The Witnesses by James Patterson

I am currently reading The Witnesses, another exciting short fast-paced BOOKSHOT story by James Patterson. It features the Sanderson family Lance and Teresa Sanderson and their two children Sandy and Sam, whose life is turned upside-down after one of the members of the Sanderson family stumbled upon what could possibly be a criminal plot, forcing the family into hiding out in a small apartment in Levittown with Jason as their constantly vigilant bodyguard. the terrible rush to take them to safety had had the family terrified – but now they were mostly just bored. Sam built his dinosaur models, while Sandy read everything she could lay her hands on. Teresa was frustrated without the use of the internet, which was of course, forbidden. Lance, a professor of archaeology tried to keep the family happy while wondering how long they would be incarcerated – and why, They have questions no one will answer and the truth may be too late .

Meanwhile their neighbor, former policeman Ronald Temple, is getting suspicious about their activities and starts to realise that The family next door may have a very dark secret. Elsewhere sinister forces plot to find them. But who is after them? And why?

Leonard Cohen

Canadian Juno Award-winning singer-songwriter, musician, poet, and novelist Leonard Norman Cohen, CC GOQ sadly passed away on 7 November 2016 at the age of 82 at his home in Los Angeles. A memorial is planned to take place in Los Angeles at a future date. Cohen was survived by his two children and two grandchildren. Tributes were paid by numerous stars and political figures.

He was born 21 September 1934 . His work often explores religion, isolation, sexuality, and personal relationships. Cohen has been inducted into the American Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and both the Canadian Music Hall of Fame and theCanadian Songwriters Hall of Fame. He is also a Companion of the Order of Canada, the nation’s highest civilian honour. In 2011 Cohen received a Prince of Asturias Award for literature.The critic Bruce Eder wrote an assessment of Cohen’s overall career in popular music, writing, “Cohen is one of the most fascinating and enigmatic … singer/songwriters of the late ’60s … and has retained an audience across four decades of music-making … Second only to Bob Dylan (and perhaps Paul Simon) [in terms of influence], he commands the attention of critics and younger musicians more firmly than any other musical figure from the 1960s who is still working at the outset of the 21st century.

The Academy of American Poets has commented more broadly on Cohen’s overall career in the arts, including his work as a poet, novelist, and songwriter, stating that Cohen’s successful blending of poetry, fiction, and music is made most clear in Stranger Music: Selected Poems and Songs, published in 1993, which gathered more than two hundred of Cohen’s poems … several novel excerpts, and almost sixty song lyrics … While it may seem to some that Leonard Cohen departed from the literary in pursuit of the musical, his fans continue to embrace him as a Renaissance man who straddles the elusive artistic borderlines.

Cohen’s first album was Songs of Leonard Cohen (1967) followed by Songs from a Room (1969) (featuring the often-recorded “Bird on the Wire”) and Songs of Love and Hate (1971). His 1977 record Death of a Ladies’ Man was co-written and produced by Phil Spector, which was a move away from Cohen’s previous minimalist sound. In 1979 Cohen returned with the more traditional Recent Songs, which blended his acoustic style with jazz and Oriental and Mediterranean influences. “Hallelujah” was first released on Cohen’s studio album Various Positions in 1984. I’m Your Man in 1988 marked Cohen’s turn to synthesized productions and remains his most popular album. In 1992 Cohen released its follow-up, The Future, which had dark lyrics and references to political and social unrest.

Cohen returned to music in 2001 with the release of Ten New Songs, which was a major hit in Canada and Europe. His eleventh album, Dear Heather, followed in 2004. After a successful string of tours between 2008 and 2010, Cohen released three albums in the final four years of his life: Old Ideas (2012), Popular Problems (2014) and You Want It Darker (2016), the last of which was released three weeks before his death.

Sharleen Spiteri (Texas)

Best Known as the lead singer of the rock band Texas the scottish recording artist and songwriter Sharleen Spiteri was born 7 November 1967 .Texas are a rock/pop band from Glasgow, Scotland. They were co-founded by Spiterri while She worked at the Irvine Rusk salon as a hairdresser in Glasgow & Johnny McElhone (formerly of the bands Altered Images and Hipsway) in 1986 and feature Sharleen Spiteri on lead vocals Johnny McElhone (bass guitar) and Ally McErlaine (lead guitar). Spiteri’s musical influences include The Clash (the main reason she plays a black Fender Telecaster) and Blondie to Marvin Gaye and Prince. She is also a dedicated Diana Ross fan.

Texas made their performing debut in March 1988 at the University of Dundee. They took their name from the 1984 Wim Wenders movie Paris, Texas.The band released their debut album Southside in 1989, along with the debut single “I Don’t Want a Lover” which was an international hit, reaching the top ten in the UK and other high charting positions in Europe. Despite the success of Southside, the follow-up albums Mothers Heaven (1991) featuring the songs “Why Believe In You” “Alone With You” & “In My Heart” and Ricks Road (1993) featuring the Songs “So Called Friend” “You’ve Got To Give a Little” “Fade Away” & “You Owe It All To Me” were less successful.

The band’s fortunes changed in 1997 with the release of their White on Blonde album which featured the songs “Say What You Want” “Black Eyed Boy” “Put Your Arms Around Me” “Halo”&. became their biggest seller. In 1999, Texas song “In Our Lifetime” was included on the Notting Hill soundtrack. The Follow up album,The Hush (1999) featuring the Songs “Summer Son” & “When We Are Together”was also successful, The band’s Greatest Hits album, released in 2000, contained the single “Inner Smile” & was another big seller, Texas would go on to release a further two studio albums, Careful What You Wish For in 2003, and Red Book in 2005, both of which were certified gold in the UK. After the release of Red Book and a tour to support the album’s release, Texas went on hiatus.

In September 2002, Spiteri gave birth to her daughter Mysty Kyd, although this did not prevent her from working on a sixth album Careful What You Wish For featuring the song “Carnival Girl” & I’ll See It Through.The band returned in 2005 with the Songs “Getaway”, “Can’t Resist” The band’s seventh studio album; Red Book ‘ featured the song’ “Sleep” & “What About Us” .2007 the band released The BBC Sessions, including radio sessions spanning from 1989 to 2005 Cover songs include Elmore James’s “It Hurts Me Too”, The Beatles’ “I’ve Got a Feeling”, and Ashford & Simpson’s “You’re All I Need to Get By. In 2008 Spiteri performed as guest vocalist on Rammstein’s “Rosenrot” album & launched a solo career, releasing her debut solo album, Melody featuring the singles “All The Times I Cried” “Stop, I Don’t Love You Anymore” “It Was You” & “Don’t Keep Me Waiting”. Her second solo studio album, The Movie Songbook consists of movie covers chosen by Spiteri herself including the Song “Xanadu” To promote the album, she performed in front of 55,000 fans supporting Paul McCartney on his Up and Coming Tour at Glasgow’s Hampden Park.Spiteri also appeared as a judge in the Sky1 show Must Be The Music.

Tommy Thayer (Kiss)

Tommy Thayer, American guitarist and songwriter (Kiss) Was born 7 November 1960 . Formed in New York City in January 1973. Kiss rose to prominence in the mid to late 1970s on the basis of the members’ white and black face paint and flamboyant stage outfits and elaborate live performances, which featured fire breathing, blood spitting, smoking guitars, shooting rockets, The 1973–’80 original lineup of Paul Stanley (vocals and rhythm guitar), Gene Simmons (vocals and bass guitar), Ace Frehley (lead guitar) and Peter Criss (drums) is the most successful. With their makeup and costumes, they took on the personas of comic book-style characters: Starchild (Stanley), The Demon (Simmons), Spaceman or Space Ace (Frehley) and Catman (Criss) and the performances included levitating drum kits and pyrotechnics.The band explains that the fans were the ones who ultimately chose their makeup designs. Stanley became the “Starchild” because of his tendency to be referred to as the “starry-eyed lover” and “hopeless romantic”. The “Demon” makeup reflected Simmons’ cynicism and dark sense of humor, as well as his affection for comic books. Frehley’s “Spaceman” makeup was a reflection of his fondness for science fiction and supposedly being from another planet. Criss’ “Catman” makeup was in accordance with the belief that he had nine lives because of his rough childhood in Brooklyn.

KISS LIVE IN PRAGUE 2013 http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=rkTtvQeoLC8

Because of creative differences, both Criss and Frehley had left the group by 1982. The band’s commercial fortunes had waned considerably by that point.However Buoyed by a wave of Kiss nostalgia in the 1990s, the band announced a reunion of the original lineup in 1996. The resulting Kiss Alive/Worldwide reunion Tour was the top-grossing act of 1996 and 1997. Criss and Frehley have since left Kiss again, but the band continues with Eric Singer and Tommy Thayer. Stanley and Simmons have remained the only two constant members.Kiss have also been named in many “Top” lists. They include Number 10 on VH1′s ’100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock’,9th on ‘The Greatest Metal Bands’ list by MTV, number one on Hit Paraders’s “Top 100 Live Bands”, 56th on VH1′s “100 Greatest Artists Of All Time”, and 26th on Gibson’s “50 Greatest American Rock Bands” and Counting the 1978 solo albums, Kiss has been awarded 28 gold albums to date, and have sold more than 40 million albums in the United States, of which 20 million have been certified by the RIAA and their worldwide sales exceeds 100 million albums.

Marie Curie

Best known for her pioneering research in the field of radioactivity, the World famous Polish–French physicist and chemist Marie Skłodowska Curie was born 7th Novemer in 1867 in Warsaw, Poland. Maria’s paternal grandfather, Józef Skłodowski, had been a respected teacher in Lublin, where he taught the young Bolesław Prus,who became a leading figure in Polish literature.Her father, Władysław Skłodowski, taught mathematics and physics, subjects that Maria was to pursue, and was also director of two Warsaw gymnasia for boys.After Russian authorities eliminated laboratory instruction from the Polish schools, he brought much of the laboratory equipment home, and instructed his children in its use.

The father was eventually fired by his Russian supervisors for pro-Polish sentiments, and forced to take lower-paying posts. the family also lost money on a bad investment, and eventually chose to supplement their income by lodging boys in the house. Maria’s mother Bronisława operated a prestigious Warsaw boarding school for girls; she resigned from the position after Maria was born.She died of tuberculosis in May 1878, when Maria was ten years old. Less than three years earlier, Maria’s oldest sibling, Zofia, had died of typhus contracted from a boarder.

When she was ten years old, Maria began attending the boarding school of J. Sikorska; next she attended a gymnasium for girls, from which she graduated on 12 June 1883 with a gold medal. After an illness she spent the following year in the countryside with relatives of her father, and the next year with her father in Warsaw, where she did some tutoring. Unable to enroll in a regular institution of higher education because she was a woman, she and her sister Bronisława became involved with the clandestine Flying University, a Polish patriotic institution of higher learning that admitted women students.

At a Warsaw laboratory, in 1890–91, Maria Skłodowska did her first scientific work and made an agreement with her sister, Bronisława, that she would give her financial assistance during Bronisława’s medical studies in Paris, in exchange for similar assistance two years later. Maria took a position as governess: first as a home tutor in Warsaw; then for two years as a governess in Szczuki with a landed family, the Żorawskis, who were relatives of her father and fell in love with their son, Kazimierz Żorawski, a future eminent mathematician.Who soon earned a doctorate and pursued an academic career as a mathematician, becoming a professor and rector of Kraków University. Sadly his parent rejected his relationship with Maria.

She lived inWarsaw until the age of 24, when she followed her older sister Bronisława to study in Paris, where she earned her higher degrees and conducted her subsequent scientific work. She was also the first person honored with two Nobel Prizes—in both physics and chemistry, In 1903 she won the Nobel Prize in Physics which She shared with her husband Pierre Curie (and with Henri Becquerel), and In 1911 She became the sole winner of the 1911 Nobel Prize in Chemistry which she shared with Her daughter Irène Joliot-Curie and son-in-law, Frédéric Joliot-Curie, and is the only woman to date to win in two fields, and the only person to win in multiple sciences.

Among her many achievements are the theory of radioactivity (a term that she coined), She also developed techniques for isolating radioactive isotopes, and discovered two radioactive elements, polonium (Which was named after her native country) and radium. She was also the first female professor at the University of Paris andUnder her direction, the world’s first studies were conducted into the treatment of neoplasms, using radioactive isotopes. In 1932, she founded a Radium Institute (now the Maria Skłodowska–Curie Institute of Oncology) in her home town, Warsaw. Which was headed by her physician-sister Bronisława.

Unfortunately though Marie Curie died on 4th July 1934 of aplastic anemia, a condition which was undoubtedly brought on by her lifelong exposure to radiation, however her pioneering research has led the way for many improvements in the fields of Science, Chemistry and Medicine and in 1995 she became the first woman to be entombed on her own merits in the Paris Panthéon.

A Prophet Without Honor by Joseph Wurtenbaugh and Manoj Vijayan

I would like to read A prophet without Honour, a compelling alternative historical novel by Joseph Wurtenbaugh which is illustrated by Manoj Vijayan. It is set during the first months of 1936, and focusses on Nazi Dictator Adolf Hitler who risked everything by ordering his untrained military to reoccupy the Rhineland. It was a bluff. The Germans would have been forced to retreat if the French or British had offered the slightest opposition. But the bluff succeeded. History changed decisively. Hitler quieted the opposition at home, and marched the world relentlessly on, to the edge of destruction and beyond.

The story examines that lost chance in detail. The result is a compelling story full of intrigue, danger, romance, and action, culminating in the reckoning that Hitler might have faced, had events taken a different course. It is a celebration of ordinary integrity and the enduring power of simple good will – even in times when honesty is the most dangerous virtue of all and the effects of good will seem lost in obscurity.

Fred Dibnah

Charismatic Engineer, Steeplejack and British television personality Fred Dibnah was Born 28th April 1938. As a child, Dibnah was fascinated by the steam engines which powered the many textile mills in his home town of Bolton and developed a keen interest in mechanical engineering, Steam Engines and chimneys and the men who worked on them. He began his working life as a joiner, before becoming a steeplejack. From age 22, he served for two years in the armed forces, as part of his national service. Once demobilised, he returned to steeplejacking but met with limited success until he was asked to repair Bolton’s parish church. The resulting publicity provided a welcome boost to his business, ensuring he was almost never out of work.

Dibnah’s interest in steam power stemmed from his childhood observations of the steam locomotives on the nearby railway line, and his visits to his father’s workplace—a bleach works in Bolton—where he was fascinated by the steam engines used to drive the line shafting. He later became a steam enthusiast, befriending many of the engine drivers and firemen who worked on the nearby railway. As a teenager he met a driver who invited him onto the footplate of his locomotive and who asked him to keep the boiler supplied with fuel. Dibnah became so enamoured with steam engines that he eventually looked for one he could buy. He learnt of a steamroller kept in a barn near Warrington and which the owners had bought from Flintshire County Council. He had the boiler pressure-tested and, despite it being in poor condition, bought it for £175. He towed it to a friend’s house, spent a fortnight making various repairs and drove it to his mother’s house in Bolton.

After he married and bought his own property on Radcliffe new Road, he cut an access road to the garden of his new house and moved the steamroller there. Restoring the engine took many years, as Dibnah had to create his own replacement parts, using Victorian engineering techniques and equipment he built in his garden. The boiler was in poor condition and needed serious work, but Dibnah used local knowledge and was eventually able to build a new boiler. Once restored, he used the 1910 Aveling & Porter steamroller together with a living van he bought and restored, to take his family around the local steam fairs In 1978, while making repairs to Bolton Town Hall, Dibnah was filmed by a regional BBC news crew. The BBC then commissioned an award-winning documentary, which followed the rough-hewn steeplejack as he worked on chimneys, interacted with his family and talked about his favourite hobby—steam.

He made many more Television programmes about Steam Engines & Locomotives and In 1998, he presented a programme on Britain’s industrial history and went on to present a number of fascinating series, largely concerned with the Industrial Revolution and its mechanical and architectural legacy. In mid-2000, Dibnah was awarded an honorary degree of Doctor of Technology for his achievement in engineering by Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen, and on 19 July 2004 he was made an honorary Doctor of the University by the University of Birmingham. He was also awarded an MBE for services to heritage and broadcasting. He said “I’m looking forward to meeting the Queen but I shall probably have to get a new cap. And I’d like to meet Prince Charles because we share the same views about modern architecture.”On 7 July 2004, Dibnah went to Buckingham Palace to receive his award from the Queen.

Sadly Fred’s health was failing at this point although filming continued at various locations around the country, with sons Jack and Roger, who had become essential members of the tour, providing much-needed support for their father. By the end of July, the crew had filmed only 34 days with Dibnah, out of a planned 60. It was becoming more difficult by the day for Dibnah to fulfil his filming duties and the crew decided to cut short the schedule and he died shortly after on 7 November 2004 and is sadly missed. He is survived by his five children from three marriages.