Doctor Who

Rise of the Cybermen

Rise of the Cybermen sees The Tenth Doctor (David Tennant), Rose (Billie Piper) and Mickey have trouble with the TARDIS And find themselves in a Parallel Earth version of London so they decide to explore the alternate world. Rose is shocked to see a billboard with her father Pete’s picture on it, meanwhile Mickey decides to head off on his own and try to find his grandmother, who died in his universe.

The Doctor and Rose discover that most of the population of London wear EarPod devices that feed information directly into the wearer’s brain. This was created by, Cybus Industries which is headed by a terminally ill but very intelligent Industrialist named John Lumic (Roger Lloyd Pack). Lumic is also searching for an answer to stop him dying prematurely and plans to have his brain and vital organs extracted and placed inside a metal exoskeleton as a way of cheating death (which he has called the Cyber Man) and  has already been secretly began conducting experiments on homeless people. There is also a rather sinister motive behind the EarPod. Meanwhile Cybus is also being investigated by a group called the Preachers, who are having serious misgivings about Lumic’s technology.

Later Lumic calls Pete Tyler and tells him that he will be attending a party that Pete is having that evening for his wife, Jackie. Elsewhere Jake Simmonds, one of the Preachers,  witnesses a group of homeless people being taken to be converted and later finds finds Mickey at his grandmother’s house, and confuses him with his parallel counterpart Ricky. Jake takes Mickey to the Preacher’s base where Ricky and Mickey meet. Rose, the Doctor and the Preachers all decide to investigate the party. Unfortunately the party is suddenly interrupted by the Cybermen, led by John Lumic, who has a diabolical plan and soon everyone finds themselves in deadly peril…

The Age of Steel

“The Age of Steel continues where Rise of the Cybermen left off and sees Wealthy Industrialist John Lumic (Roger Lloyd-Pack) continue his sinister agenda to overthrow Great Britain’s government and take over London using an army of Cybermen. However A human resistance movement has been created to stop Lumic’s plan to convert humanity into Cybermen.

John Lumic then orders the Cybermen to activate the EarPod devices and use them to control the people of London and bring them in for conversion. The Doctor, Rose, Jake, Mickey, Pete and the Preachers attempt to destroy the EarPod transmitter to free the people of London. However Pete, Rose and The Doctor are captured by a Cyberman and the Doctor is taken to see Lumic where he discovers that Lumic has become the Cyber Controller. Meanwhile Mickey and Jake successfully disable the transmitter freeing the humans who flee in terror. Elsewhere The Doctor attempts to reason with Lumic. Then The Doctor, Rose, Mickey, Jake and Pete then attempt to stop the Cybermen and Destroy the Cybus Factory, however….

The Colour of Magic by Terry Pratchett

The first novel in the Discworld series by Terry Pratchett, The Colour of Magic, was published On the 24th of November 1983, in the United Kingdom. Discworld is a comic fantasy book series written by the English author Terry Pratchett (1948–2015), set on the Discworld, a flat planet balanced on the backs of four elephants which in turn stand on the back of a giant turtle. The books frequently parody or take inspiration from J. R. R. Tolkien, Robert E. Howard, H. P. Lovecraft, Charles Dickens and William Shakespeare, as well as mythology, folklore and fairy tales, often using them for satirical parallels with cultural, political and scientific issues.

The Colour of Magic begins in Ankh-Morpork, the biggest city on the Discworld. The main characters are an incompetent and cynical wizard named Rincewind and a rich but naive insurance clerk from the Agatean Empire named Twoflower, who has come to visit Ankh-Morpork. The Patrician of Ankh-Morpork, coerces Rincewind to protect Twoflower, lest the tourist’s death provoke the Agatean Emperor into invading Ankh-Morpork. After Twoflower is kidnapped by a gang of thieves and taken to the Broken Drum Pub, Rincewind stages a rescue alongside the Luggage, an indestructible, enchanted and sentient chest belonging to Twoflower. Before this, Twoflower convinces the Drum’s barman to take out a fire insurance policy; the barman subsequently attempts to burn down the Drum to claim the money, but ends up causing a fire that destroys the whole of Ankh-Morpork. Rincewind and Twoflower escape in the chaos.

Rincewind and Twoflower travel towards the city of Quirm, unaware that their adventures on this journey are actually the subject of a boardgame played by the Gods of the Discworld. The pair are separated when they are attacked by a mountain troll summoned by Offler the Crocodile God. The ignorant Twoflower ends up being led to the Temple of Bel-Shamharoth, a being said to be the opposite of both good and evil, while Rincewind ends up imprisoned in a dryad-inhabited tree in the woods, where he watches the events in Bel Shamharoth’s temple through a magical portal. The pair are reunited when Rincewind escapes into the temple through the portal, and they encounter Hrun the Barbarian, a parody of heroes in the Swords and Sorcery genre. The trio are attacked and nearly killed by Bel-Shamharoth, but escape when Rincewind accidentally blinds the creature with Twoflower’s magical picture box. Hrun agrees to travel with and protect Twoflower and Rincewind in exchange for heroic pictures of him from the picture box.

The trio visit the Wyrmberg, which is home to dragon-riders who summon their dragons by imagining them, and are separated when the riders attack them. Rincewind escapes and uses Kring, Hrun’s sentient magical sword, to attempt to rescue his friends. Twoflower is imprisoned within the Wyrmberg, and because of his fascination with dragons, is able to summon one greater than those of the Wyrmberg riders, who he names Ninereeds, allowing him to escape captivity and save Rincewind from being killed in a duel with one of the three heirs of the Wyrmburg. Hrun meanwhile is enlisted by Liessa, another of the heirs, to defeat the other two heirs in mortal combat so that he may rule the Wyrmberg alongside her, with Liessa intending to use him as a puppet ruler. Despite refusing to ride a dragon, Hrun defeats both the brothers and has them banished from the Wyrmburg. Unaware of these events, Twoflower, Rincewind and Ninereeds snatch Hrun, but as they attempt to escape into the skies, Twoflower passes out from the lack of oxygen, causing Ninereeds to disappear. Hrun is saved by Liessa, but Rincewind and Twoflower find themselves in more peril.

The two of them are taken to the edge of the Discworld by the ocean currents and nearly carried over, but they are caught by the Circumfence, a huge net built by the nation of Krull to catch sea life and flotsam washed in from the rest of the Discworld. They are rescued by Tethis the sea troll, a being composed of water who had fallen off the edge of his own world and onto the Discworld, where he was subsequently enslaved by the Krullians. Rincewind and Twoflower are then taken by the Krullians to their capital, where they learn that the Krullians intend to discover the sex of Great A’Tuin by launching a space capsule over the edge of the Disc, and plan to sacrifice Rincewind and Twoflower to get the god Fate to smile on the voyage, Fate insisting on their sacrifice after they caused him to lose the earlier game. Rincewind and Twoflower attempt to escape, but end up stealing the capsule, which is launched and Twoflower, Rincewind and the Luggage find themselves in deadly peril once again….

Forty-one Discworld novels have been published. The original British editions of the first 26 novels, up to Thief of Time (2001), had cover art by Josh Kirby. The American editions, published by Harper Collins, used their own cover art. Since Kirby’s death in 2001, the covers have been designed by Paul Kidby. Companion publications include eleven short stories (some only loosely related to the Discworld), four popular science books, and a number of supplementary books and reference guides. The series has been adapted for graphic novels, theatre, computer and board games, and television. Many Discworld novels have also won awards such as the Prometheus Award and the Carnegie Medal. In the BBC’s Big Read, four Discworld novels were in the top 100, and a total of fourteen in the top 200. More than 80 million Discworld books have been sold in 37 languages.

Bob Burns (Lynyrd Skynyrd)

Bob Burns, American drummer and songwriter with Lynyrd Skynyrd was born 24 November 1950. Lynyrd Skynyrd were known for popularizing the Southern hard rock genre during the 1970s Lynyrd Skynyrd were Originally formed In the summer of 1964, when teenage friends Ronnie Van Zant, Allen Collins, and Gary Rossington formed the band “The Noble Five” in Jacksonville, Florida. The band changed in 1965 to “My Backyard”, when Larry Junstrom and Bob Burns joined. In 1968, the group won a local Battle of the Bands contest and the opening slot on several Southeast shows for the California-based psychedelic rock band Strawberry Alarm Clock. the group eventually settled on the name “Leonard Skinner”, a mocking tribute to a physical-education teacher at Robert E. Lee High School, Leonard Skinner, who was notorious for strictly enforcing the school’s policy against boys having long hair.

In 1972 the band was discovered at one of their shows at a club in Atlanta, GA and changed the spelling of the band name to “Lynyrd Skynyrd”. Their fan base continued to grow rapidly throughout 1973, largely due to their opening slot on The Who’s Quadrophenia tour in the United States. Their 1974 follow-up, Second Helping, was the band’s breakthrough hit, and featured their most popular single, “Sweet Home Alabama” helping them rise to worldwide recognition. Lynyrd Skynyrd’s third album, Nuthin’ Fancy, was released in 1975 and the fourth album Gimme Back My Bullets was released in January 1976, but did not achieve the same success as the previous two albums.

Steve Gaines joined the band in June 1976 and the newly-reconstituted band recorded the double-live album One More From the Road at the Fox Theatre (Atlanta, Georgia) in Atlanta, and performed at the Knebworth festival, which also featured The Rolling Stones. The next album 1977′s Street Survivors turned out to be a showcase for guitarist/vocalist Steve Gaines and included the iconic rock anthem “Free Bird”. Sadly though, On October 20, 1977, just three days after the release of Street Survivors, and at the peak of their success, three members (Including Gaines) all died in an airplane crash, Following the crash and the ensuing press, Street Survivors became the band’s second platinum album and reached No. 5 on the U.S. album chart. The single “What’s Your Name” reached No. 13 in January 1978. Surviving members re-formed in 1987 for a reunion tour with lead singer Ronnie Van Zant’s younger brother Johnny as frontman. A version of the band continues to tour and record, with only Gary Rossington of its original members remaining as of 2012. Lynyrd Skynyrd was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on March 13, 2003. Sadly though Bob Burns died recently in 2015.

Henri de Toulouse Lautrec

Prolific French Impressionist painter, printmaker, draughtsman and illustrator Henri Marie Raymond de Toulouse-Lautrec-Monfa was born 24 November 1864. Henri’s parents, the Comte and Comtesse, were first cousins (Henri’s two grandmothers were sisters) and unfortunately Henri suffered from congenital health conditions sometimes attributed to a family history of inbreeding. At the age of 13 Henri fractured his right thigh bone and, at 14, the left.The breaks did not heal properly. Modern physicians attribute this to an unknown genetic disorder, possibly pycnodysostosis (also sometimes known as Toulouse-Lautrec Syndrome), or a variant disorder along the lines of osteopetrosis, achondroplasia, or osteogenesis imperfecta. Rickets aggravated with praecox virilism has also been suggested. His legs ceased to grow, so that as an adult he was extremely short. He had developed an adult-sized torso, while retaining his child-sized legs. He is also reported to have had hypertrophied genitals.

He was Physically unable to participate in many activities typically enjoyed by men of his age, so Toulouse-Lautrec immersed himself in art instead. He became an important Post-Impressionistpainter, art nouveau illustrator, and lithographer, and recorded in his works many details of the late-19th-century bohemian lifestyle in Paris. Toulouse-Lautrec contributed a number of illustrations to the magazine Le Rire during the mid-1890s. After failing college entrance exams, Henri passed at his second attempt and completed his studies. During a stay in Nice his progress in painting and drawing impressed Princeteau, who persuaded his parents to let him return to Paris and study under the acclaimed portrait painter Léon Bonnat. Henri’s mother had high ambitions and, with the aim of Henri becoming a fashionable and respected painter, used the family influence to get him into Bonnat’s studio.Toulouse-Lautrec was drawn to Montmartre, the area of Paris famous for its bohemian lifestyle and the haunt of artists, writers, and philosophers. Studying with Bonnat placed Henri in the heart of Montmartre, an area he rarely left over the next 20 years.

After Bonnat took a new job, Henri moved to the studio of Fernand Cormon in 1882 and studied for a further five years and established the group of friends he kept for the rest of his life. At this time he met Émile Bernard and Van Gogh. Cormon, whose instruction was more relaxed than Bonnat’s, allowed his pupils to roam Paris, looking for subjects to paint. In this period Toulouse-Lautrec had his first encounter with a prostitute (reputedly sponsored by his friends), which led him to paint his first painting of prostitutes in Montmartre, a woman rumoured to be called Marie-Charlotte.La Toilette. in 1887 he participated in an exposition in Toulouse using the pseudonym “Tréclau”, an anagram of the family name ‘Lautrec’. He later exhibited in Paris with Van Gogh and Louis Anquetin. The Belgian critic Octave Maus invited him to present eleven pieces at the Vingt (the Twenties) exhibition in Brussels in February. Vincent van Gogh’s brother, Theo bought ‘Poudre de Riz’ (Rice Powder) for 150 francs for the Goupil & Ciegallery.

From 1889 until 1894, Henri took part in the “Independent Artists’ Salon” on a regular basis. He made several landscapes of Montmartre, painting a series of pleasant plein-air paintings of Carmen Gaudin, the red-head model who appears in The Laundress (1888) in the garden of Monsieur Pere Foret.Toulouse-Lautrec was also commissioned to produce a series of posters for the Moulin Rouge. Other artists looked down on the work, but Henri was so aristocratic he did not care. The cabaret reserved a seat for him and displayed his paintings. Among the well-known works that he painted for the Moulin Rouge and other Parisian nightclubs are depictions of the singer Yvette Guilbert; the dancer Louise Weber, known as the outrageousLa Goulue (“The Glutton”), who created the “French Can-Can”; and the much more subtle dancer Jane Avrill. Toulouse-Lautrec also travelled to London. Making posters in London led him to making the ‘Confetti’ poster, and the bicycle advert ‘La Chaîne Simpson’.While in London he met and befriended Oscar Wilde. When Wilde faced imprisonment in Britain, Henri was a very vocal supporter of Wilde. Toulouse-Lautrec’s portrait of Wilde was painted the same year as Wilde’s trial.

Throughout his career, Toulouse-Lautrec created 737 canvases, 275 watercolours, 363 prints and posters, 5,084 drawings, some ceramic and stained glass work, and an unknown number of lost works. His debt to the Impressionists, in particular the more figurative painters Manet and Degas, is apparent. His style was influenced by the classical Japanese woodprints which became popular in art circles in Paris. In his works can be seen parallels to Manet’s detached barmaid at A Bar at the Folies-Bergère and the behind-the-scenes ballet dancers of Degas. He excelled at capturing people in their working environment, with the colour and the movement of the gaudy night-life present but the glamour stripped away. He was masterly at capturing crowd scenes in which the figures are highly individualized. At the time that they were painted, the individual figures in his larger paintings could be identified by silhouette alone, and the names of many of these characters have been recorded. His treatment of his subject matter, whether as portraits, scenes of Parisian night-life, or intimate studies, has been described as both sympathetic and dispassionate.

Toulouse-Lautrec’s painting style is highly linear and gives great emphasis to contour. He often applied the paint in long, thin brushstrokes which would often leave much of the board on which they are painted showing through. Many of his works may best be described as drawings in coloured paint. Due to his illness Lautrec was rather short and was mocked for his short stature and physical appearance, which led him to drown his sorrows in alcohol.At first this was beer and wine, but his tastes expanded. He was one of the notable Parisians who enjoyed American-style cocktails, France being a nation of wine purists. He had parties at his house on Friday nights and forced his guests to try them. The invention of the cocktail “Earthquake” or Tremblement de Terre is attributed to Toulouse-Lautrec: a potent mixture containing half absinthe and half cognac (in a wine goblet, 3 parts Absinthe and 3 parts Cognac, sometimes served with ice cubes or shaken in a cocktail shaker filled with ice).In 1893 Lautrec’s alcoholism began to take its toll, and as those around him realized the seriousness of his condition there were rumours of a syphilis infection. In 1899 his mother and some concerned friends had him briefly institutionalised. He even had a cane that hid alcohol so that a drink was always available.

Toulouse Lautrec Sadly passed away 9 September 1901. However His immersion in the colourful and theatrical life of Paris in the late 1800s yielded a collection of exciting, elegant and provocative images of the modern and sometimes decadent life of those times. Toulouse-Lautrec – along with Cézanne, Van Gogh and Gauguin – is among the most well-known painters of the Post-Impressionist period. In a 2005 auction at Christie’s auction house, a new record was set when La blanchisseuse, an early painting of a young laundress, sold for $22.4 million U.S. Toulouse Lautrec was placed in a sanatorium shortly before his death and died from complications due to alcoholism and syphilis at the family estate in Malromé at the age of 36. He is buried in Verdelais, Gironde, a few kilometres from the Château Malromé, where he died. After His death, his mother, the Comtesse Adèle Toulouse-Lautrec, and Maurice Joyant, his art dealer, promoted his art. His mother contributed funds for a museum to be created in Albi, his birthplace, to house his works. The Toulouse-Lautrec Museum owns the world’s largest collection of works by the painter.

Black Beauty by Anna Sewell

The novel Black Beauty by Anna Sewell was published 24 November 1877. The story is narrated in the first person as an autobiographical memoir told by the titular horse named Black Beauty and describes conditions among London horse-drawn taxicab drivers, including the financial hardship caused to them by high licence fees and low, legally fixed fares. Sewell uses anthropomorphism in Black Beauty. The text advocates fairer treatment of horses in Victorian England.

The novel concerns a horse named Black Beauty and begins with Black Beauty’s carefree days as a colt on an English farm with his mother, through his difficult life pulling cabs in London, on to his happy retirement in the country. Along the way, he meets with many hardships and recounts many tales of cruelty and kindness. Each short chapter recounts an incident in Black Beauty’s life containing a lesson or moral typically related to the kindness, sympathy, and understanding treatment of horses, with Sewell’s detailed observations and extensive descriptions of horse behaviour lending the novel a good deal of verisimilitude

Because The story is narrated from Black Beauty’s perspective readers arguably gained insight into how horses suffered through their use by human beings with restrictive technical objects like the “bearing rein” and “blinkers” as well as procedures like cutting off the tails of the horses. The horses in the text have reactions as well as emotions and characteristics, like love and loyalty, which are similar to those of human beings. For instance, Ginger describes the physical effects of the “bearing rein” to Black Beauty, by stating, “… it is dreadful… your neck aching until you don’t know how to bear it… its hurt my tongue and my jaw and the blood from my tongue covered the froth that kept flying from my lips. A page footnote in some editions says that soon after the book was published, the difference between 6-day taxicab licences (not allowed to trade on Sundays) and 7-day taxicab licences (allowed to trade on Sundays) was abolished and the taxicab licence fee was much reduced. The novel Black Beauty has also been adapted for film and television numerous times.

Evolution Day

Evolution Day is a celebration annually on 24 November to commemorate the anniversary of the initial publication of On the Origin of Species by Charles Darwin on 24 November 1859. Such celebrations have been held for over a century, but the specific term “Evolution Day” for the anniversary appears to be a neologism which was coined prior to 1997. By highlighting Darwin’s contributions to science, the day’s events are used to educate about evolutionary biology. It is similar to the better-known Darwin Day, held on the anniversary of his birth (12 February 1809). It is unrelated to the secularization campaign by the Giordano Bruno Foundation to have the German public holiday of Ascension Day renamed to “Evolutionstag” (Evolution Day)

On the Origin of Species (or more completely, On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life), is a work of scientific literature by Charles Darwin which is considered to be the foundation of evolutionary biology. It was published on 24 November 1859, and introduced the scientific theory that populations evolve over the course of generations through a process of natural selection. It presented a body of evidence that the diversity of life arose by common descent through a branching pattern of evolution. Darwin included evidence that he had gathered on the Beagle expedition in the 1830s and his subsequent findings from research, correspondence, and experimentation.

Various evolutionary ideas had already been proposed to explain new findings in biology. There was growing support for such ideas among dissident anatomists and the general public, but during the first half of the 19th century the English scientific establishment was closely tied to the Church of England, while science was part of natural theology. Ideas about the transmutation of species were controversial as they conflicted with the beliefs that species were unchanging parts of a designed hierarchy and that humans were unique, unrelated to other animals. The political and theological implications were intensely debated, but transmutation was not accepted by the scientific mainstream.

The book was written for non-specialist readers and attracted widespread interest upon its publication. As Darwin was an eminent scientist, his findings were taken seriously and the evidence he presented generated scientific, philosophical, and religious discussion. The debate over the book contributed to the campaign by T. H. Huxley and his fellow members of the X Club to secularise science by promoting scientific naturalism. Within two decades there was widespread scientific agreement that evolution, with a branching pattern of common descent, had occurred, but scientists were slow to give natural selection the significance that Darwin thought appropriate. During “the eclipse of Darwinism” from the 1880s to the 1930s, various other mechanisms of evolution were given more credit. With the development of the modern evolutionary synthesis in the 1930s and 1940s, Darwin’s concept of evolutionary adaptation through natural selection became central to modern evolutionary theory, and it has now become the unifying concept of the life sciences.

The year 1909, was the 50th anniversary of the publication of On The Origin of Species and the 100th anniversary of Darwin’s birth. As a result Seven major events took place celebrating both. At Cambridge, more than 400 scientists and dignitaries from 167 countries met in a widely reported event of public interest to honour Darwin’s contributions and discuss the latest discoveries and ideas related to evolution, the New York Academy of Sciences held a celebration at the American Museum of Natural History, and the Royal Society of New Zealand held an event.The Darwin Centennial Celebration (1959) had a major, well publicised event from 24–28 November at the University of Chicago. In 2009, the BBC aired BBC Darwin Season, a series of television and radio programs, to celebrate Darwin’s bicentenary and the 150th anniversary of the publication of the Origin.