang fighter.On the morning before a planned raid by 617 squadron to Siracourt, a crated Mustang turned up at Woodhall Spa, it was a gift for Cheshire from his admirers in the U.S. 8th Air Force. Cheshire had the aircraft assembled and the engine tested as he was determined to test the possibilities of the fighter as a marker aircraft. He took off, in what was his first flight in the aircraft, and caught up with 617′s Lancasters before they reached the target. Cheshire then proceeded to accurately mark the target (a V-1 storage depot) for the heavies which landed three Tallboys on it. He then flew back and landed the Mustang in the dark.

This development work in target marking was the subject of some severe intraservice politics; Cheshire was encouraged by his 5 Group Commander Air Vice-Marshal Ralph Cochrane, although the 8 Group Pathfinder AOC Air Vice-Marshal Don Bennett saw this work as impinging on the responsibilities of his own command.Cheshire was nearing the end of his fourth tour of duty in July 1944, having completed a total of 102 missions, when he was awarded the Victoria Cross. He was the only one of the 32 VC airmen to win the medal for an extended period of sustained courage and outstanding effort, rather than a single act of valour. His citation noted:In four years of fighting against the bitterest opposition he maintained a standard of outstanding personal achievement, his successful operations being the result of careful planning, brilliant execution and supreme contempt for danger – for example, on one occasion he flew his Mustang in slow ‘figures of eight’ above a target obscured by low cloud, to act as a bomb-aiming mark for his squadron. Cheshire displayed the courage and determination of an exceptional leader. Itlso noted a raid in which he had marked a target, flying a Mosquito at low level against “withering fire”.

When Cheshire went to Buckingham Palace to receive his VC from King George VI, he was accompanied by Norman Jackson who was also due to receive his award on that day. Cheshire insisted that despite the difference in rank (Group Captain and Warrant Officer), they should approach the King together. Jackson remembers that Cheshire said to the King, “This chap stuck his neck out more than I did – he should get his VC first!” The King had to keep to protocol, but Jackson commented he would “never forget what Cheshire said.” Cheshire was, in his day, both the youngest Group Captain in the service and, following his VC, the most decorated. In his book, Bomber Command (2010), Sir Max Hastings states “Cheshire was a legend in Bomber Command, a remarkable man with an almost mystical air about him, as if he somehow inhabited a different planet from those about him, but without affectation or pretension”. Cheshire would always fly on the most dangerous operations, he never took the easy option of just flying on the less risky ops to France, a habit which caused some COs to be referred to derisively as “François” by their men. Cheshire had no crew but would fly as “Second Dickey”, with the new and nervous to give them confidence. Cheshire had strong feelings on any crew displaying LMF (Lack of Moral Fibre, a euphemism for cowardice) when subject to the combat stress of Bomber Command’s sorties (many of which had loss rates of 5% or more). Thus Cheshire transferred LMF cases out of his squadron almost instantaneously (like every other RAF squadron did at the time) This was also because he argued that a man who thought he was doomed would collapse or bail out when his aircraft was hit, whereas Cheshire thought if he could survive the initial shock of finding his aircraft damaged, he had more of a chance of survival. On his 103rd mission, Cheshire was the official British observer of the nuclear bombing of Nagasaki.His vantage point was in the support B-29 Big Stink. After serving as the British observer on theNagasaki nuclear attack he resigned from the Air Force. However During the Second World War he became a highly decorated British RAF pilot. Among the honours Cheshire received as a pilot is the Victoria Cross. He was the youngest Group Captain in the RAF and one of the most highly decorated pilots of the War, .

After the war, Cheshire lived with his wife Joan at the “VIP (for Vade in Pacem – Go in Peace) Colony” he established for veterans and war widows at Gumley Hall, Bedford Gardens – one of several new ventures he started after leaving the RAF in 1946. Joan followed him to Le Court, near Petersfield,Hampshire (a mansion which Cheshire had bought from his aunt) where, with three children of her own, Joan took charge of the nursery. Cheshire and Joan Botting subsequently investigated many religions, from Seventh Day Adventist to Methodist to “High Anglo-Catholic” – but none of them provided the answers they were looking for. Cheshire’s aim in establishing the VIP Colony was to provide an opportunity for ex-servicemen and women and their families to live together, each contributing to the community what they could, in order to help their transition back into civilian life. He hoped that training, prosperity and fulfillment would result from united effort and mutual support. He saw the community as one way of continuing to work towards world peace. The community, however, did not prosper and the project came to an end in 1947.Atthe beginning of 1948, Cheshire heard about the case of Arthur Dykes, who had been one of Cheshire’s original “VIP” community at Le Court, and was suffering from cancer. Dykes asked Cheshire to give him some land to park a caravan until he recovered, but Cheshire discovered that Dykes was terminally ill and that this diagnosis was concealed from him. He told Dykes the real position and invited him to stay at Le Court. Cheshire learned nursing skills and was soon approached to take in a second patient, the 94-year-old bedridden wife of a man who had just been taken off to hospital after suffering a stroke. She was followed by others, some coming to stay and others to help. Although Le Court had no financial support, and his situation was financially perilous most of the time, money somehow always seemed to arrive in the nick of time to stave off disaster.

Dykes died in August 1948. After completing the arrangements for his funeral, Cheshire idly picked up a book a friend had sent him. It was One Lord, One Faith by Vernon Johnson, a former High Anglican clergyman who, against every cherished instinct and prejudice, had converted to Roman Catholicism because, as he put it, “I could not resist the claim of the Catholic Church to be the one true Church founded by Our Lord Jesus Christ to guard and teach the truth. Joan Botting had converted to Jehovah’s Witnesses.On Christmas Eve, 1948, Cheshire was received into the Catholic Church. The next day, Joan Botting and her children, Mavis, Gary and Elizabeth, moved out of Le Court for good. At the beginning of 1949, eight patients were staying at Le Court.Six months later, there were 28. Cheshire dedicated the rest of his life to supporting disabled people, combining this with lecturing on conflict resolution.

In 1948, Cheshire founded the charity Leonard Cheshire Disability, which provides support to disabled people throughout the world. It is now one of the top 30 British charities. Other organisations set up by Leonard Cheshire are:The Ryder-Cheshire Foundation,set up by Leonard Cheshire and his wife Sue Ryder at the time of their marriage in 1959. this deals with the rehabilitation of disabled people, through ENRYCH and the prevention and treatment of tuberculosis, through Target Tuberculosis. In 1953, Cheshire founded the Raphael Pilgrimage in order to enable sick and disabled people to travel to Lourdes. The Leonard Cheshire Disability & Inclusive Development Centre is a joint project by Leonard Cheshire Disability and University College London.  In 1991 he was created Baron Cheshire  in recognition of his charitable work and Cheshire also founded the Memorial Fund for Disaster Relief, for whom the Roger Waters concert “The Wall – Live in Berlin” was held. Cheshire opened this concert by blowing a Second World War whistle. Cheshire was also concerned about future remembrance and was influential in the concept of the National Memorial Arboretum, founded by David Childs. However his legacy lives on And The amphitheatre at the National Memorial Arboretum in Alrewas is dedicated to the memory of Leonard Cheshire.

Will Champion (Coldplay

Will Champion, English drummer and singer with the band Coldplay was born 31 July 1978. Coldplay were formed in 1996 by lead vocalist Chris Martin and lead guitarist Jonny Buckland at University College London. After they formed under the name Pectoralz, Guy Berryman joined the group as a bassist and they changed their name to Starfish. Will Champion joined as a drummer, backing vocalist, and multi-instrumentalist, completing the line-up. Manager Phil Harvey is often considered an unofficial fifth member. The band renamed themselves “Coldplay” in 1998, before recording and releasing three EPs; Safety in 1998, Brothers & Sisters as a single in 1999 and The Blue Room in the same year. The latter was their first release on a major label, after signing to Parlophone. They achieved worldwide fame with the release of the single “Yellow” in 2000, followed by their debut album released in the same year,PARACHUTES, which was nominated for the Mercury Prize. The band’s second album, A RUSH OF BLOOD TO THE HEAD (2002), was released to critical acclaim and won multiple awards, including NME’s Album of the Year.

Their next release, X&Y, the best-selling album worldwide in 2005, was met with mostly positive reviews upon its release, though some critics felt that it was inferior to its predecessor. The band’s fourth studio album, Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends (2008), was produced by Brian Eno and released again to largely positive reviews, earning several Grammy nominations and wins at the 51st Grammy Awards. On 24 October 2011, they released their fifth studio album, MYLO XYLOTO, which received mixed to positive reviews, topped the charts in over 34 countries, and was the UK’s best-selling rock album of 2011 and Coldplay released the albums Ghost Stories in 2014 and “A Head full of dreams” in 2015.

Throughout their career Coldplay have won a number of music awards, including eight Brit Awards—winning Best British Group three times, five MTV Video Music Awards, and seven Grammy Awards from twenty five nominations. Coldplay have sold over 60 million records worldwide. In December 2009, Rolling Stone readers voted the group the fourth-best artist of the 2000s. Coldplay have been an active supporter of various social and political causes, such as Oxfam’s Make Trade Fair campaign and Amnesty International. The group have also performed at various charity projects such as Band Aid 20, Live 8, Sound Relief, Hope for Haiti Now: A Global Benefit for Earthquake Relief, The Secret Policeman’s Ball, and the Teenage Cancer Trust.

J. K. Rowling

Best known as the author of the Harry Potter fantasy series, the British novelist Joanne “Jo” Rowling, OBE, (J. K. Rowling)was born 31 July 1965.The Harry Potter books have gained worldwide attention, won multiple awards, sold more than 400 million copies to become the best-selling book series in history and been the basis for a popular series of films, in which Rowling had overall approval on the scripts as well as maintaining creative control by serving as a producer on the final instalment. Rowling conceived the idea for the series on a train trip from Manchester to London in 1990.n 1995, Rowling finished her manuscript for Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone on an old manual typewriter. Upon the enthusiastic response of Bryony Evens, a reader who had been asked to review the book’s first three chapters. Then In June 1997 Bloomsbury, a small Publishing house in London, published Philosopher’s Stone with an initial print run of 1,000 copies, 500 of which were distributed to libraries. In early 1998, an auction was held in the United States for the rights to publish the novel, and was won by Scholastic Inc for $1. Five months later, the book won its first award, a Nestlé Smarties Book Prize. In February, the novel won the prestigious British Book Award for Children’s Book of the Year, and later, the Children’s Book Award.

In October 1998, Scholastic published Philosopher’s Stone in the US under the title of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone: a change Rowling claims she now regrets and would have fought if she had been in a better position at the time. Its sequel, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, was published in July 1998 and again Rowling won the Smarties Prize.In December 1999, the third novel, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, won the Smarties Prize, making Rowling the first person to win the award three times running. She later withdrew the fourth Harry Potter novel from contention to allow other books a fair chance. In January 2000, Prisoner of Azkaban won the inaugural Whitbread Children’s Book of the Year award, though it lost the Book of the Year prize to Seamus Heaney’s translation of Beowulf. The fourth book, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, was released simultaneously in the UK and the U.S. on 8 July 2000, and broke sales records in both countries, almost equalling the number Prisoner of Azkaban sold during its first year and Rowling was named author of the year in the 2000 British Book Awards.

The fifth Harry Potter novel, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix was released three years later and The sixth book, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, was released on 16 July 2005. It too broke all sales records, selling nine million copies in its first 24 hours of release, and In 2006, Half-Blood Prince received the Book of the Year prize at the British Book Awards. The seventh and final Harry Potter book is Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows was released on 21 July 2007 and broke its predecessor’s record as the fastest-selling book of all time and sold 11 million copies in the first day of release in the United Kingdom and United States. J.K Rowling’s latest book Fabulous beasts and where to find Them has also been turned into a film starring Eddie Redmayme as Newt Scarmander and a script for the stage play Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is due for release soon.

The last four Harry Potter books have consecutively set records as the fastest-selling books in history.The series, totalling 4,195 pages, has been translated, in whole or in part, into 65 languages and have also gained recognition for sparking an interest in reading among the young at a time when children were thought to be abandoning books for computers and television, Time magazine also named her as a runner-up for its 2007 Person of the Year, noting the social, moral, and political inspiration she has given her fans. In October 2010, J. K. Rowling was named ‘Most Influential Woman in Britain’ by leading magazine editors. She has become a notable philanthropist, supporting such charities as Comic Relief, One Parent Families, Multiple Sclerosis Society of Great Britain, and Lumos (formerly the Children’s High Level Group). In 2012, Rowling’s novel The Casual Vacancy was published and it was recently revealed that the novel The Cookoo’s Calling, written by Robert Galbraith and featuring the exciting adventures of Private Investigator Cormoron Strike, shared certain similarities with J.K Rowling novels leading to all kinds of speculation. The Cookoo’s Calling was followed by the novels The Silkworm and Career of Evil.

Norman Cook (Fatboy Slim)

Superstar DJ Norman Cook was born in Bromley, on 31 July 1963 He was raised in Reigate, Surrey, England, and educated at Reigate Grammar School. He played drums in Disque Attack, a British new wave-influenced rock band. When frontman Charlie Alcock was told by his parents that he had to give up the band to concentrate on his O levels, Cook took over as lead vocalist. At The Railway Tavern in Reigate, Cook met Paul Heaton with whom he formed the Stomping Pondfrogs. At 18, Cook went to Brighton Polytechnic to read a B.A. in English, politics, and sociology, where he achieved a 2:1 in the British Studies honours course. He also regularly appeared at the Brighton Belle and the students’ favourite The Basement, where known as DJ Quentox he began laying the base for Brighton’s hip hop scene.

In 1985, Cook’s friend Paul Heaton formed a guitar band called The Housemartins. Their bassist left on the eve of their first national tour, so Cook agreed to move to Hull to join them. The band soon had a hit single with “Happy Hour”, and two albums, London 0 Hull 4 and The People Who Grinned Themselves to Death. They also reached number one just before Christmas 1986 with a version of “Caravan of Love”, originally a hit the year before for Isley-Jasper-Isley. However, by 1988 they had split up. Heaton and the band’s drummer Dave Hemingway went on to form The Beautiful South, while Cook moved back to Brighton to pursue his interest in the style of music he preferred. He started working with young studio engineer Simon Thornton, with whom he continues to make records.

Cook achieved his first solo hit in 1989, featuring his future Beats International member MC Wildski, called “Blame It on the Bassline”. Credited to “Norman Cook feat. MC Wildski”. He formed Beats International, a loose confederation of studio musicians including vocalists Lindy Layton and Lester Noel, rappers D.J. Baptiste and MC Wildski, and keyboardist Andy Boucher. Their first album, Let Them Eat Bingo, included the number one single “Dub Be Good to Me”, which caused a legal dispute Concerning infringement of copyright due to the use of unauthorised samples: the bassline was a note-for-note lift from “The Guns of Brixton” by The Clash and the lyrics borrowed heavily from “Just Be Good to Me” by The S.O.S. Band.

The subsequent court case bankrupted Cook. Cook then released The 1991 album Excursion on the Version, an exploration of dub and reggae music. Cook then formed Freak Power with horn player Ashley Slater and singer Jesse Graham. They released their debut album Drive-Thru Booty in 1994, which contained the single “Turn On, Tune In, Cop Out”. The cut was picked up by the Levi’s company for use in a multimillion-dollar advertising campaign. In 1996, Cook re-joined Freak Power for their second album, More of Everything for Everybody. Cook enlisted help from producer friends Tim Jeffery and JC Reid to create a house music album under the name Pizzaman. The 1995 Pizzamania album spawned three UK Top 40 hits: “Trippin’ on Sunshine”, “Sex on the Streets”, and “Happiness”. “Happiness”. Cook also formed the group The Mighty Dub Katz along with Gareth Hansome (aka GMoney), Cook’s former flatmate. Together they started the Boutique Nightclub in Brighton, formerly known as the Big Beat Boutique and released the single “Magic Carpet Ride”.

In 1996 Cook adopted the new pseudonym Fatboy Slim and released his second solo album, Better Living Through Chemistry contained the Top 40 UK hit “Everybody Needs a 303”. Fatboy Slim’s next work was the single “The Rockafeller Skank”, released prior to the album You’ve Come a Long Way, Baby, both of which were released in 1998. “Praise You”, also from this album, was Cook’s first UK solo number one. Its music video, starring Spike Jonze, won numerous awards. In 1999, he performed “Praise You” at the 1999 MTV Video Music Awards in New York City, and won three awards, including the award for Breakthrough Video.[9] The 2000 album also included “Sunset (Bird of Prey)”. In 2000, Fatboy Slim released his third studio album, Halfway Between the Gutter and the Stars, and featured two collaborations with Macy Gray and “Weapon of Choice”, which also was made into an award-winning music video, starring Christopher Walken.At the 2001 MTV Video Music Awards in New York, Fatboy Slim won six awards for “Weapon of Choice”, the most awards at the ceremony.

In 2003, he produced Crazy Beat and Gene by Gene from the Blur album Think Tank, and in 2004, Palookaville was Cook’s first studio album for four years. Fatboy Slim’s greatest hits album, Why Try Harder, was released in 2006 and comprises eighteen tracks, including ten Top 40 singles, a couple of Number Ones and two exclusive new tracks – “Champion Sound” and “That Old Pair of Jeans”.

In 2006, Cook travelled to Cuba, and wrote and produced two original Cuban crossover tracks for the album The Revolution Presents: Revolution. “Shelter” (which featured long term collaborator Lateef); and “Siente Mi Ritmo”, featuring Cuba’s top female vocal group Sexto Sentido, recordedat Cuba’s legendary EGREM Studios, home of the Buena Vista Social Club, and featured a band made up of Cuba’s top young musicians, including Harold Lopez Nussa. Another song “Guaguanco” was released by the Mighty Dub Katz

The Brighton Port Authority debuted in 2008 with a collaboration with David Byrne and Dizzee Rascal titled “Toe Jam”, along with a music video featuring nude dancers with censor bars on them. The soundtrack album for the TV series Heroes also includes The Brighton Port Authority’s track “He’s Frank (Slight Return)” (a cover of a song by The Monochrome Set), with Iggy Pop as vocalist. The video for this track features a near life size puppet of Iggy Pop. An alternative club version was released under the “He’s Frank (Washing Up)” title with the video featuring some footage of Iggy Pop acting and saying lyrics.

The band’s first album, I Think We’re Gonna Need a Bigger Boat was released in 2009 and, is the first to be co-produced by Cook’s longtime engineer Simon Thornton, who also sings on one track. Cook also released a mix album in 2010 titled The Legend Returns as a covermount album in the June 2010 issue of Mixmag. Cook returned as Fatboy Slim when performing at Ultra Music Festival in Miami in March 2012. He also performed at the 2012 Summer Olympics Closing Ceremony, and at Brighton Pride. In 2011 Cook produced the single “Mama Do the Hump” by fellow Brighton band Rizzle Kicks. Cook has also been responsible for successful remixes for Cornershop, Beastie Boys, A Tribe Called Quest, and Wildchild. In 2008, he did a remix of the track “Amazonas” for the charity Bottletop. In 2013 Cook released the song “Eat, Sleep, Rave, Repeat Which Calvin Harris remixed, with Beardyman providing the vocals. In May 2015, Cook compiled The Fatboy Slim Collection,

Bill Berry (REM)

Bill Berry the drummer with Alternative Rock Band R.E.M was born 31st July 1958. 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 and that “It’s great just to bring out an emotion… better to make someone feel nostalgic or wistful or excited or sad.”

Commercially speaking, their 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”.The 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.

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 yeild 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 increasingly pusued 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. In 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, which 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.

Peter Benenson (Amnesty International)

British lawyer and the founder of human rights group Amnesty International Peter Benenson was Born 31st July 1921 in London. Benenson was tutored privately by W. H. Auden before going to Eton. At the age of sixteen he helped to establish a relief fund with other schoolboys for children orphaned by the Spanish Civil War. He took his mother’s maiden name of Benenson as a tribute to his grandfather, the Russian gold tycoon Grigori Benenson, following his grandfather’s death.He enrolled for study at Balliol College, Oxford but World War II interrupted his education. From 1941 to 1945, Benenson worked at Bletchley Park, the British codebreaking centre, in the “Testery”, a section tasked with breaking German teleprinter ciphers.It was at this time when he met his first wife, Margaret Anderson. After demobilisation in 1946,

Benenson began practising as a barrister before joining the Labour Party and standing unsuccessfully for election. He was one of a group of British lawyers who founded JUSTICE in 1957, the UK-based human rights and law reform organisation. In 1958 he fell ill and moved to Italy in order to convalesce. In the same year he converted to the Roman Catholic Church.In 1961 Benenson was shocked and angered by a newspaper report of two Portuguese students from Coimbra sentenced to seven years in prison for raising their glasses in a toast to freedom during the autocratic regime of António de Oliveira Salazar – the Estado Novo. In 1961, Portugal ruled by the authoritarian Estado Novo regime, and anti-regime conspiracies were vigorously repressed by the Portuguese state police and deemed anti-Portuguese. He wrote to David Astor, editor of The Observer. On 28 May, Benenson’s article, entitled “The Forgotten Prisoners”, was published. The letter asked readers to write letters showing support for the students.

To co-ordinate such letter-writing campaigns, Amnesty International was founded in London in July 1961 at a meeting of Benenson and six other men, which included a Tory, a Liberal and a Labour MP.The response was so overwhelming that within a year groups of letter-writers had formed in more than a dozen countries.Initially appointed general secretary of AI, Benenson stood down in 1964 owing to ill health. By 1966, the Amnesty International faced an internal crisis and Benenson alleged that the organization he founded was being infiltrated by British intelligence. The advisory position of president of the International Executive was then created for him. In 1966, he began to make allegations of improper conduct against other members of the executive. An inquiry was set up which reported at Elsinore in Denmark in 1967. The allegations were rejected and Benenson resigned from AI. While never again active in the organization, Benenson was later personally reconciled with other executives, including Seán MacBride and also received the Pride of Britain Award for Lifetime Achievement in 2001. Benenson sadly passed away 25 February 2005, at the John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford, aged 83 however his legacy lives on and Amnesty International continues the work he started.