The White Princess

Having enjoyed Pillars of the Earth, Wolf Hall, the Hollow Crown and many other historical epics, I would like to watch The White Princess, an eight episode British-American historical fiction television series based on Philippa Gregory’s 2013 novel of the same name, and which is out on DVD. It is a sequel to The White Queen, a 2013 BBC-produced miniseries adapting three of Gregory’s previous novels. It features the marriage of Henry VII and Elizabeth of York which effectively ends the Wars of the Roses by uniting houses of Lancaster and York. However, the sinister political machinations of their mothers Elizabeth and Margaret continually threaten to tear both the marriage and the kingdom apart.

It begins with Henry Tudor Arriving triumphantly in London after defeating Richard III in the Battle of Bosworth field, and Marrying Elizabeth of York in order to join the warring houses of Lancaster and York. Unfortunately Henry despises Elizabeth and Elizabeth despises Henry especially after he gets her pregnant before committing himself to marry her. So Lizzie decides to play the part of dutiful wife while she and her mother, the former Queen consort Elizabeth, secretly plot against the Tudors.

Henry tours the kingdom to assert his sovereignty. Planning to accompany him to secretly rally York supporters, Lizzie’s mother Elizabeth is instead locked up in Westminster Palace by Henry’s own mother Margaret. Henry survives an assassination attempt by Yorkist Francis Lovell but suspects Lizzie’s involvement, however Lizzie denies any involvement, and wins favor with the common people by seizing funds from the Royal Treasury to aid those threatened by the sweating sickness. Lizzie eventually gives birth to Prince Arthur. Meanwhile Jasper Tudor visits Margaret of Burgundy seeking an alliance but peace negotiations are suddenly aborted by an incident at the Burgundy court. In the meantime, Lizzie’s mother Elizabeth is exiled to Bermondsey Abbey.

The York princesses plan to marry Tudor loyalists, Margaret of Burgundy raises an army behind a peasant boy she has declared is Teddy Plantagenet. So Henry releases the real Teddy from the Tower, however Margaret, the King’s Mother, conspires to sends Teddy back to the Tower and declares the Dowager Queen Elizabeth complicit in the conspiracy, although Henry refuses to execute his wife’s mother. Margaret of Burgundy is rallying European support around a boy she recognizes as the true heir to the English throne, Lizzie’s brother Richard Plantagenet, the Duke of York. Henry sends Margaret, now Lady Pole, to prove that the boy is an impostor. Henry and Lizzie name their own son Henry as the Duke of York, but Lizzie’s mother, the Dowager Queen informs them that her son, the rightful King of England, is alive in Burgundy. Meanwhile Margaret causes more trouble for the Tudors.

William Stanley is executed for his support to the imposter Perkin Warbeck. Lizzie and Henry travel to Spain to seek for an alliance, but Queen Isabella of Castile refuses to help the king until his traitors are dealt with. After the death of the Dowager Queen Elizabeth, Lizzie insipires Henry’s men to fight against the pretender Perkin Warbeck, who finds sanctuary in a monastery and refuses to renounce his claim to the throne. Margaret spies for her aunt, Margaret of Burgundy. Lizzie is convinced that Warbeck is her brother and tries to help him. Henry finds out from Lizzie what happened to the Princes in the Tower and points out that if Henry kills Warbeck—who she believes is Richard, Princes Arthur and Henry could find themselves in danger. So Henry tries to find out what Lizzie and her mother Elizabeth have been up to. (Perkin Warbeck eventually died 23 November 1499)

The Dark Tower

The science fiction western film The Dark Tower is out on DVD. It is based on the series of books by Stephen King that incorporates themes from multiple genres, including dark fantasy, science fantasy, horror, and Western. The series was chiefly inspired by the poem “Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came” by Robert Browning. King also identifies The Lord of the Rings, Arthurian Legend, and The Good, the Bad and the Ugly as inspirations. He identifies Clint Eastwood’s “Man with No Name” character as one of the major inspirations for the protagonist, Roland Deschain. King’s style of location names in the series, such as Mid-World, and his development of a unique language abstract to our own (High Speech), are also influenced by J. R. R. Tolkien’s work. The Dark Tower combines elements from several novels in the eight-volume series, taking place in both modern-day New York City and in Mid-World, Roland’s Old West-style parallel universe.

The film is A continuation of Stephen King’s seven novel series of the same name,and serves as a sequel to the events of The Dark Tower VII: The Dark Tower. The film was directed and co-written by Nikolaj Arce and stars Idris Elba as Roland Deschain, a gunslinger who is the last living member of a knightly order known as gunslingers and the last of the line of “Arthur Eld”. Roland’s world Is Politically organized along the lines of a feudal society and shares technological and social characteristics with the American Old West but is also magical. Many of the magical aspects have vanished from Mid-World, but traces remain as do relics from a technologically advanced society. Roland is called upon to embark on a quest to protect the Dark Tower – a mythical structure which supports all realities and is both physical and metaphorical, from his evil nemesis, Walter o’Dim, the “Man in Black” (Matthew McConaughey) who is plotting cataclysmic events which could have a disatrous effect the universe, time and space

It also features Jake Chambers an 11-year-old adventure seeker who discovers clues about another dimension called Mid-World and finds himself spirited away to Mid-World where he encounters the Gunslinger, Roland Deschain, on his quest to reach the “Dark Tower” which is located in End-World and acts as the the nexus point between time and space. Along his journey to the Dark Tower, Roland meets a great number of people Including the Ka-tet of the Nineteen and Ninety-nine, consisting of Jake Chambers, Eddie Dean, Susannah Dean, and Oy. However The Gunslinger and Jake Chambers face a number of obstacles on their journey including various monsters, Walter o’Dim the Man in Black, Mordred and The Crimson King, and they discver that trying to reach the Dark Tower Is rather a challenge. The series, and its use of the Dark Tower, expands upon Stephen King’s multiverse and links together many of his other novels. King has described the series as his magnum opus. Many of King’s other books relate to the story, introducing concepts and characters who appear as the series progresses. The Film is Intended to launch a film and television franchise.

International Civil Aviation Day

International Civil Aviation Day is celebrated annually on 7 December. The day has been celebrated by the International Civil Aviation Organization since 7 December 1994, the 50th anniversary of the signing the Convention on International Civil Aviation. The purpose of the day is to recognize the importance of aviation, especially international air travel, to the social and economic development of the world.

Civil aviation is one of two major categories of flying, representing all non-military aviation, both private and commercial. Most of the countries in the world are members of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and work together to establish common standards and recommended practices for civil aviation through that agency Civil aviation includes two major categories:

Scheduled air transport, including all passenger and cargo flights operating on regularly scheduled routes; and General aviation (GA), including all other civil flights, private or commercial Although scheduled air transport is the larger operation in terms of passenger numbers, GA is larger in the number of flights (and flight hours, in the U.S. In the U.S., GA carries 166 million passengers each year, more than any individual airline, though less than all the airlines combined. Since 2004, the US Airlines combined have carried over 600 million passengers each year, and in 2014, they carried a combined 662,819,232 passengers.

Some countries also make a regulatory distinction based on whether aircraft are flown for hire such as Commercial aviation and flying done for hire, particularly scheduled service on airlines; and Private aviation includes pilots flying for their own purposes (recreation, business meetings, etc.) without receiving any kind of remuneration. All scheduled air transport is commercial, but general aviation can be either commercial or private. Normally, the pilot, aircraft, and operator must all be authorized to perform commercial operations through separate commercial licensing, registration, and operation certificates.

Following World War Ⅱ, commercial aviation grew rapidly, using mostly ex-military aircraft to transport people and cargo. This growth was accelerated by the glut of heavy and super-heavy bomber airframes like the B-29 and Lancaster that could be converted into commercial aircraft. The DC-3 were also made for easier and longer commercial flights. The first commercial jet airliner to fly was the British de Havilland Comet. By 1952, the British state airline BOAC had introduced the Comet into scheduled service. While a technical achievement, the plane suffered a series of highly public failures, as the shape of the windows led to cracks due to metal fatigue. The fatigue was caused by cycles of pressurization and depressurization of the cabin, and eventually led to catastrophic failure of the plane’s fuselage. By the time the problems were overcome, other jet airliner designs had already taken to the skies.

Pearl Harbour

The Japanese assault on Pearl Harbour, took place 7 December, in 1941. It catapulted America into the Second World War and resulted in, 2,390 Americans losing their lives in the attack. Twelve ships being sank or beached, and nine being damaged. The US lost 164 aircraft. On the Japanese side, 64 people died, five ships sank, and 29 planes were destroyed.

The attack on Pearl Harbor (called Hawaii Operation or Operation AI by the Japanese Imperial General Headquarters (Operation Z in planning and the Battle of Pearl Harbor) was a surprise military strike conducted by the Imperial Japanese Navy against the United States naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, on the morning of December 7, 1941 (December 8 in Japan). The attack was intended as a preventive action in order to keep the U.S. Pacific Fleet from interfering with military actions the Empire of Japan was planning in Southeast Asia against overseas territories of the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, and the United States. The base was attacked by 353 Japanese fighters, bombers and torpedo planes in two waves, launched from six aircraft carriers. All eight U.S. Navy battleships were damaged, with four being sunk.All but two of the eight were raised, repaired and returned to service later in the war. The Japanese also sank or damaged three cruisers, three destroyers, an anti-aircraft training ship, and one minelayer. One hundred eighty-eight U.S. aircraft were destroyed; 2,402 Americans were killed and 1,282 wounded.

The attack led to the United States’ entry into World War II and. There were simultaneous Japanese attacks on the U.S.-held Philippines and on theBritish Empire in Malaya, Singapore, and Hong Kong.From the standpoint of the defenders, the attack commenced at 7:48 a.m. Hawaiian Time. The base was attacked by 353 Japanese fighters, bombers and torpedo planes in two waves, launched from six aircraft carriers. All eight U.S. Navy battleships were damaged, with four being sunk. All but one were later raised, and six of the eight battleships returned to service and fought in the war. The Japanese also sank or damaged three cruisers, three destroyers, an anti-aircraft training ship, and one minelayer. 188 U.S. aircraft were destroyed; 2,402 Americans were killed and 1,282 wounded. Important base installations such as the power station, shipyard, maintenance, and fuel and torpedo storage facilities, as well as the submarine piers and headquarters building (also home of the intelligence section) were not attacked. Japanese losses were light: 29 aircraft and five midget submarines lost, and 65 servicemen killed or wounded. One Japanese sailor was captured

The attack came as a profound shock to the American people and led directly to the American entry into World War II in both the Pacific and European theaters. The following day (December 8th ) the United States declared war on Japan. Domestic support for isolationism, which had been strong, disappeared. Clandestine support of Britain (for example the Neutrality Patrol) was replaced by active alliance. Subsequent operations by the U.S. prompted Germany and Italy to declare war on the U.S. on December 11, which was reciprocated by the U.S. the same day. This led President Franklin D. Roosevelt to proclaim December 7, 1941, “a date which will live in infamy”.

Tom Waits

American singer-songwriter, composer, and actor Tom Waits was born on this day, December 7 in 1949. His distinctive voice, is described as sounding “like it was soaked in a vat of bourbon, left hanging in the smokehouse for a few months, and then taken outside and run over with a car, has helped him built up a distinctive musical persona, and over the years his trademark growl has been combined with a variety of pre-rock music styles such as blues, jazz, and vaudeville, and experimental tendencies verging on industrial music.Waits has also worked as a composer for movies and musical plays and as a supporting actor in films, including Down by Law and Bram Stoker’s Dracula. He was nominated for an Academy Award for his soundtrack work on One from the Heart.

Lyrically, Waits’ songs frequently present atmospheric portrayals of grotesque, often seedy characters and places—although he has also shown a penchant for more conventional ballads. He has a cult following and has influenced subsequent songwriters despite having little radio or music video support. His songs are best-known through cover versions by more commercial artists: “Jersey Girl”, performed by Bruce Springsteen, “Ol’ ’55″, performed by the Eagles, and “Downtown Train”, performed by Rod Stewart.

Although Waits’ albums have met with mixed commercial success in his native United States, they have occasionally achieved gold album sales status in other countries. He has been nominated for a number of major music awards and has won Grammy Awards for two albums, Bone Machine and Mule Variations. In 2011, Waits was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.