Heat

I have recently watched the fantastic American crime thriller Heat starring Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, and Val Kilmer. Heat was written, produced and directed by Michael Mann, and is based on the former Chicago police officer Chuck Adamson’s pursuit during the 1960s of a criminal named McCauley, after whom De Niro’s character is named. Heat is a remake of L.A. Takedown.

De Niro plays Neil McCauley, a professional thief, while Pacino plays Lt. Vincent Hanna, a LAPD robbery-homicide detective tracking down McCauley’s crew. It starts when McCauley and his crew, Chris Shiherlis, Michael Cheritto, and Trejo, hire Waingro to help them rob $1.6 million in bearer bonds from an armored car. However During the heist, Waingro impulsively kills a guard, infuriating McCauley. Later, as they attempt to kill Waingro, he escapes. McCauley’s fence, Nate, suggests he sell the stolen bonds back to their original owner, money launderer Roger Van Zant. Van Zant agrees, however he instructs his men to ambush McCauley at the meeting. McCauley survives the ambush and vows revenge against Van Zant.

Meanwhile LAPD Lieutenant Vincent Hanna, working with Sergeant Drucker and Detectives Sammy Casals, Mike Bosko, and Danny Schwartz, investigate the heist and identify McCauley’s crew as the perpetrators. They discover their next target to be a precious metals depository. The unit stakes out the depository and observe the crime in progress. However McCauley abandons the burglary and his crew escape. Despite the increased police surveillance, McCauley’s crew agrees to one last brazen bank robbery worth $12 million to secure their financial futures. Waingro approaches Van Zant with information about eliminating McCauley’s crew. Then Hanna meets McCauley Both men state their mutual respect for each other but reaffirm their commitment to their work and to using lethal force if necessary to stop the other.

McCauley’s crew evade capture. When Trejo withdraws from the robbery, McCauley recruits ex-convict Donald Breedan into the crew. Hanna’s unit receives a confidential tip and interrupt McCauley’s crew in the middle of their bank robbery. In the ensuing gunfight, several police officers, including Bosko, are killed, while McCauley’s crew loses Breedan and Cheritto. Shiherlis is wounded, but escapes with McCauley. McCauley leaves Shiherlis with a doctor amd discovers Trejo near death. Trejo reveals that Waingro alerted Van Zant to their plans, and he subsequently informed the police. So McCauley kills Van Zant at his home.

Hanna orders police surveillance on Waingro and leaks his location to criminal channels, suspecting McCauley will attempt to kill him before leaving town. Meanwhile Shiherlis’ estranged wife Charlene is detained by police and threatened with criminal charges unless she betrays Shiherlis to police. However Charlene surreptitiously warns Shiherlis and he escapes. Hanna finds Lauren unconscious in his hotel room from a suicide attempt and rushes her to the hospital. Hanna’s hunch about McCauley is later proved right when he decides to risk his freedom to kill Waingro. However Hanna is not far behind and he chases McCauley In an exciting cat-and-mouse shootout.

Jason Bonham

English drummer Jason John Bonham was born 15 July 1966. Bonham is perhaps best known for being the son of the late Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham and Patricia “Pat” Bonham. Bonham first began playing drums at the age of four, and appeared with his father in the film The Song Remains the Same, drumming on a scaled-down kit. At 17, he joined his first band, Airrace. In 1985, he joined Virginia Wolf, making two albums and touring the US supporting the Firm. In 1988, Bonham joined former Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page for his Outrider album and appeared with the three surviving members of Led Zeppelin for a performance at Atlantic Records 40th Anniversary concert in New York City. After his father’s death in September 1980, he also played with Led Zeppelin on different occasions.

In 1989, Bonham appeared as a special guest at the Moscow Music Peace Festival, performing the song “Rock and Roll”. Bonham then formed the band Bonham and released the songs “Wait for You” and “Guilty” but they disbanded shortly afterwards. In 1990, Bonham married Jan Charteris, in Stone, Kidderminster. His wedding reception included a jam with Jimmy Page, Robert Plant and John Paul Jones. The Bonhams have two children: a son named Jager and a daughter, Jaz. Bonham drummed for Paul Rodgers on the Grammy nominated Muddy Water Blues: A Tribute to Muddy Waters project. A year later with Slash and Paul Rodgers, he appeared at Woodstock II in 1994. Bonham reformed his band with a new lead vocalist, Marti Frederiksen, replacing Daniel MacMaster. Renamed Motherland, they released the album Peace 4 Me later in 1994; however, his down-to-earth nature always showed—on one occasion making an encore drumming appearance for local Led Zeppelin tribute bands Fred Zeppelin and Led Zepagain.

In 1995, Jason represented his father when Led Zeppelin was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, with his sister Zoe by his side. Bonham soon put together another solo project that culminated in In the Name of My Father – The Zepset, which featured the songs of Led Zeppelin. Proceeds from the album went to charity. The album followed up with When You See the Sun. Following an album and tour with his aunt Debbie Bonham, Jason Bonham was invited to drum for hard rock group UFO. In 2006, he recorded with Joe Bonamassa.

In 2001 Jason Bonham appeared in the movie Rock Star, 2001 portraying drummer A.C., of the fictional band Steel Dragon. The film also featured performances by musicians such as Zakk Wylde, Jeff Pilson, Myles Kennedy, Jeff Scott Soto, Brian Vander Ark, Blas Elias and Nick Catanese. Bonham also starred with Ted Nugent, Evan Seinfeld (Biohazard), Sebastian Bach (Skid Row), and Scott Ian (Anthrax) on the VH1 reality television show, Supergroup, in 2006. The musicians formed a band called Damnocracy during which they lived in a mansion in Las Vegas for twelve days and created music. Jason also played drums live with Foreigner from 2004 to 2007 and part of 2007 to 2008.

Bonham joined the group Black Country Communion late in 2009 and stayed with them until they broke up in March 2013. In 2007 Jason Bonham played drums at a Led Zeppelin reunion concert at London’s O2 arena as part of an all-star tribute to Ahmet Ertegun. In 2009, Jason Bonham and James Dylan began working together in what would become Jason Bonham’s Led Zeppelin Experience, a live homage to his father’s band. In 2010, Jason Bonham’s Led Zeppelin Experience embarked on their first North American tour and toured worldwide during 2011. Bonham also played drums, along with sisters Ann and Nancy Wilson of the group Heart on vocals and guitar respectively, for a performance of Stairway to Heaven during the Led Zeppelin tribute at the Kennedy Center Honors in 2012 while Robert Plant, Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones looked on. In 2013, Jason Bonham’s Led Zeppelin Experience joined forces with the band Heart again for “The Heartbreaker Tour” celebrating the music of Led Zeppelin. And Bonham also formed a new rock band, California Breed with Glenn Hughes and guitarist Andrew Watt. In 2014, Bonham joined Sammy Hagar’s supergroup The Circle. The band featured Led Zeppelin tracks along with songs from Hagar’s various career projects, such as Montrose, Van Halen, and Chickenfoot. In 2015, Jason Bonham’s Led Zeppelin Experience toured extensively North America. On 4 December 2015, the band kicked off their North American Winter Tour in San Jose, California. In 2016, they embarked on a one-month / 22-date North American tour.

Ian Curtis (Joy Division)

English musician, singer and songwriter Ian Ian Curtis was. Born 15 July 1956. He is best known as the lead singer and lyricist of the post-punk band Joy Division. Joy Division released their debut album, Unknown Pleasures, in 1979 and recorded their follow-up, Closer, in 1980. Sadly Curtis, who suffered from epilepsy and depression, committed suicide on 18 May 1980, on the eve of Joy Division’s first North American tour, resulting in the band’s dissolution and the subsequent formation of New Order. Curtis was known for his baritone voice, dance style, and songwriting filled with imagery of desolation, emptiness and alienation.In 1995, Curtis’ widow Deborah published Touching from a Distance: Ian Curtis and Joy Division, a biography of the singer. His life and death have been dramatised in the films 24 Hour Party People (2002) and Control In 1976 , Curtis met Bernard Sumner and Peter Hook at a Sex Pistols gig. They were trying to form a band, and Curtis immediately proposed himself as vocalist and lyricist.

The trio then unsuccessfully recruited a number of drummers before selecting Stephen Morris as their final member.Initially the band was called Warsaw, but as their name conflicted with that of another group,Warsaw Pakt, the name was changed to Joy Division. The moniker was derived from a 1955 novel The House of Dolls, which featured a Nazi concentration camp with a sexual slavery wing called the “Joy Division”. After starting Factory Records with Alan Erasmus, Tony Wilson signed the band to his label following the band’s appearance on Wilson’s Something Else television programme, itself prompted by an abusive letter sent to Wilson by Curtis.

Whilst performing for Joy Division, Curtis became known for his quiet and awkward demeanour, as well as a unique dancing style reminiscent of the epileptic seizures he experienced, sometimes even on stage.There were several incidents when he collapsed and had to be helped off stage. In an interview for Northern Lights cassette magazine in November 1979, Ian Curtis made his only public comment on his dancing and performance. He explained the dance as a type of sign language with which to further express a song’s emotional and lyrical content: “Instead of just singing about something you could show it as well, put it over in the way that it is, if you were totally involved in what you were doing”.Curtis’ writing was filled with imagery of emotional isolation, death, alienation, and urban decay. He sang in a baritonevoice, in contrast to his speaking voice, which fell in the tenor range.

Earlier in their career, Curtis would sing in a loud snarling voice similar to shouting; as on the band’s debut EP, An Ideal for Living (1978). producer Martin Hannett developed Joy Division’s sparse recording style, and some of their most innovative work was created in Strawberry Studios in Stockport ( 10cc) and Cargo Recording Studios Rochdale in 1979), which was developed from John Peel’s investing money into the music business in Rochdale. Although predominantly a vocalist, Curtis also played guitar on a handful of tracks (usually when Sumner was playing synthesizer; “Incubation” and a Peel Session version of “Transmission” were rare instances when both played guitar). At first Curtis played Sumner’s Shergold Masquerader, but in September 1979 he acquired his own guitar, a Vox Phantom Special VI which had many built-in effects used both live and in studio.

Ian Curtis sadly committed Suicide on 18th May 1980. After Curtis’ death, Sumner inherited the guitar and used it in several early New Order songs, such as “Everything’s Gone Green”. Curtis also played keyboard on some live versions of “She’s Lost Control”. He also played the melodica on “Decades” and “In a Lonely Place”; the latter was written and rehearsed for the cancelled American tour and later salvaged as a New Order B-side. Curtis’ last live performance was on 2 May 1980, at High Hall of Birmingham University, a show that included Joy Division’s first and only performance of “Ceremony”, later recorded by New Order and released as their first single. The last song Curtis performed on stage was “Digital”. The recording of this performance is on the Still album. Curtis was cremated at Macclesfield Crematorium and his ashes were buried. His memorial stone, inscribed with “Ian Curtis 18 – 5 – 80″ and “Love Will Tear Us Apart”, was stolen in July 2008 from the grounds of Macclesfield Cemetery. The missing memorial stone was later replaced by a new stone.

Peter Banks (Yes, Flash, Syn

English guitarist, vocalist, songwriter and producer Peter Banks, Was born 15 July 1947. He grew up in Barnet, North London where he attended Barnet Secondary School and Barnet College of Further Education. When he was a young boy, his father bought him an acoustic guitar. As a teenager, he also learned how to play the banjo.

Banks started with The Nighthawks in 1963, and played his first concert at the New Barnet Pop Festival before leaving that band to join The Devil’s Disciples in 1964 with Banks on guitar, John Tite on vocals, Ray Alford on bass and Malcolm “Pinnie” Raye on drums. The released two songs. Arthur Alexander’s “You Better Move On” and Graham Gouldman’s “For Your Love” which was a hit for The Yardbirds one year later. These two songs can be found on Banks’ album Can I Play You Something. In 1965 Banks joined The Syndicats, replacing guitarist Ray Fenwick, who himself had replaced Steve Howe, who would later replace Banks in Yes. Banks then formed a new band with ex-The Selfs bassist Chris Squire, called The Syn. They were joined by keyboardist Andrew Pryce Jackman, Steve Nardelli on vocals as well as Gunnar Jökull Hákonarson on drums. They recorded two singles, “Created By Clive”/”Grounded” and “Flowerman”/”14 Hour Technicolour Dream”

When the Syn disbanded both Squire and Banks joined Clive Bayley (rhythm guitar) and Bob Hagger (drums) in Mabel Greer’s Toyshop. Banks briefly left the band, which was subsequently joined by singer Jon Anderson and then drummer Bill Bruford replacing Hagger. Banks also played with the band Neat Change, recording one single, “I Lied to Aunty May” with Squire on tambourine and chorus. Banks then returned to Mabel Greer’s Toyshop, Bayley left and organist/pianist Tony Kaye joined and they added to the songs “Beyond and Before” by Squire and Bayley and “Sweetness” by Anderson, Bayley and Squire.The new band was christened Yes. In 1969 Atlantic Records got them into a studio to record their first album, Yes. The next year another album was in progress (Time and a Word) but Anderson and Squire decided they wanted an orchestra backing the five musicians. However The idea was not well received by Banks, or Kaye as the orchestral arrangements replaced their parts almost note-for-note. Banks left Yes in 1970 and was replaced by Steve Howe.

After leaving Yes, Banks supported Blodwyn Pig replacing their original guitarist Mick Abrahams. He guested as session musician on an album by Chris Harwood, with other musicians like Dave Lambert of The Strawbs on guitar, Tommy Eyre on keyboards later with Rainbow, ex-King Crimson Ian McDonald on sax and flute and ex-Spencer Davis Group Peter York on percussionIn 1971 Banks formed Flash and sessions began for a first album, with Tony Kaye guesting on keyboards and the album “Flash” was released in 1972 on which Banks played guitar and keyboard. Flash released a second album (In the Can) in 1972 and a third album (Out of Our Hands) in 1973. Banks also became friends with guitarist Jan Akkerman and Banks also played on an album by Roger Ruskin Spear. In 1973 Banks released Two Sides of Peter Banks. Guest musicians included Akkerman, bassist John Wetton, drummer Phil Collins, guitarist Steve Hackett and fellow Flash members Ray Bennett and Mike Hough. Banks also played with the jazz-rock band called Zox & the Radar Boys, including Phil Collins (drums) and his mate from the Flaming Youth days Ronnie Caryl on guitar, Mike Piggott (violin) and John Howitt (bass). In 1973, Banks met the singer Sydney Foxx (real name Sidonie Jordan). She soon became his wife. Named as Empire, Banks, Foxx, and various other band members recorded three albums up to 1979. Phil Collins played drums and John Giblin from Brand X played bass on their first album, Mark I. Banks and Foxx divorced, although Empire remained together.

Banks played as a session musician, on separate albums by Lonnie Donegan and Jakob Magnússon. In 1981, Empire released another album and in 1983, he played the guitar solo on Lionel Ritchie’s well known ballad Hello, but his work was not credited. Banks made an appearance on Romeo Unchained, a 1986 album by Tonio K. He also worked with Ian Wallace in The Teabags, including Jackie Lomax on vocals and Kim Gardner on bass, the two played before with Tony Kaye’s Badger, David Mansfield on guitar and Mel Collins on sax and flute. In 1993, Banks released Instinct, a solo album of instrumental tracks with him playing all the parts. Only a keyboard player, Gerald Goff, joined him for his next album, Self Contained (1995) In 1997, Banks was mainly responsible for the release of a double live Yes album, Something’s Coming: The BBC Recordings 1969–1970 (renamed Beyond and Before in the US), a collection of appearances at the BBC during 1969 and 1970’s. Psychosync, a live Flash recording made in 1973 for the King Biscuit Flower Hour was also released in 1998.

Between 1995 and 1997 all three Empire albums were rereleased and Banks also collaborated in 1995’s Tales From Yesterday (a Yes tribute album) performing a version of the song “Astral Traveller” with Robert Berry; appeared on the album Big Beats in 1997; and played on 1999’s Encores, Legends and Paradox, an Emerson, Lake & Palmer tribute album. He contributed to 1999’s Come Together People of Funk by Funky Monkey (including keyboardist Gerard Johnson). In 1999, Banks released the solo album Reduction and In 2000, Banks released collection of his oldest recordings (many previously unreleased) called Can I Play You Something Featuring early recordings by The Syn, Mabel Greer’s Toyshop, and Yes, including an early rendition of the song “Beyond and Before” and the song “Lima Loop” in honour of Cecilia Quino, a Peruvian girl and Yes fan, who met and later wed Banks in Lima, Peru. Following an appearance by Banks and Geoff Downes together at the 1998 edition of Yestival (a Yes fan festival), the pair played some sessions and the possibility of Banks joining Asia was mooted.

Banks has appeared in small concerts by new young local bands, including the Yes tribute band Fragile. Recent recorded appearances by Banks include Jabberwocky (2000) and Hound of the Baskervilles (2002), a pair of albums recorded by Oliver Wakeman (Rick Wakeman’s son) and Clive Nolan. Rick Wakeman also narrates on the Jabberwocky album. Peter Banks also appears on the Funky Monkey project. Banks was also involved in a reunion of The Syn in 2004, but left the band. After early talks in 2004, he was also not included in the current Flash reunion, which made their debut return at the Prog Day Festival 2010 with Flash bassist Ray Bennett taking over on lead guitar In 2004, Banks formed a new improvising band, Harmony in Diversity, with Andrew Booker and Nick Cottam (Pulse Engine) who toured in2006, and released the album “Trying”. In 2009 Gibson Guitar’s Lifestyle e-magazinelisted Banks as one of the “10 Great Prog Rock Guitarists.”

During 1991 Yes embarked on their Union tour, and Banks was invited to play during the encore at the Great Western Forum in Inglewood, California, United States. In August 1994, Banks was a featured guest at a Yes fan festival called Yestival. In 1995, he performed “Astral Traveller” on the Yes tribute album Tales from Yesterday. In 1997, he coordinated the release of a Yes compilation titled Something’s Coming: The BBC Recordings 1969-1970. His liner notes described his early days with the band. Banks was also present at Yestival in July 1998. In 2006, he was interviewed for the Yes documentary Classic Artists: Yes. A few music videos featuring him with Yes during their early days can be seen in The Lost Broadcasts DVD released in 2009.

Sadly on 7 March 2013 Banks died of heart failure at his home in Barnet, London. He was reportedly found after failing to show up for a scheduled recording session.

Clive Cussler

American adventure novelist and marine archaeologist Clive Eric Cussler, was born July 15, 1931 in Aurora, Illinois. His exciting thriller novels, many featuring the character Dirk Pitt, have reached The New York Times fiction best-seller list more than seventeen times. Cussler is also the founder and chairman of the real-life National Underwater and Marine Agency (NUMA), which has discovered more than sixty shipwreck sites and numerous other notable sunken underwater wreckages. He is the sole author or lead author of more than 50 books. Born in Aurora, Illinois, Cussler grew up in Alhambra, California and was awarded the rank of Eagle Scout when he was 14. He attended Pasadena City College for two years and then enlisted in the United States Air Force during the Korean War. During his service in the Air Force, he was promoted to Sergeant and worked as an aircraft mechanic and flight engineer for the Military Air Transport Service (MATS) After his discharge from the military, Cussler went to work in the advertising industry, first as a copywriter and later as a creative director for two of the nation’s most successful advertising agencies. As part of his duties Cussler produced radio and television commercials, many of which won international awards including an award at the Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival.

Clive Cussler began writing in 1965 when his wife took a job working nights for the local police department where they lived in California. After making dinner for the kids and putting them to bed he had no one to talk to and nothing to do so he decided to start writing. His most famous creation is marine engineer, government agent and adventurer Dirk Pitt. The Dirk Pitt novels frequently take on an alternative history perspective, such as“what if Atlantis was real?” or “what if Abraham Lincoln wasn’t assassinated, but was kidnapped?”The first two Pitt novels, The Mediterranean Caper and Iceberg, were relatively conventional maritime thrillers. The third, Raise the Titanic!, made Cussler’s reputation and established the pattern that subsequent Pitt novels would follow: a blend of high adventure and high technology, generally involving megalomaniacal villains, lost ships, beautiful women, and sunken treasure. Cussler’s novels, like those of Michael Crichton, are examples of techno-thrillers that do not use military plots and settings. Where Crichton strove for scrupulous realism, however, Cussler prefers fantastic spectacles and outlandish plot devices. The Pitt novels, in particular, have the anything-goes quality of the James Bond or Indiana Jones movies, while also sometimes borrowing from Alistair MacLean’s novels. Pitt himself is a larger-than-life hero reminiscent of Doc Savage and other characters from pulp magazines.

Clive Cussler has had more than seventeen consecutive titles reach The New York Times fiction best-seller list.Following the publication in 1996 of Cussler’s first nonfiction work, The Sea Hunters, he was awarded a Doctor of Letters degree in 1997 by the Board of Governors of the State University of New York Maritime College who accepted the work in lieu of a Ph.D. thesis. This was the first time in the college’s 123-year history that such a degree had been awarded. In 2002 Cussler was awarded the Naval Heritage Award from the U S Navy Memorial Foundation for his efforts in the area of marine exploration. Cussler is a fellow of the Explorers Club of New York, the Royal Geographic Society in London, and the American Society of Oceanographers. As an underwater explorer, Cussler has discovered more than sixty shipwreck sites and has written non-fiction books about his findings.

Sir John Fowler KCMG LLD

English civil engineer Sir John Fowler, 1st Baronet KCMG LLD was born 15 July 1817. in Wadsley, Sheffield, Yorkshire, England, to land surveyor John Fowler and his wife Elizabeth (née Swann). He was educated privately at Whitley Hall near Ecclesfield. He trained under John Towlerton Leather, engineer of the Sheffield waterworks, and with Leather’s uncle, George Leather, on the Aire and Calder Navigation an railway surveys. From 1837 he worked for John Urpeth Rastrick on railway projects including the London and Brighton Railway and the unbuilt West Cumberland and Furness Railway. He then worked again for George Leather as resident engineer on the Stockton and Hartlepool Railway and was appointed engineer to the railway when it opened in 1841. Fowler initially established a practice as a consulting engineer in the Yorkshire and Lincolnshire area, but, a heavy workload led him to move to London in 1844. He became a member of theInstitution of Mechanical Engineers in 1847, the year the Institution was founded, and a member of the Institution of Civil Engineers in 1849

Victoria Bridge

He specialised in the construction of railways and railway infrastructure . In 1853, he became chief engineer of the Metropolitan Railway in London, the world’s first underground railway, which opened between Paddington and Farringdon in 1863. Fowler was also engineer for the associated Metropolitan District Railway and the Hammersmith and City Railway. They were built by the “cut-and-cover” method under city streets. To avoid problems with smoke and steam overwhelming staff and passengers on the covered sections of the Metropolitan Railway, Fowler proposed a fireless locomotive. The locomotive was built by Robert Stephenson and Company and was a broad gauge 2-4-0 tender engine. The boiler had a normal firebox connected to a large combustion chamber containing fire bricks which were to act as a heat reservoir. The combustion chamber was linked to the smokebox through a set of very short firetubes. Exhaust steam was re-condensed instead of escaping and feed back to the boiler. The locomotive was intended to operate conventionally in the open, but in tunnels dampers would be closed and steam would be generated using the stored heat from the fire bricks. The first trial on the Great Western Railway in October 1861 was a failure. The condensing system leaked, causing the boiler to run dry and pressure to drop, risking a boiler explosion. A second trial on the Metropolitan Railway in 1862 was also a failure, and the fireless engine was abandoned, becoming known as “Fowler’s Ghost”. The locomotive was sold to Isaac Watt Boulton in 1865; he intended to convert it into a standard engine but it was eventually scrapped. On opening, the Metropolitan Railway’s trains were provided by the Great Western Railway, but these were withdrawn in August 1863. After a period hiring trains from the Great Northern Railway, the Metropolitan Railway introduced its own, Fowler designed, 4-4-0 tank engines in 1864. The design, known as the A class and, with minor updates, the B class, was so successful that the Metropolitan and Metropolitan District Railways eventually had 120 of the engines in use and they remained in operation until electrification of the lines in the 1900s. Today these railways form the majority of the London Underground’s Circle line

Albert Edward Bridge, Coalbrookdale

Fowler established a busy practice, working on many railway schemes across the country. He became chief engineer for the Manchester, Sheffield and Lincolnshire Railway and was engineer of the East Lincolnshire Railway, the Oxford, Worcester and Wolverhampton Railway and the Severn Valley Railway. Other railways that Fowler consulted for were the London Tilbury and Southend Railway, the Great Northern Railway, the Highland Railway and the Cheshire Lines Railway. Following the death of Isambard Kingdom Brunel in 1859, Fowler was retained by the Great Western Railway. His various appointments involved him in the design of Victoria station in London, Sheffield Victoria station, St Enoch station in Glasgow, Liverpool Central station and Manchester Central station.The latter station’s 210-foot (64 m) wide train shed roof was the second widest unsupported iron arch in Britain after the roof of St Pancras railway station. Fowler’s consulting work extended beyond Britain including railway and engineering projects in Algeria, Australia, Belgium, Egypt, France, Germany, Portugal and the United States. He travelled to Egypt for the first time in 1869 and worked on a number of, mostly unrealised, schemes for the Khedive, including a railway to Khartoum in Sudan which was planned in 1875 but not completed until after his death.

In 1870 he provided advice to an Indian Government inquiry on railway gauges where he recommended a narrow gauge of 3 feet 6 inches (1.07 m) for light railways.He visited Australia in 1886, where he made some remarks on the break of gauge difficulty. Later in his career, he was also a consultant with his partner Benjamin Baker and with James Henry Greathead on two of London’s first tube railways, the City and South London Railway and the Central London Railway. As part of his railway projects, Fowler also designed numerous bridges. In the 1860s, he designed Grosvenor Bridge, the first railway bridge over the River Thames,and the 13-arch Dollis Brook Viaduct for the Edgware, Highgate and London Railway. He is credited with the design of the Victoria Bridge at Upper Arley, Worcestershire, constructed between 1859 and 1861,and the near identical Albert Edward Bridge at Coalbrookdale, Shropshire built from 1863 to 1864. Both remain in use today carrying railway lines across the River Severn. In the 1880s, he was chief engineer for the Forth Railway Bridge, which opened in 1890 and Following the collapse of Sir Thomas Bouch’s Tay Bridge in 1879, Fowler, William Henry Barlow and Thomas Elliot Harrison were appointed in 1881 to a commission to review Bouch’s design for the Forth Railway Bridge. The commission recommended a steel cantilever bridge designed by Fowler and Benjamin Baker, which was constructed between 1883 and 1890

Fowler stood unsuccessfully for parliament as a Conservative candidate in 1880 and 1885. His standing within the engineering profession was very high, to the extent that he was elected president of the Institution of Civil Engineers in 1865, its youngest president. Through his position in the Institution and through his own practice, he led the development of training for engineers. In 1857, he purchased a 57,000 acres (23,000 ha) estate at Braemore in Ross-shire, Scotland, where he spent frequent holidays and where he was a Justice of the Peace and a Deputy Lieutenant of the County.He listed his recreations in Who’s Who as yachting and deerstalking and was a member of the Carlton Club, St Stephen’s Club, the Conservative Club and the Royal Yacht Squadron. He was also President of the Egyptian Exploration Fund.In 1885 he was made a Knight Commander of the Order of Saint Michael and Saint George as thanks from the government for allowing the use of maps of the Upper Nile valley he had had made when working on the Khedive’s projects. They were the most accurate survey of the area and were used in the British Relief of Khartoum. Following the successful completion of the Forth Railway Bridge in 1890, Fowler was created a baronet, taking the name of his Scottish estate as his territorial designation. Along with Benjamin Baker, he received an honorary degree of Doctor of Laws from the University of Edinburgh in 1890 for his engineering of the bridge. In 1892, the Poncelet Prize was doubled and awarded jointly to Baker and Fowler. Fowler died in Bournemouth, Dorset, at the age of 81 and is buried in Brompton Cemetery, London. He was succeeded in the baronetcy by his son, Sir John Arthur Fowler, 2nd Baronet (died 25 March 1899). The baronetcy became extinct in 1933 on the death of Reverend Sir Montague Fowler, 4th Baronet, the first baronet’s third son.

Rembrandt van Rijn

Dutch painter and etcher Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn , was born 15 July 1606. His contributions to art came during a period of great wealth and cultural achievement that historians call the Dutch Golden Age which was very different to the Baroque style that dominated Europe, he was extremely prolific and innovative. As a boy he attended Latin school and was enrolled at the University of Leiden, although according to a contemporary he had a greater inclination towards painting and was soon apprenticed to a Leiden history painter, Jacob van Swanenburgh, with whom he spent three years. After a brief but important apprenticeship of six months with the famous painter Pieter Lastman in Amsterdam, Rembrandt opened a studio in Leiden in 1624 or 1625, which he shared with friend and colleague Jan Lievens. In 1627, Rembrandt began to accept students, among them Gerrit Dou. In 1629, Rembrandt was discovered by the statesman Constantijn Huygens, the father of Dutch mathematician and physicist Christiaan Huygens, who procured commissions from the court of The Hague. As a result of this connection, Prince Frederik Hendrik continued to purchase paintings from Rembrandt until 1646.

In 1631 Rembrandt moved to Amsterdam, then rapidly expanding as the new business capital of the Netherlands, and began work as a professional portrait artist with great success. Throughout his career the themes of portraiture, landscape and narrative painting were his primary subjects and he produced over 600 paintings, nearly 400 etchings and 2,000 drawings including a number of biblical works, including The Raising of the Cross, Joseph Telling His Dreams and The Stoning of Saint Stephen, he was especially praised by his contemporaries, who extolled him as a masterly interpreter of biblical stories for his skill in representing emotions and attention to detail.During Rembrandt’s Leiden period (1625–1631) his Paintings were rather small, but rich in details (for example, in costumes and jewelry). Religious and allegorical themes were favored. In 1626 Rembrandt produced his first etchings, the wide dissemination of which would largely account for his international fame In 1629 he completed Judas Repentant, Returning the Pieces of Silver and The Artist in His Studio, works that evidence his interest in the handling of light and variety of paint application, and constitute the first major progress in his development as a painter.

Between 1632 and 1636 Rembrandt painted dramatic biblical and mythological scenes in high contrast and of large format (The Blinding of Samson, 1636, Belshazzar’s Feast, c. 1635 Danaë, 1636), seeking to emulate the baroque style of Rubens. With the occasional help of assistants in his workshop, he painted numerous portrait commissions both small (Jacob de Gheyn III) and large (Portrait of the Shipbuilder Jan Rijcksen and his Wife, 1633, Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Nicolaes Tulp, By the late 1630s Rembrandt had produced a few paintings and many etchings of landscapes. Often these landscapes highlighted natural drama, featuring uprooted trees and ominous skies (Cottages before a Stormy Sky, and The Three Trees. From 1640 his work became less exuberant and more sober in tone, possibly reflecting personal tragedy. Biblical scenes were now derived more often from the New Testament than the Old Testament, as had been the case before. In 1642 he painted The Night Watch and in the decade following the Night Watch, Rembrandt’s paintings varied greatly in size, subject, and style. The previous tendency to create dramatic effects primarily by strong contrasts of light and shadow gave way to the use of frontal lighting and larger and more saturated areas of color.

However these graphic works of natural drama eventually made way for quiet Dutch rural scenes and by the 1650s, Rembrandt’s style changed again. Colors became richer and brush strokes more pronounced. With these changes, Rembrandt distanced himself from earlier work and current fashion, which increasingly inclined toward fine, detailed works. In later years biblical themes were still depicted often, but emphasis shifted from dramatic group scenes to intimate portrait-like figures (James the Apostle, 1661). In his last years, Rembrandt painted his most deeply reflective self-portraits, and several moving images of both men and women in love, in life, and before God.Although he achieved youthful success as a portrait painter, Rembrandt’s later years were marked by personal tragedy and financial hardships. Yet his etchings and paintings were popular throughout his lifetime, his reputation as an artist remained high, and for twenty years he taught many important Dutch painters. Rembrandt’s greatest creative triumphs are exemplified especially in his portraits of his contemporaries, self-portraits and illustrations of scenes from the Bible. His self-portraits form a unique and intimate biography, in which the artist surveyed himself without vanity and with the utmost sincerity. In his paintings and prints he exhibited knowledge of classical iconography, which he molded to fit the requirements of his own experience; thus, the depiction of a biblical scene was informed by Rembrandt’s knowledge of the specific text, his assimilation of classical composition, and his observations of Amsterdam’s Jewish population. Rembrandt sadly passed away on 4th October 1669) but his legacy lives on in the form of many wonderful paintings and because of his empathy for the human condition, he is also sometimes referred to as “one of the great prophets of civilization.”