Posted in books, Fantasy, films & DVD, Television

Emma Watson

English actress and modeL Emma Charlotte Duerre Watson was born 15 April 1990. in Paris and brought up in Oxfordshire, Watson attended the Dragon School and trained as an actress at the Oxford branch of Stagecoach Theatre Arts. As a child artist, she rose to prominence after landing her first professional acting role as Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter film series, having acted only in school plays previously. Watson appeared in all eight Harry Potter films from 2001 to 2011, earning worldwide fame, critical accolades, and around $60 million.

Watson continued to work outside of the Harry Potter films, appearing in the 2007 television adaptation of the novel Ballet Shoes and lending her voice to The Tale of Despereaux (2008). Following the last Harry Potter film, she took on starring and supporting roles in My Week with Marilyn (2011), The Perks of Being a Wallflower (2012) and The Bling Ring (2013), made an appearance as an exaggerated version of herself in This Is the End (2013), and portrayed the title character’s adopted daughter in Noah (2014). In 2017, she starred as Belle in a live-action adaptation of the musical romantic fantasy film Beauty and the Beast. Her other roles include Regression (2015), Colonia (2015) and The Circle (2017).

Between 2011 and 2014, Watson split her time between working on film projects and continuing her education, studying at Brown University and Worcester College, Oxford and graduating from Brown with a bachelor’s degree in English literature in May 2014. Her modelling work has included campaigns for Burberry and Lancôme. As a fashion consultant, she helped create a line of clothing for People Tree. She was honoured by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts in 2014, winning for British Artist of the Year and was also appointed as a UN Women Goodwill ambassador in 2014 and helped launch the UN Women campaign HeForShe, which calls for men to advocate gender equality.

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

Maisie Williams

English actress Margaret Constance “Maisie” Williams was born 15 April 1997 in Bristol, UK. She is nicknamed “Maisie” after the character from the comic strip The Perishers. Maisie is the youngest of four children; her three older siblings are James, Beth, and Ted. Born to Hilary Pitt (now Frances) a former university course administrator, she grew up in Clutton, Somerset. She attended Clutton Primary School and Norton Hill School in Midsomer Norton, before moving to Bath Dance College to study Performing Arts.

She made her professional acting debut as Arya Stark of Winterfell in the HBO fantasy television series Game of Thrones in 2011, for which she won the EWwy Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Drama, the Portal Award for Best Supporting Actress – Television and Best Young Actor, and the Saturn Award for Best Performance by a Younger Actor. In 2016, she was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series.

Williams has also had a recurring role in Doctor Who as Ashildr in 2015. She made her feature film debut in the mystery The Falling (2014), for which she won the London Film Critics’ Circle Award for Young Performer of the Year.

Posted in Events

International and National Holidays and Events happening 15 April

  • Glazed Ham Day
  • Jackie Robinson Day
  • Rubber Eraser Day
  • World Art Day
  • U.S. Income Tax Day
  • Universal Day of Culture

National Rubber Eraser Day takes place annually on April 15. It Commemorates the date of April 15, 1770, when scientist Joseph Priestly (who was most famous for discovering oxygen) Recorded his discovery of a item made from vegetable gum imported from Brazil which would erase — “rub out” — pencil marks. Priestly dubbed the substance “rubber.”

Prior to his discovery Tablets of rubber (or wax) were used to erase lead or charcoal marks from paper. Another option for the eraser was crustless bread. A Tokyo student said, “Bread erasers were used in place of rubber erasers, and so they would give them to us with no restriction on amount. So we thought nothing of taking these and eating a firm part to at least slightly satisfy our hunger.

However Contrary to what many sources say, Priestley himself did not invent the eraser; that honor goes to an English engineer named named Edward Nairne who developed the first marketed rubber eraser after accidentally picking up a piece of rubber—or, as it was known at the time, gum elastic—instead of bread, and he was so impressed at its effectiveness at this task that he developed and sold these erasers commercially which also became known as a rubber because that was its purpose—it was a thing that rubbed. Later In 1839 Charles Goodyear discovered vulcanization (a method that would cure rubber and make it a durable material) This method made rubber erasers standard. Later in 1858 Hyman Lipman (Philadelphia, Pa.) patented the pencil with an eraser at the end.

Posted in music


Best known as a member of the alternative rock band Radiohead, the English guitarist Edward John O’Brien was born 15 April 1968. O’Brien grew up listening to post-punk acts such as Siouxsie and the Banshees, Adam and the Ants, Depeche Mode, the Police and David Bowie. The members of Radiohead met while attending Abingdon School, an independent school for boys in Abingdon, Oxfordshire and O’Brien was asked by singer Thom Yorke, to join him for a jam. O’Brien, along with drummer Philip Selway, was in the year above Yorke and bassist Colin Greenwood, and three years above Colin’s brother, multi-instrumentalist Jonny Greenwood. In 1985, they formed On a Friday, the name referring to the band’s usual rehearsal day in the school’s music room. O’Brien studied economics at the University of Manchester.

O’Brien’s earliest guitar influence was Andy Summers of the Police, particularly his use of delay and chorus effects on “Walking On The Moon” His other influences include Peter Buck of R.E.M, Paul Weller of the Jam, Johnny Marr of the Smiths, John McGeoch of Magazine and Siouxsie and the Banshees, and the Edge of U2 O’Brien admired how these guitarists created “space” rather than playing conventional guitar solo

O’Brien usually plays Fender Stratocasters, including the Eric Clapton Stratocaster. He also plays Gretsch and Rickenbacker guitars, including a twelve-string Rickenbacker. While Jonny Greenwood plays most of Radiohead’s lead guitar parts, O’Brien often creates ambient effects, making extensive use of effects units.

In 1991, On a Friday signed a six-album recording contract with EMI and changed their name to Radiohead They found early success with their 1992 single “Creep” Their third album, OK Computer (1997), propelled them to international fame and is often acclaimed as one of the best albums of all time OK Computer saw O’Brien use less distortion and more delay and other effects, creating a sound that was, in his words, “more about textures”

Radiohead’s next albums, Kid A (2000) and Amnesiac (2001), were recorded simultaneously, and marked a dramatic change in sound, incorporating influences from electronic music, classical music, jazz and krautrock. O’Brien kept an online diary of Radiohead’s progress during the recording. He initially struggled with the band’s change in direction, then At the suggestion of Michael Brook, creator of the Infinite Guitar, O’Brien began using sustain units, which allow guitar notes to be sustained infinitely. He combined these with looping and delay effects to create synthesiser-like sounds used on the records. He also makes extensive use of effects units to create atmospheric sounds and textures, and provides backing vocals.

O’Brien said in 2017 that his most used effects are distortion, a Memory Man delay, and a DigiTech Whammy pitch shifter. O’Brien’s other Radiohead contributions include the high-pitched chiming sound that introduces “Lucky” (achieved by strumming above the guitar nut) and the reverberating pops on the introduction of “2 + 2 = 5”.[ On “Karma Police”, O’Brien distorts his guitar by driving a delay effect to self-oscillation, then turning the delay rate to a low frequency, creating a “melting” effect. “Treefingers” was created by processing O’Brien’s guitar loops. On “Dollars and Cents”, O’Brien used a pitch shifter pedal to shift his guitar chords from minor to major. For “All I Need”, he used a sustain unit and a guitar strung with four bottom E strings, creating a “thicker” sound.

O’Brien has other work outside Radiohead and contributed to the soundtrack for the BBC drama series Eureka Street before recording Kid A. He also played guitar on the 2003 Asian Dub Foundation album Enemy of the Enemy. O’Brien and Selway toured and recorded with Neil Finn as part of the 7 Worlds Collide project; he provided guitar and backing vocals on their eponymous 2001 live album and 2009 studio album The Sun Came Out. O’Brien is also a founding director of the Featured Artists Coalition, a nonprofit organisation set up to protect the rights of featured musical artists, particularly in the digital age. He appeared on the 16 April 2011 episode of the BBC Radio 5 Live sports programme Fighting Talk in support of Record Shop Day. O’Brien also worked with Fender to design a signature model guitar, the EOB Stratocaster, which went on sale in November 2017. It features a tremolo bridge and a sustainer neck pickup. O’Brien debut solo album is being released In 2019. It is produced by Flood and Catherine Marks and features musicians including Omar Hakim, Nathan East and Dave Okumu.

Radiohead have sold more than 30 million albums worldwide. Rolling Stone named O’Brien the 59th greatest guitarist of all time and Radiohead were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in March 2019.

Posted in books, Fantasy

Tales from the Perilous Realm by JRR Tolkien

Having read Lord of he Rings, The Hobbit, The Silmarillian, Beren and Luthien, Children of Hurin, The Fall of Gondolin and Beowulf by JRR Tolkien i have decided to read Tales from the Perilous Realm also by -JRR Tolkien. It contains a series of fantastical adventure stories and poems which are all set in the mythical realm of Middle Earth.

The first story Roverandum tells the story of a dog named Rover who annoys a wizard named Artexerxes and is shrunk to a miniature size he tries to have the spell lifted and return to his normal size and go home
Along the waY he has many exciting adventures and journeys to many fantastical and dangerous places meeting many weird and wonderful folk including Psalmathos the Sand Sorcerer, Mew the Gull, The Man-in-the-moon and his Moon dog and Uin the Whale.

The next story Farmer Giles of Ham tells of the Heroic and Brave deeds of Farmer Giles of Ham (Ægidius Ahenobarbus Julius Agricola de Hammo) and his Dog Garm Who face many perils including confronting a rampaging giant. After hearing of his brave deeds Augustus Bonifacius King of the midland realm summons him to confront the dragon Chrysophylax which has been terrorizing the Midland Realm. So Farmer Giles obtains a magical sword Sword called Claudimordax (Tail biter) which belonged to a former knight Bellomarius and sets off after Chrysophylax.

The third part contains The Adventures of Tom Bombadil and Other Verses from the Red Book by J.R.R. Tolkien and contains 16 songs, rhymes and poems featuring Tom Bombadil’s encounters with Goldberry, the River-woman’s beautiful daughter , Old Man Willow, the Badger-folk, the ghostly Barrowwights, The Man in the Moon,, a lovely princess, Stone trolls, dwarves, and legendary beasts including Oliphaunts, Fastitocalon and Dragons.

The fourth story Smith of Wooten Major is a magical and enchanting story which features A young boy named Smith who lives in the village of Wootten Major. Every twenty-four years Wootten Major hosts a massive celebration feast called The Feast of Good Children to which Twenty-four children are invited. The feast ends with an extraordinary Great Cake and As per tradition, a trinket is placed inside. So Alf the cooks apprentice finds a mysterious star in the kitchen and puts this in the cake. He then learns that This star allows whoever finds it to enter the magical faerie realm of Fay and have many adventures in the Faerie Realm.

The sixth story Leaf by Niggle features an artist, named Niggle, who paints an amazing fantasy landscape featuring a great Tree with a forest and mountains in the distance investing each and every leaf of his tree with obsessive attention to detail, making every leaf uniquely beautiful. Niggle ends up combining his other artworks, onto the main canvas. However there are many important chores and duties which prevent Niggle from ever finishing his painting.

Being kind hearted, Niggle also assists his next door neighbour, Parish, who is lame and has a sick wife and genuinely needs help. Then Niggle goes on a long trip where he ends up performing menial labour each day. Meanwhile Niggle’s painting lays abandoned, and starts to deteriorate except for the one perfect leaf of the story’s title, which is preserved and exhibited in the local museum. Eventually, Niggle is Reunited with his old neighbour, Parish and they find themselves going to a place which looks eerily familiar….

Posted in Art

World Art Day/ Leonardo Da Vinci

World Art Day takes place annually on April 15. It is an international celebration of the fine arts declared by the International Association of Art (IAA) in order to promote awareness of creative activity worldwide. It was started after a proposal was put forward at the 17th General Assembly of the International Association of Art in Guadalajara to declare April 15 as World Art Day, with the first celebration held in 2012. This proposal was sponsored by Bedri Baykam of Turkey and co-signed by Rosa Maria Burillo Velasco of Mexico, Anne Pourny of France, Liu Dawei of China, Christos Symeonides of Greek Cyprus, Anders Liden of Sweden, Kan Irie of Japan, Pavel Kral of Slovakia, Dev Chooramun of Mauritius, and Hilde Rognskog of Norway. It was accepted unanimously by the General Assembly. The date was chosen in honor of the birthday of Italian Renaissance polymath: painter, sculptor, architect, musician, scientist, mathematician, engineer, inventor, anatomist, geologist, cartographer, botanist, and writer Leonardo da Vinci.

Leonardo da Vinci. was born April 15 1452. He epitomized the Renaissance humanist ideal and was described as the archetype of the Renaissance Man, a man of “unquenchable curiosity” and “feverishly inventive imagination”. He is widely considered to be one of the greatest painters of all time and one of the most diversely talented person ever to have lived. Born out of wedlock to a notary, Piero da Vinci, and a peasant woman, Caterina, at Vinci in the region of Florence, Leonardo was educated in the studio of the renowned Florentine painter, Verrocchio. Much of his earlier working life was spent in the service of Ludovico il Moro in Milan. He later worked in Rome, Bologna and Venice, and he spent his last years in France at the home awarded him by Francis I. Leonardo was and is renowned primarily as a painter.

Among his works, the Mona Lisa is the most famous and most parodied portrait and The Last Supper the most reproduced religious painting of all time, with their fame approached only by Michelangelo’s The Creation of Adam. Leonardo’s drawing of the Vitruvian Man is also regarded as a cultural icon, being reproduced on items as varied as the euro, textbooks, and T-shirts. Perhaps fifteen of his paintings survive, the small number because of his constant, and frequently disastrous, experimentation with new techniques, and his chronic procrastination.

Nevertheless, these few works, together with his notebooks, which contain drawings, scientific diagrams, and his thoughts on the nature of painting, compose a contribution to later generations of artists only rivalled by that of his contemporary, Michelangelo. Leonardo is revered for his technological ingenuity. He conceptualised a helicopter, a tank, concentrated solar power, a calculator, the double hull, and he outlined a rudimentary theory of plate tectonics. Relatively few of his designs were constructed or were even feasible during his lifetime, but some of his smaller inventions, such as an automated bobbin winder and a machine for testing the tensile strength of wire, entered the world of manufacturing unheralded. He made important discoveries in anatomy, civil engineering, optics, and hydrodynamics, but he did not publish his findings and they had no direct influence on later science.

Leonardo Da Vinci was also chosen as a symbol world peace, freedom of expression, tolerance, brotherhood and multiculturalism as well as art’s important to other fields. The first World Art Day on April 15, 2012 was supported by all IAA national committees and 150 artists, from France, Sweden, Slovakia, South Africa, Cyprus and Venezuela, but the intention of the event is universal. Events varied from special museum hours to conferences and more. For example Venezuela held outdoor art exhibitions with paintings, sculptures, prints, video and more, as well as a Florentine cooking demonstration in honor of Da Vinci.More events were held in 2013 all over the world including the Mbombela municipal art museum in South Africa.However, there was controversy at celebrations in Sweden when the Swedish minister of Culture, Lena Adelsohn Liljeroth, cut into the genitals of a cake representing a black African woman. The performance art was meant to be a statement against genital mutilation but many found the depiction racist. World Art Day has also been supported online, especially by the Google Art Project.

Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci
Posted in books, films & DVD, music, Television

Gaston Leroux

Best known for writing the novel The Phantom of the Opera, The French journalist and author of detective fiction, Gaston Leroux passed away 15 April 1927. He was born on 6 May 1868 in Paris and went to school in Normandy before later studying law in Paris, graduating in 1889. He inherited millions of francs and lived wildly until he nearly reached bankruptcy. Subsequently after calming down, he began working as a court reporter and theater critic for L’Écho de Paris in 1890. However his most important journalism came when he began working as an international correspondent for the Paris newspaper Le Matin. In 1905, he was present at, and covered, the Russian Revolution. Another case he was present at involved the investigation and in-depth coverage of the former Paris Opera (presently housing the Paris Ballet). Then In 1907 He suddenly left Journalism and began writing fiction. he and his writing patner Arthur Bernède formed their own film company, Société des Cinéromans to publish novels simultaneously and turn them into films.

He first wrote a mystery novel entitled Le mystère de la chambre jaune (1908; The Mystery of the Yellow Room), starring the amateur detective Joseph Rouletabille, He was a very prolific author and went on to write many more novels about the adventures of Joseph Rouletabille, including Le parfum de la dame en noir (The Perfume of the Lady in Black, Rouletabille chez le Tsar, Rouletabille à la guerre (Rouletabille at War), Les étranges noces de Rouletabille (The Strange Wedding of Rouletabille. Rouletabille chez Krupp, Le crime de Rouletabille (1921), Rouletabille chez les Bohémiens, Le petit marchand de romme de terre frites, Un homme dans la nuit, La double vie de Théophraste Longuet, The Phantom of the Opera, Le roi mystère, L’homme qui a vu le diable, Le fauteuil hanté, La reine de Sabbat, Balaoo, Le dîner des bustes, La hache d’or, L’ épouse du soleil, Première aventures de chéri-Bibi, La colonne infernale, Confitou, L’ homme qui revient de loin, Le capitaine Hyx – La bataille invisible, Le coeur cambriolé, Le sept de trèfle, La poupée sanglante – La machine à assassiner, Le Noël du petit Vincent-Vincent, Not’olympe, Les ténébreuses: La fin d’un monde & du sang sur la Néva.

His most famous work The Phantom of the Opera (Le Fantôme de l’Opéra, 1910), has been made into several film and stage productions of the same name, including a 1925 film starring Lon Chaney, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s 1986 musical and Joel Schumacher’s subsequent film adaptation of the musical starring Gerard Butler, Minnie Driver & Jennifer Ellison. The Musical still remains popular to this day and you can still see it in London, New York, Las Vegas and Budapest. His legacy lives on and his contribution to French detective fiction is considered a parallel to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in the United Kingdom and Edgar Allan Poe in the United States.