The pupil by Caro Fraser

The Pupil by Caro Fraser is the first in the Caper Court series of novels published in 1992. It is based on Fraser’s time spent in pupillage Which is the training required to become a barrister. The novel was written largely from a male standpoint and deals with the trials and fortunes of penniless Anthony Cross during his six-month pupillage at the prestigious chambers of 5 Caper Court, and the various characters he meets in the eccentric world of the Inns of Court in London.

It is a Tale of rivalry between two pupil barristers Penniless Anthony Cross and wealthy Edward Choke, as they vie to win the coveted role of junior tenant and gain admittance to the elite world of London’s Commercial Bar. Anthony Cross is brilliant, hard-working, and longs to gain a foothold on this legal ladder to success. Meanwhile His rival is, Edward Choke – wealthy, good-natured, but not very bright – however he is the nephew of the head of chambers’ .

However Anthony soon discovers that it is not the dream job is not what he first thought it would be, and that behind the elegant doors of chambers lie hard choices, deceitful politics, and dangerous corruption. And he must also cope with complications that threaten to ruin his career before it has even begun – his ageing hippy father, a fickle girlfriend, and above all a confusing relationship with an extremely successful, attractive, talented and charismatic barrister named Leo Davies …


An Inheritance by Caro Fraser

An inheritance by Caro Fraser is More ambitious than anything else Caro Fraser has ever written. Like her first novel The Pupil it is another story of families, money and legal wrangling. It features orphaned Orlando D’Ewes who is due to inherit his Paternal Grandfather’s estate however his paternal grandfather Sir Leonard D’Ewes has never met him and This is the story of Orlando’s struggle to persuade his paternal grandfather to take an interest him; the illegitimate grandson he has never known.

Over twenty years love, sex and a dubious frienship occur as Orlando charms the D’Ewes family, while Orlando in turn is charmed by the splendid beauties of Stow Stocksey, the sense of belonging, and the weight of the inheritance that should have been for his father however Orlando’s life is turned upside down At the appearance of his cousin Roger, the true heir to the estate, and Although Orlando does finally come in reach of his heart’s desire, one person’s gain is another’s disappointment….

Johnny Cash

Legendary American singer-songwriter, guitarist, actor, and author Johnny Cash tragically died of complications from diabetes on September 12, 2003, aged 71. He was born February 26, 1932 in Kingsland, Arkansas. In March 1935, the family settled in Dyess, Arkansas. He started working in cotton fields at age five, singing along with his family while working. The family farm was flooded on at least two occasions, which later inspired him to write the song “Five Feet High and Rising”. His family’s economic and personal struggles during the Great Depression inspired many of his songs, especially those about other people facing similar difficulties.

Cash’s early memories were dominated by gospel music and radio. Taught guitar by his mother and a childhood friend, Cash began playing and writing songs at the age of twelve. When Cash was young, he had a high tenor voice, before becoming a bass-baritone. In high school, he sang on a local radio station; decades later he released an album of traditional gospel songs, called My Mother’s Hymn Book. He was also significantly influenced by traditional Irish music that he heard performed weekly by Dennis Day on the Jack Benny radio program.

Cash enlisted in the United States Air Force on July 7, 1950. After basic training at Lackland Air Force Base and technical training at Brooks Air Force Base, in San Antonio, Texas, Cash was assigned to the 12th Radio Squadron Mobile of the U.S. Air Force Security Service at Landsberg, Germany as a Morse Code operator intercepting Soviet Army transmissions. It was there he created his first band, named “The Landsberg Barbarians”. He was the first radio operator to pick up the news of the death of Joseph Stalin. He was honorably discharged as a staff sergeant on July 3, 1954, and returned to Texas. During his military service, he acquired a distinctive scar on his face as a result of surgery to remove a cyst.

On July 18, 1951, while in Air Force training, Cash met 17-year-old Vivian Liberto at a roller skating rink in San Antonio. Then Cash was deployed to Germany for a three-year tour. During that time, the couple exchanged hundreds of pages of love letters. On August 7, 1954, one month after his discharge, they were married at St. Ann’s Roman Catholic Church in San Antonio. In 1954, Cash and and his wife Vivian moved to Memphis, Tennessee, where he sold appliances while studying to be a radio announcer. At night he played with guitarist Luther Perkins and bassist Marshall Grant. Perkins and Grant were known as the Tennessee Two. Cash worked up the courage to visit the Sun Records studio, hoping to get a recording contract. After auditioning for Sam Phillips, singing mostly gospel songs, Phillips told him that he didn’t record gospel music any longer. BCash eventually won over the producer with new songs delivered in his early rockabilly style. In 1955, Cash made his first recordings at Sun, “Hey Porter” and “Cry! Cry! Cry!”, which were released in late June and met with success on the country hit parade. As his career was taking off in the late 1950s, Cash started, drinking heavily and he became addicted to amphetamines and barbiturates.

On December 4, 1956, Elvis Presley dropped in on Sam Phillips while Carl Perkins was in the studio cutting new tracks, with Jerry Lee Lewis backing him on piano. Cash was also in the studio and the four started an impromptu jam session. Phillips left the tapes running and the recordings, almost half of which were gospel songs, survived and have since been released under the title Million Dollar Quartet.

Cash’s next record, “Folsom Prison Blues”, made the country Top 5, and “I Walk the Line” became No. 1 on the country charts and entered the pop charts Top 20. “Home of the Blues” followed, recorded in July 1957. That same year Cash became the first Sun artist to release a long-playing album. Although he was Sun’s most consistently selling and prolific artist at that time, Cash felt constrained by his contract with the small label. Presley had already left Sun, and Phillips was focusing most of his attention and promotion on Lewis. In 1958, Cash signed with Columbia Records, where his single “Don’t Take Your Guns to Town” became one of his biggest hits and his second album was a collection of gospel songs. However, Cash left behind a sufficient backlog of recordings with Sun that Phillips continued to release new singles and even albums featuring previously unreleased material until as late as 1964, placing Cash in the unusual position of having new releases out on two labels concurrently, with one 1960 release, a cover of “Oh Lonesome Me”.

Early in his career, he was given the nickname The Undertaker by fellow artists because of his habit of wearing black clothes – though he did so only because they were easier to keep looking clean on long tours. In the early 1960s, Cash toured with the Carter Family, which by this time regularly included Mother Maybelle’s daughters, Anita, June, and Helen. In the 1960s, he appeared on Pete Seeger’s short-lived television series Rainbow Quest. He also acted in and wrote and sang the opening theme for a 1961 film entitled Five Minutes to Live, later re-released as Door-to-door Maniac. In 1965, Cash and June Carter appeared on Pete Seeger’s TV show, Rainbow Quest, on which Cash explained his start as an activist for Native Americans. In 1964, he recorded the album Bitter Tears: Ballads of the American Indian. Featuring stories of a multitude of native peoples, mostly of their violent oppression by white settlers: The Pima (“The Ballad of Ira Hayes”), Navajo (“Navajo”), Apache (“Apache Tears”), Lakota (“Big Foot”), Seneca (“As Long as the Grass Shall Grow”), and Cherokee (“Talking Leaves”). Cash wrote three of the songs himself and one with the help of Johnny Horton, but the majority of the protest songs were written by folk artist Peter La Farge (son of activist and Pulitzer prizewinner Oliver La Farge), whom Cash met in New York in the 1960s and admired for his activism.

Although primarily remembered as a country music icon, his genre-spanning songs and sound embraced rock and roll, rockabilly, blues, folk, and gospel. This crossover appeal made him one of the most influential musicians of the 20th century and one of the best-selling music artists of all time, selling more than 90 million records worldwide and won Cash the rare honor of multiple inductions in the Country Music, Rock and Roll, and Gospel Music Halls of Fame.bCash was known for his deep, calm bass-baritone voice, the distinctive sound of his Tennessee Three backing band, a rebelliousness coupled with an increasingly somber and humble demeanor, free prison concerts, and a trademark look, which earned him the nickname “The Man in Black.” He traditionally began his concerts with the simple “Hello, I’m Johnny Cash,” followed by his signature “Folsom Prison Blues”.

Much of Cash’s music contained themes of sorrow, moral dilemmas and redemption especially in the later stages of his career. His signature songs include “I Walk the Line”, “Folsom Prison Blues”, “Ring of Fire”, “Get Rhythm”, and “Man in Black”. He also recorded humorous numbers like “One Piece at a Time” and “A Boy Named Sue”; a duet with his future wife, June Carter, called “Jackson” and railroad songs including “Hey, Porter”, “Orange Blossom Special” and “Rock Island Line”.

During the last stage of his career, Cash covered songs by several late 20th-century rock artists, notably “Hurt” by Nine Inch Nails and “Personal Jesus” by Depeche Mode. Cash continued to record until shortly before his death. His final recordings were made on August 21, 2003, and consisted of “Like the 309,” which would appear on American V: A Hundred Highways in 2006, and the final song he completed, “Engine 143,”. Sadly In 1997, Cash was diagnosed with the neurodegenerative disease Shy–Drager syndrome, a form of multiple system atrophy; the disease was originally misdiagnosed as Parkinson’s disease. The illness forced Cash to curtail his touring. He was hospitalized in 1998 with severe pneumonia, which damaged his lungs. Later, he released the albums American III: Solitary Man (2000) and American IV: The Man Comes Around (2002). The video for “Hurt,” a cover of the song by Nine Inch Nails, from American IV, received particular critical and popular acclaim. Sadly in 2003 While hospitalized at Baptist Hospital in Nashville. Cash sadly died less than four months after his wife. It was suggested that Johnny’s health worsened due to a broken heart over June’s death. He was buried next to his wife in Hendersonville Memory Gardens near his home in Hendersonville, Tennessee.One of Cash’s final collaborations with producer Rick Rubin, American V: A Hundred Highways, was released posthumously on July 4, 2006. On February 23, 2010, three days before what would have been Cash’s 78th birthday, the Cash Family, Rick Rubin, and Lost Highway Records released his second posthumous record, titled American VI: Ain’t No Grave.

Neil Peart (Rush)

Neil Peart the drummer, percussionist and lyricist with Canadian rock band Rush, was born September 12 1952. Rush were formed in August 1968, in the Willowdale neighbourhood of Toronto, Ontario. The band is composed of bassist, keyboardist, and lead vocalist Geddy Lee, guitarist and backing vocalist Alex Lifeson, and drummer, percussionist and lyricist Neil Peart. The band and its membership went through a number of re-configurations between 1968 and 1974, Neil Peart replaced original drummer John Rutsey in July 1974, two weeks before the group’s first United States tour, during which they played Agora Ballroom, Cleveland, which also became Rush s very first radio broadcast and the concert is featured on the Album “ABC 1974″.

Since The release of the band’s self-titled debut album ABC 1974 in March 1974, Rush have released many great albums inluding Moving Picture, Fly by Night, 2112 , Hemispheres, Presto, Signals, The Wreckers, Test for Echo, Vapour Trails, Farewell to Kings, Caress of Steel, Hold your Fire, Snakes and Arrows and Clockwork Angels. They have become known for their musicianship, complex compositions, and eclectic lyrical motifs drawing heavily on science fiction, fantasy, and philosophy. Rush’s music style has changed over the years, beginning with blues-inspired heavy metal on their first album, then encompassing hard rock, progressive rock, and a period with heavy use of synthesizers. They have been cited as an influence by various musical artists, including Metallica Primus, and The Smashing Pumpkins, as well as progressive metal bands such as Dream Theater and Symphony X.

Rush have also won a number of Juno Awards, and was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame in 1994. Over their careers, the members of Rush have been acknowledged as some of the most proficient players on their respective instruments, with each band member winning numerous awards in magazine readers’ polls. As a group, Rush possesses 24 gold records and 14 platinum (3 multi-platinum) records. Rush’s sales statistics place them third behind The Beatles and The Rolling Stones for the most consecutive gold or platinum studio albums by a rock band. Rush also ranks 79th in U.S. album sales, with 25 million units. Although total worldwide album sales are not calculated by any single entity, as of 2004 several industry sources estimated Rush’s total worldwide album sales at over 40 million units.They released their latest studio album, Clockwork Angels In 2012. It was first album in five years since, 2007’s “SNAKES & ARROWS.” and is the band’s 20th studio album.

International Mindfulness Day

Mindfulness Day is celebrated annually on September 12. It was created by Wisdom Publications in 2011 to raise awareness about the profound value and benefit of mindfulness. Mindfulnessis the psychological process of bringing one’s attention to experiences occurring in the present moment and can be developed through the practice of meditation and other training. The term “mindfulness” is a translation of the Pali term sati, which is a significant element of Buddhist traditions. In Buddhist teachings, mindfulness is utilized to develop self-knowledge and wisdom that gradually lead to what is described as enlightenment or the complete freedom from suffering. The recent popularity of mindfulness in the West is generally considered to have been initiated by Jon Kabat-Zinn. Research studies have indicated that the practice of mindfulness is strongly correlated with greater well-being and perceived health. Studies have also shown that rumination and worry contribute to mental illnesses such as depression and anxiety, and that mindfulness-based interventions are effective in the reduction of both rumination and worry.

Clinical psychology and psychiatry have developed a number of therapeutic applications based on mindfulness which can help alleviate the symptoms of a variety of psychological conditions Such as depression, reducing stress or anxiety Mindfulness can help in the treatment of drug addiction, mindfulness also appears to provide numerous therapeutic benefits to people with psychosis, and may also be a preventive strategy to halt the development of mental health problems. Clinical studies have documented both physical and mental health benefits of mindfulness in patients and healthy people. Programs based on Kabat-Zinn’s have been widely adopted in schools, prisons, hospitals, veterans’ centers, and other environments, and mindfulness programs can assist healthy aging, weight management, athletic performance, children with special needs, perinatal periods. The necessity for more high-quality research in this field has also been identified – such as the need for more randomized controlled studies, for providing more methodological details in reported studies and for the use of larger sample sizes.

Mindfulness meditation involves the process of developing the skill of bringing one’s attention to whatever is happening in the present moment. There are several meditation exercises designed to develop mindfulness meditation. One method is to sit on a straight-backed chair or sit cross-legged on the floor or a cushion, close one’s eyes and bring attention to either the sensations of breathing in the proximity of one’s nostrils or to the movements of the abdomen when breathing in and out. In this meditation practice, one does not try to control one’s breathing, but attempts to simply be aware of one’s natural breathing process/rhythm. When engaged in this practice, the mind will often run off to other thoughts and associations, and if this happens, one passively notices that the mind has wandered, and in an accepting, non-judgmental way, returns to focusing on breathing.

Other meditation exercises to develop mindfulness include body-scan meditation where attention is directed at various areas of the body and noting present body sensations. Engaging in yoga practices, while attending to movements and body sensations, as well as walking meditation are other methods of developing mindfulness. One could also focus on sounds, sensations, thoughts, feelings and actions that happen in the present. Meditators start with short periods of 10 minutes or so of meditation practice per day. As one practices regularly, it becomes easier to keep the attention focused on breathing.

Stanislaw Lem

Described as the most widely read science fiction writer in the world, Polish author Stanislaw Lem was Born September 12 1921 in Lwow, Poland (Which is now Ukraine), During World War II, Lem, due to being a Polish citizen with Jewish ancestry, had to survive using fake papers, and worked as a car mechanic and welder. After the war he relocated to Krakow, where he studied medicine.

In 1946, Shortly after the war , a selection of Lem’s poetry, was first published as well as a series of US popular fiction ‘dime novels’. In that same year, Lem’s first science fiction work, Czlowiek z Marsa (The Man from Mars), was also serialised in the magazine Nowy Swiat Przygód (New World of Adventures). His first novel, Astronauci (The Astronauts) was written in 1951, during the Stalinist era, and he was forced to include many references to the “glorious future of communism” in order for his published work to be approved by the Communist authorities, later in 1961 he published the novel Solaris, which focuses on the ultimate inadequacy of communication between human and non-human species. Since then, this novel has been made into a feature film three time, most recently in 2002 starring George Clooney. Many of His novels featured elaborate word formation, humour, puns and alien/human interaction In 1973, he was made an honorary member of the Science Fiction Writers of America, despite being technically ineligible and openly critical of American science fiction, and in 1974 His novel The Cyberiad was first published in English. It featured a series of humorous short stories from a mechanical universe inhabited by robots. Particularly the exploits of two constructor robots named Trurl and Klaupacius, who try to out-invent each other, and travel to the far corners of the cosmos to take on freelance problem-solving jobs, however this ends up having dire consequences for their employers. The Cyberiad also featured many wierd and wonderful Illustrations by Polish artist Daniel Mroz and led to Lem being internationally recognised for his literary work. In 1996, Lem was made a Knight of the Order of the White Eagle, Poland’s highest decoration award for both civilians and the military. Stanislaw Lem Sadly passed away on March 27, 2006 , at the age of 84, in Krakow, Poland, however He has sold over 27 million copies of his popular science fiction books, which have also been translated into 41 different languages and remain popular including The Cyberiad, Star Diaries, Man from Mars and Solaris, So far I’ve read The Star Diaries and the Cyberiad.