Posted in books, Fantasy, films & DVD, Science fiction

Avengers:Infinity War

I would like to see Avengers: Infinity War. It is the sequel to 2012’s The Avengers and 2015’s Avengers: Age of Ultron, and the nineteenth film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). It features Robert Downey Jr. Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Benedict Cumberbatch, Don Cheadle, Tom Holland, Chadwick Boseman, Paul Bettany, Elizabeth Olsen, Anthony Mackie, Sebastian Stan, Danai Gurira, Letitia Wright, Dave Bautista, Zoe Saldana, with Josh Brolin, and Chris Pratt.

Avengers: Infinity War, takes place shortly after The destruction of Asgard. It concerns the villainous Thanos and his children—Cull Obsidian, Ebony Maw, Proxima Midnight and Corvus Glaive who have acquired the Power Stone from the planet Xandar, and are now seeking the the Space Stone from the Tesseract. Thor, Loki and Hulk are unable to stop them so Hulk escapes to the Sanctum Sanctorum in New York City, and warns Stephen Strange and Wong about Thanos’ evil plan to destroy half the universe. In response, Strange recruits Tony Stark. Then Maw and Obsidian arrive to retrieve the Time Stone from Strange. After a battle Maw captures Strange. Tony Stark and Peter Parker pursue Maw’s spaceship, while Banner contacts the other Avengers. In Scotland, Midnight and Glaive ambush Wanda Maximoff and Vision. However Steve Rogers, Natasha Romanoff and Sam Wilson rescue them, and they take shelter with James Rhodes at the Avengers headquarters. Vision, Maximoff and Rogers then attempt to stop Thanos from retrieving the Mindstone

Elsewhere The Guardians of the Galaxy rescue Thor who realizes that Thanos is also seeking the Reality Stone, which is in the possession of the Collector at Knowhere. So The Avengers work with the Guardians of the Galaxy to stop Thanos from amassing the all-powerful Infinity Stones. Rocket and Groot accompany Thor to Nidavellir seeking a way to kill Thanos . Peter Quill, Gamora, Drax and Mantis find Thanos at Knowhere Where he kidnaps Gamora, his adoptive daughter, who is coerced into revealing the location of the Soul Stone where Red Skull informs Thanos how to obtain it.

Nebula escapes and requests the remaining Guardians meet her on Titan, Thanos’ homeworld. Stark and Parker attempt to rescue Strange. Venturing to Titan, they meet Quill, Drax, and Mantis and forms a plan to confront Thanos and remove the Infinity Gauntlet. However this does not go well and Strange is coerced into exchanging the Time Stone to save Tony Stark and Thanos Escapes.

Upon arriving in Wakanda, Rogers reunites with Bucky Barnes. The Avengers task Shuri with extracting the Mind Stone. Thanos’ army invades and the Avengers mount a defense alongside King T’Challa and the Wakandan forces. Banner, Thor, Rocket, and Groot rally the defenses. Midnight, Obsidian and Glaive are killed, their army destroyed. Maximoff destroys the Mind Stone, however Thanos uses the Time Stone undoing her actions and retrieves the stone from Vision, and It is up to the rest of the team to stop Thanos activating the Infinity Gauntlet in an exciting showdown….

Posted in books, Television

Ian Rankin OBE DL

PProlific Scottish crime thriller writer Ian Rankin, OBE, DL was born 28th April 1960. His best known books are the Inspector Rebus novels, although He has also written several pieces of literary criticism. Rankin did not set out to be a crime writer. He thought his first novels Knots and Crosses and Hide and Seek were mainstream books, more in keeping with the Scottish traditions of Robert Louis Stevenson and even Muriel Spark . He was disconcerted by their classification as genre fiction. Scottish novelist Allan Massie, who tutored Rankin while Massie was writer-in-residence at the University of Edinburgh, reassured him by saying, who would want to be a dry academic writer when “they could be John Buchan?”

Among his best known novels are The Flood, Knots and Crosses, Watchman, Westwind, Hide and Seek, Tooth and Nail, Strip Jack, Witch Hunt, Bleeding Hearts, Mortal Causes, Blood Hunt, Let it Bleed, Black and Blue, The Hanging Garden, Dead Souls, Set in Darkness, The Falls, Resurrection Man, Beggars Banquet, A Question of Blood, Flesh Market Close, Exit Music, A Cool Head and Doors Open.

Rankin’s Inspector Rebus novels are set mainly in Edinburgh and are considered major contributions to the Tartan Noir genre. Ten of the novels have also been adapted for a television series on ITV, starring John Hannah as Rebus in Series 1 & 2, with Ken Stott taking on the role for Series 3-5. In 2009, Rankin also recently donated the short story “Fieldwork” to Oxfam’s Ox-Tales project, four collections of UK stories written by 38 authors and Rankin’s story was published in the Earth collection. Rankin’s latest novel include Standing in Another Man’s Grave( 18th Inspector Rebus & 3rd Malcolm Fox novel), Saints of the Shadow Bible (19th Inspector Rebus & 4th Malcolm Fox novel), Dark Road Stage play, The Beat Goes On: The Complete Rebus Stories Short stories And Even Dogs in the Wild (the 20th Inspector Rebus & 5th Malcolm Fox novel).

Posted in Events

Workers Memorial Day

Workers’ Memorial Day, International Workers’ Memorial Day or International Commemoration Day (ICD) for Dead and Injured or Day of Mourning takes place annually around the world on April 28, an international day of remembrance and action for workers killed, disabled, injured or made unwell by their work. Workers’ Memorial Day is an opportunity to highlight the preventable nature of most workplace incidents and ill health and to promote campaigns and union organisation in the fight for improvements in workplace safety. The slogan for the day is Remember the dead – Fight for the living. Although April 28 is used as the focal point for remembrance and a day of international solidarity, campaigning and other related activities continue throughout the year right around the world.

In 1970, the AFL-CIO declared April 28 “Workers’ Memorial Day” to honour the hundreds of thousands of working people killed and injured at work every year. Following the passage of the Occupational Safety and Health Act by the U.S. Congress in 1970, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration was formed in 1971. In 1984, the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) did the same in Canada. The Canadian Labour Congress declared an annual day of remembrance in 1985 on April 28, which is the anniversary of a comprehensive Workers’ Compensation Act (refer to the entry Workplace Safety & Insurance Board), passed in 1914. In 1991, the Canadian parliament passed an Act respecting a National Day of Mourning for persons killed or injured in the workplace, making April 28 an official Workers’ Mourning Day.

Many Workers’ Memorial Day events have been organised in North America, and worldwide. Since 1989, trade unions in North America, Asia, Europe and Africa organised events on April 28. The late Hazards Campaigner Tommy Harte brought Workers’ Memorial Day to the UK in 1992 as a day to ‘Remember the Dead: Fight for the Living’. In the UK the campaign for Workers’ Memorial Day has been championed by the Hazards Campaign and taken up by trade unions, adopted by Scotland’s TUC in 1993, followed by the TUC in 1999 and the Health and Safety Commission and Health and Safety Executive in 2000.

April 28 is recognised by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) as International Workers’ Memorial Day. In 1996 the ICFTU commemorated Workers’ Memorial Day and began to set annual ‘themes’. For 2006 the ICFTU theme was Union workplaces: safer workplaces, focusing on a global ban on asbestos and increased awareness of HIV/AIDS. During 2001 the ILO, part of the United Nations, recognised Workers’ Memorial Day and declared it World Day for Safety and Health at Work and in 2002 the ILO announced that April 28 should be an official day in the United Nations system.

Workers’ Memorial Day is recognised as a national day in many countries including: Australia, Argentina, Belgium, Bermuda, Brazil, Canada, Dominican Republic, Gibraltar, Ireland, Luxembourg, Panama, Peru, Portugal, Spain, Thailand, Taiwan, United States and the United Kingdom. Trade unions in other countries including Benin, Czech Republic, Finland, Hungary, Malta, Nepal, New Zealand, Romania and Singapore seek government recognition for Workers Memorial Day.

Workers’ Memorial Day is now an international day of remembrance of workers killed in incidents at work, or by diseases caused by work, and annually on April 28, Workers’ Memorial Day events are held throughout the world. Some examples include active campaigning, and workplace awareness events. Public events include speeches, multi-faith religious services, laying wreaths, planting trees, unveiling monuments, balloon releases, raising public awareness of issues and laying out empty shoes to symbolise those who have died at work. World Day for Safety and Health at Work also takes place every 28 April to raise awareness of the consequences of work-related accidents and diseases; and to stress the importance of occupational safety and health (OSH) at work and provide support for the improvement of international working conditions and labour standards.

Posted in books, Fantasy, films & DVD, Humour, Television

Sir Terry Pratchett OBE

English novelist Sir Terry Pratchett OBE, was born 28th April in 1948. He is best known for his frequently comical work in the fantasy genre In particular the popular and long-running Discworld series of comic fantasy novels. Pratchett’s first novel, The Carpet People, was published in 1971, and his first Discworld novel The Colour of Magic was published in 1983. Since then he has been very prolfc, writing on average, two books a year . After finishing the fourth Discworld novel, Mort, he decided to focus fully on hs novels and make his living through writing and published his fifth book Equal Rites soon after. Since then He has written many other discworld Novels including , wyrd sisters, pyramids, Guards Guards, Eric, Moving Pictures, Reaper Man, Witches Abroad, Lords and ladies, Men at arms, Maskerade, Feet of Clay, Hogfather, Jingo, Small Gods, The Last Continent, Interesting Times, the Fifth Elephant, The Truth, Thief of Time, Maurice & his Educated Rodents, Carpe Jugulum, Monstrous Regiment, the Last Hero, Night Watch, Wee Free Men, Hatful of Sky, Going Postal, Dodger, Making Money, Wintersmith, Thud!, Night Watch, Unseen Academicals, Raising Steam, The Shepherds Crown and I shall Wear Midnight. The Discoworld novel Snuff became the then third-fastest-selling novel since records began in the United Kingdom selling 55,000 copies in the first three days (and I bought one of them). The novels all had distinctive cover art by Josh Kirby and Since Kirby sadly passed away in October 2001, the covers have been designed by Paul Kidby. Pratchett has also written The Long Earth, The Long Mars and The Long Cosmos with Stephen Baxter and Good Omens with Neil Gaiman

 

 

Many of Pratchett’s books have also been adapted for Radio and Television, the BBC’s Woman’s Hour broadcast The Colour of Magic as a serial in six parts and Truckers was adapted as a stop motion animation series for Thames Television by Cosgrove Hall Films in 1992. Johnny and the Dead was also made into a TV serial for Children’s ITV on ITV, and in 1995. Wyrd Sisters and Soul Music were adapted as animated cartoon series by Cosgrove Hall for Channel 4 in 1996. In January 2006, BBC One also aired a three-part adaptation of Johnny and the Bomb. A two-part, feature-length version of Hogfather starring Michelle Dockery, David Jason and featuring the voices of Christopher Lee and Ian Richardson, was first aired on Sky One in the United Kingdom in December 2006, and on ION Television in the U.S. in 2007. A two-part, feature-length adaptation of The Colour of Magic and its sequel The Light Fantastic aired during Easter 2008 on Sky One. A third adaptation, Going Postal was aired at the end of May 2010. The Sky adaptations are notable also for the author’s presence in cameo roles.

He remains a hugely popular author to this day and many of his books have occupied top places on the best-seller list. According to the Bookseller’s Pocket Yearbook from 2005, in 2003 Pratchett’s UK sales put him in 2nd place behind J. K. Rowling and in the paperback sales list Pratchett came 5th, behind James Patterson, Alexander McCall Smith, John Grisham and J. R. R. Tolkien). His sales in the UK alone are more than 2.5 million copies a year. In 1998 Pratchett was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) “for services to literature” . In addition, he was knighted in the 2009 New Year Honours. In 2001 he won the Carnegie Medal for his children’s novel The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents. In December 2007, Pratchett publicly announced that he was suffering from posterior cortical atrophy, a variation of Alzheimer’s disease and, subsequently, made a substantial public donation to the Alzheimer’s Research Trust, and filmed a programme chronicling his experiences with the disease for the BBC. Sadly though Sir Terry Pratchett OBE, passed away on Thursday, 12 March 2015 at the age of 66 after a lengthy battle with the disease at his home surrounded by his family and with his cat sleeping on his bed. His latest novel “The Shepherd’s Crown” was published posthumously in 2015.

Posted in books, films & DVD

Harper Lee

American novellist Harper Lee was born in Monroeville 28 April 1926. She was the youngest of the four children born to lawyer Amasa Coleman Lee and Frances Finch Lee. She grew under the stresses of segregation and as a child shared summers with another aspiring writer, Truman Capote, who annually came to stay in the house next door to hers. She studied at the University of Alabama from 1945 to 1949 before moving to New York, where she began writing fiction in her spare time. Lee eventually signed with an agent in 1956. Capote later invited her to accompany him to Holcomb, Kansas, to help him research his groundbreaking 1966 crime book In Cold Blood.

Capote also inspired the figure of the young boy Dill in Harper Lee’s classic 1961 novel To Kill a Mockingbird, with his friend the first-person narrator Scout clearly modelled on the childhood Lee herself. Her father acted as the template for small town lawyer Atticus Finch who displays resolute courtroom dignity as he struggles to represent and save the life of a black resident named Robinson who is accused of raping a white woman by a racist mob. This provides the novel’s ethical backbone. To Kill a Mockingbird went on to become a national institution and the defining text on the racial troubles of the American Deep South, where Lee’s home state of Alabama, was the epicenter of many violent upheavals over civil rights. The publication of Mockingbird, had a profound effect on white residents of the state and the power of the novel was able to shift the ingrained assumptions of white Alabamans and took the politics of the civil rights era and made them human. She showed people that this was about their neighbors, their friends, someone they knew, not just about the issues.

In 2015 a second novel Go Set a Watchman was published. It was originally written in the mid-1950s and is set some twenty years after the events in To Kill a Mockingbird, and is written from the point of view of an adult Scout (Jean Louise) Finch who travels from New York to Maycomb, Alabama, to visit her father, Atticus Finch, And the title alludes to Scout’s view of her father, Atticus Finch, as the moral compass (“watchman”) of Maycomb. The novel sees Scout “forced to grapple with issues both personal and political as she tries to understand her father’s attitude toward society and her own feelings about the place where she was born and spent her childhood. Go Set a Watchman has since become a global success winning many awards.

Sadly Lee’s health declined and she lived for several years in a nursing home less than a mile from the house in which she had grown up in Monroeville, Alabama – the setting for the fictional Maycomb of her famous bestselling 1961book To Kill a Mockingbird, which became a best seller and sold more than 40 million copies around the world and earned her a Pulitzer prize. Lee was also awarded the presidential medal of freedom in 2007 by George Bush. She sadly died February 19 2016 at the age of 89 and will be sadly missed.

Posted in cars, sport

Ferrucchio Lamborghini

Italian industrialist and Manufacturing magnate Ferruccio Elio Arturo Lamborghini was born on 28 April 1916, to grape farmers from the comune of Renazzo di Cento in the Emilia-Romagna region of Northern Italy. His mechanical know-how led him to enter the business of tractor manufacturing in 1948, when he founded Lamborghini Trattori, which quickly became an important manufacturer of agricultural equipment in the midst of Italy’s post-war economic reform. In 1963 Ferruccio Lamborghini founded Automobili Ferruccio Lamborghini S.p.A. in 1963 in Sant’Agata Bolognese, Italy, with the objective of producing a refined grand touring car to compete with offerings from established marques such as Ferrari. The company’s first models were released in the mid-1960s and were noted for their refinement, power and comfort. Lamborghini gained wide acclaim in 1966 for the Miura sports coupé, which established rear mid-engine, rear wheel drive as the standard layout for high-performance cars of the era. Lamborghini grew rapidly during its first decade, but hard times befell the company when sales plunged in the wake of the 1973 worldwide financial downturn and the 1973 oil crisis. Lamborghini was subsequently sold to the Mimrams And The firm’s ownership changed three times after 1973 in the wake of the Oil Crisis and a Worldwide Finacial Downturn including a bankruptcy in 1978. the Mimrams finally sold Lamborghini to the Chrysler Corporation who took control in 1987. They replaced the Countach with the Diablo and discontinued the Jalpa and the LM002.

However Chrysler found themselves unable to operate Lamborghini profitably, so they sold Lamborghini to Malaysian investment group Mycom Setdco and Indonesian group V’Power Corporation in 1994. Sadly Lamborghini’s financial difficulties continued throughout the 1990s, until Mycom Setdco and V’Power sold Lamborghini to the AUDI AG subsidiary of Volkswagen Group on 27 July 1998. Audi’s ownership marked the beginning of a period of stability and increased productivity for Lamborghini. Sales increased nearly tenfold over the course of the 2000s, peaking with record sales in 2007 and 2008. Unfortunately The world financial crisis in the late 2000s negatively affected all luxury car makers worldwide, and caused Lamborghini’s sales to drop nearly 50 percent. Lamborghini’s Sant’Agata Bolognese production facility produces V12 engines and finished automobiles. Lamborghini’s current production vehicles are the V10-powered Gallardo and the V12-powered Aventador. Both production models are available in a variety of regular and limited-edition specifications as well as Roadster versions. Lamborghini also produce the Reventon and the Huracan, which is the replacement for the Gallardo plus a variety of Concept models.

In 1969 Lamborghini also founded a fourth company, Lamborghini Oleodinamica, but sold off many of his interests by the late 1970s and retired to an estate in Umbria, where he pursued winemaking. Lamborghini Sadly passed away on February 20, 1993 At 76 years, at Silvestrini Hospital in Perugia after suffering a heart attack fifteen days earlier. Lamborghini is buried at the Monumental Cemetery of the Certosa di Bologna monastery. Today all of Ferruccio Lamborghini’s companies continue to operate today in one form or another. His son, Tonino, designs a collection of clothing and accessories under the Tonino Lamborghini brand. Ferruccio’s daughter, Patrizia Lamborghini, runs the Lamborghini winery on his Umbria estate. A museum that honors Lamborghini’s legacy, the Centro Studi e Ricerche Ferruccio Lamborghini, also opened in 2001.

Posted in films & DVD, Science fiction, Television

Jenna Louise Coleman

English Actress Jenna-Louise Coleman was born 27 April 1986 in Blackpool, Lancashire, the daughter of Karen and Keith Coleman. She has an older brother named Ben. She attended Arnold School, where she was head girl. She has stated that she regrets not having a conventional university experience. While at school, Coleman wbegan her acting career at an early age as a member of a theatre company called In Yer Space, with whom she performed in the play Crystal Clear at the Edinburgh Festival. While auditioning for drama schools in 2005, she was chosen to play Jasmine Thomas in Emmerdale. She received critical acclaim for her performance and was nominated for the Most Popular Newcomer award at the 2006 National Television Awards and the play was also received favourably. In an interview with the Radio Times in 2015 she revealed that her grandmother had named her Jenna after the character of Jenna Wade played by Priscilla Beaulieu Presley in the 80’s hit American drama series Dallas.

Coleman went on to play “hard girl” Lindsay James in the BBC school-based drama series Waterloo Road, Susan Brown in a BBC Four television adaptation of the John Braine novel Room at the Top, Annie Desmond in Julian Fellowes’ four part mini-series Titanic, and Rosie in Stephen Poliakoff’s original drama series Dancing on the Edge. From 2012 to 2015, Coleman portrayed Clara Oswald, companion to the eleventh and twelfth incarnations of the Doctor in the science fiction series Doctor Who. Making her first appearance in the first episode of the seventh series as Oswin Oswald, a guest character who dies at the conclusion of the episode. Coleman subsequently debuted as a series regular in the Christmas special episode “The Snowmen” as Victorian governess and barmaid Clara Oswin Oswald; like Oswin Oswald, she died. At the end of that episode, Coleman is seen playing a third version of the character, a resident of contemporary London named simply Clara Oswald. Beginning in “The Bells of Saint John” she became the Doctor’s regular companion, and accompanied the Twelfth Doctor, played by Peter Capaldi, in the 2013 Christmas special episode “The Time of the Doctor.” Until the Ninth series.

She also appeared as Lydia Wickham in the BBC drama Death Comes to Pemberley. Coleman portrayed Susan Brown in a BBC Four television adaptation of the John Braine novel Room at the Top in 2012. In 2011, she made her feature film debut in Captain America: The First Avenger. She also landed the part of Annie Desmond in Julian Fellowes’ four part mini-series Titanic, describing her character as a “cheeky little Cockney” and “the Eliza Doolittle of the ship”. Coleman provided the voice for the character Melia in the English dub of the 2011 video game Xenoblade Chronicles. In 2012, Coleman was cast as Rosie in Stephen Poliakoff’s original drama series Dancing on the Edge, which follows the fortunes of a black jazz band in the 1930s. She also starred as Lydia Wickham in the adaptation of Death Comes to Pemberley in 2013. Jenna Coleman’s Other notable roles include Queen Victoria in the 2016 eight part ITV drama series Victoria. Which follows the reign of the British monarch and Empress of India, Queen Victoria. ITV has renewed Victoria for a second series.

 

Posted in films & DVD, Science fiction, Television

Russell T. Davies OBE

Welsh screenwriter and television producer Russell T Davies, OBE was born 27 April 1963 in Swansea, Wales. Davies aspired to work as a comic artist in his adult life, until a careers advisor at Olchfa School suggested that he study English literature; he consequently focused on a career of play- and screen-writing. After he graduated from Oxford University, Davies joined the BBC’s children’s department in 1985 on a part-time basis and worked in varying positions, including writing and producing two series, Dark Season and Century Falls. He left the BBC in the early 1990s to work for Granada Television and later became a freelance writer.

Davies moved into writing adult television dramas in 1994. His early scripts generally explored concepts of religion and sexuality among various backdrops: Revelations was a soap opera about organised religion and featured a lesbian vicar; Springhill was a soap drama about a Catholic family in contemporary Liverpool; The Grand explored society’s opinion of subjects such as prostitution, abortion and homosexuality during the interwar period; and Queer as Folk, his first prolific series, recreated his experiences in the Manchester gay scene. His later series include Bob & Rose, which portrayed a gay man who fell in love with a woman; The Second Coming, which focused on the second coming and deicide of Jesus Christ from a mostly non-religious point of view; Mine All Mine, a comedy about a family who discover they own the entire city of Swansea; and Casanova, an adaptation of the Venetian lover’s complete memoirs starring David Tennant.

He revived and ran Doctor Who after a sixteen-year hiatus, with Christopher Eccleston, and later David Tennant, in the title role. Davies’ tenure as executive producer of the show oversaw a surge in popularity that led to the production of two spin-off series, Torchwood and The Sarah Jane Adventures, and the revival of the Saturday prime-time dramas as a profitable venture for production companies. Davies was appointed an OBE in 2008 for services to drama, which coincided with his announcement that he would step down from Doctor Who as the show’s executive producer with his final script, The End of Time (2009–10). Davies moved to Los Angeles, California in 2009, where he oversaw production of Torchwood: Miracle Day and the fifth and final series of The Sarah Jane Adventures. His other writing credits include Queer as Folk, Bob & Rose, The Second Coming,

After his partner developed cancer in late 2011, Davies returned to the UK, and co-created a new drama for CBBC, Wizards vs Aliens. His current projects are Cucumber, a Channel 4 series about middle-aged gay men in the Manchester gay scene; Banana, an E4 series about young LGBT people in the Cucumber universe; and Tofu, an online documentary series available on 4oD discussing issues which have arisen in the sister series, modern sex and sexuality with the cast and public.

Posted in books

Ralph Waldo Emerson

American essayist, lecturer, and poet Ralph Waldo Emerson sadly died 27 April 1882. He was born May 25, 1802 and his formal schooling began at the Boston Latin School in 1812 when he was nine. In October 1817, Emerson went to Harvard College and was appointed freshman messenger for the president.Midway through his junior year, Emerson began keeping a list of books he had read and started a journal in a series of notebooks that would be called “Wide World”. He took outside jobs to cover his school expenses. By his senior year, Emerson decided to go by his middle name, Waldo. Emerson served as Class Poet And graduated on August 29, 1821, when he was 18. In 1826, Emerson went to seek out warmer climates, travelling to Charleston, South Carolina and St. Augustine, Florida, where he met Prince Achille Murat. Murat, the nephew of Napoleon Bonaparte, and they became extremely good friends and engaged in enlightening discussions on religion, society, philosophy, and government, and Emerson considered Murat an important figure in his intellectual education.

Emerson met his first wife, Ellen Louisa Tucker, in Concord, New Hampshire on Christmas Day, 1827, sadly Ellen died at the age of 20 on February 8, 1831, After his wife’s death, he began to disagree with the church’s methods, His disagreements with church officials over the administration of the Communion service and misgivings about public prayer eventually led to his resignation in 1832. Emerson toured Europe in 1833 and later wrote of his travels in English Traits (1856). Leaving on Christmas Day, 1832, sailing first to Malta, spending time in Italy, visiting Rome, Florence and Venice, before sailing north to England, Emerson met William Wordsworth, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, and Thomas Carlyle. He returned to the United States on October 9, 1833, and lived with his mother in Newton, Massachusetts, until October, 1834, when he moved to Concord, Massachusetts, to live with his step-grandfather Dr. Ezra Ripley. Seeing the budding Lyceum movement, Emerson saw a possible career as a lecturer. On November 5, 1833, he made the first of what would eventually be some 1,500 lectures, discussing The Uses of Natural History in Boston. This was an expanded account of his experience in Paris.

Emerson formulated the philosophy of Transcendentalism in his 1836 essay Nature. His first two collections of essays – Essays: First Series and Essays: Second Series include Self-Reliance, The Over-Soul, Circles, The Poet andExperience. In May 1843 Emerson purchased a 90-acre (360,000 m2) farm in Harvard, Massachusetts, for what would become Fruitlands, a community based on Utopian ideals inspired in part by Transcendentalism. The farm would run based on a communal effort, using no animals for labor; its participants would eat no meat and use no wool or leather. In 1844, Emerson published his second collection of essays, entitled “Essays: Second Series.” This collection included “The Poet,” “Experience,” “Gifts,” and another essay entitled “Nature,” Emerson made a living as a popular lecturer And by the 1850s he was giving as many as 80 per year.Emerson was also introduced to Indian philosophy when reading the works of French philosopher Victor Cousin. He also read the Bhagavad Gita and Henry Thomas Colebrooke’s Essays on the Vedas, which influenced much of his writing. From 1847 to 1848, he toured England, Scotland, and Ireland.He also visited Paris between the February Revolution and the bloodyJune Days. On May 21 he stood on the Champ de Mars in the midst of mass celebrations for concord, peace and labor and this trip influenced Emerson’s later work. His 1856 book English Traits is based largely on observations recorded in his travel journals and notebooks. Emerson later came to see the American Civil War as a ‘revolution’ that shared common ground with the European revolutions of 1848. In February 1852 Emerson, James Freeman Clarke and William Henry Channing edited an edition of the works and letters of Margaret Fuller, and In 1855 he published an innovative poetry collection called Leaves of Grass.

Emerson—earned the nicknamed the Concord Sage— and became the leading voice of intellectual culture in the United States because of his ability to influence and inspire others, his work not only influenced his contemporaries, such as Walt Whitman and Henry David Thoreau, but would continue to influence thinkers and writers worldwide to the present. Notable thinkers who recognize Emerson’s influence include Nietzsche and William James. Walt Whitman, and Henry David Thoreau. Several of Emerson’s poems were included in Bloom’s The Best Poems of the English Language and Self-Reliance, Circles, Experience, and Conduct of Life” are considered his best essays. Emerson was staunchly anti-slavery and from 1837 give a number of lectures during the pre-Civil War years and in 1844. He gave a number of speeches and lectures, and welcomed John Brown to his home during Brown’s visits to Concord. Emerson believed in immediate emancipation of the slaves. In 1860, Emerson published The Conduct of Life, his seventh collection of essays. In this book, Emerson “grappled with some of the thorniest issues of the moment,” and “his experience in the abolition ranks is a telling influence in his conclusions.

Emerson also embraced the idea of war as a means of national rebirth and in 1862 he visited Washington, D.C, and gave a public lecture at the Smithsonian and also met Lincoln at the White House. Lincoln was familiar with Emerson’s work, having previously seen him lecture.Emerson’s misgivings about Lincoln began to soften after this meeting. In 1865, he spoke at a memorial service held for Lincoln in Concord. Emerson also met a number of high-ranking government officials, including Salmon P. Chase, the secretary of the treasury, Edward Bates, the attorney general, Edwin M. Stanton, the secretary of war, Gideon Welles, the secretary of the navy, and William Seward, the secretary of state. On May 6, 1862, Emerson’s protégé Henry David Thoreau died of tuberculosis at the age of 44 and Emerson delivered his eulogy. Another friend, Nathaniel Hawthorne, died in 1864. Emerson served as one of the pallbearers as Hawthorne was buried in Concord. That same year Emerson was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

From 1867, Emerson’s health began declining; he wrote much less in his journals and also started having memory problems then in 1872 Emerson’s Concord home caught fire And theEmersons ended up staying with family at the Old Manse, The fire marked an end to Emerson’s serious lecturing career; from then on, he would lecture only on special occasions and only in front of familiar audiences. While the house was being rebuilt, Emerson took a trip to England, continental Europe, and Egypt with his daughter Ellen, and returned in 1873 on the ship Olympus along with friend Charles Eliot Norton. In late 1874 Emerson published an anthology of poetry called Parnassus. Sadly Emerson ceased his public appearances by 1879 and on April 21, 1882, Emerson Is buried in Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, Concord, Massachusetts.

During his life he led the transcendentalist movement in the 19th century and was a champion of individualism and critic of the pressures of society. He published dozens of essays and gave more than 1,500 public lectures across the United States. Emerson wrote on a number of subjects, such as individuality, freedom, the ability for humankind to realize almost anything, and the relationship between the soul and the surrounding world. His essays greatly influenced many thinkers, writers and poets.

Posted in music

Ace Frehley (Kiss)

Best known as the former lead guitarist and founding member of the rock band Kiss, the American guitarist and songwriter Ace Frehley, (Kiss, Wicked Lester, and Frehley’s Comet) was born 27 April 1951. Kiss were Formed in New York City in January 1973. Kiss became known for their white and black face paint, 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.

However because of creative differences, both Criss and Frehley left the group in 1982 and The band’s commercial fortunes waned considerably by that point. After leaving Kiss in 1982, Frehley embarked on a solo career as Frehley’s Comet. However Frehley’s returned when The original line up of Kiss reunited 1996 and The resulting Kiss Alive/Worldwide/Reunion Tour became the top-grossing act of 1996 and 1997. His second tenure with Kiss lasted until 2002, when he left at the conclusion of what was purported to be the band’s Farewell Tour.

His most recent album Space Invader, was released on August 19, 2014. Guitar World magazine ranked him 14th Greatest Metal Guitarist of All Time. Frehley is also credited as the inventor of many whimsical guitars, some of which includes Gibson Les Paul guitars which emit smoke from the middle humbucker pickup, produce 360 degrees spinning pyrotechnics as well as a custom Les Paul that can emit light depending on the tempo of the song being played. He plays with a unique ‘wailing’ sound that is hailed to have influenced many other guitarists to start learning the proper usage of the vibrato on the guitar.