Posted in films & DVD, Science fiction

Passengers

I have also recently rewatched the exciting and thought provoking science fiction film Passengers again on DVD without the adverts (It’s much better). It stars Jennifer Lawrence, Chris Pratt, Michael Sheen, and Laurence Fishburne as passengers travelling On a 120 year journey aboard The starship Avalon With 5,000 colonists and 258 crew members all in hyper sleep, who are all hoping for a new life on the planet Homestead II.

Unfortunately Thirty years into its journey, the ship passes through a meteor storm, which severely damages the ship. This awakens mechanical engineer Jim Preston (Chris Pratt), 90 years early. At first Preston is rather confused but eventually sets about fixing the damage. He then avails himself of every luxurious amenity aboard the ship. however After a year of isolation, with no company except Arthur (Michael Sheen), an android bartender, he gets bored and depressed. Then One day, he notices another colonist Aurora Lane (Jennifer Lawrence) in her pod. so he revives her early, claiming her pod must have also malfunctioned. At first they get on really well, however Aurora eventually finds out the truth and gets understandably angry and distraught at being awoken prematurely and having the chance of a new life on Homestead II taken away from her. However her anger is short lived when another pod failure awakens Chief Deck Officer Gus (Laurence Fishburne).

The three discover multiple failures throughout the ship’s systems, the ships gravity starts failing at regular intervals, there are a series of holes through the ship’s hull Caused by meteorite strikes and this has caused severe damage to the ships fusion reactor, which If not repaired, will eventually cause critical system failures killing everyone on board the Starship Avalon. So Gus, Jim and Aurora desperately try to fix the ships damaged systems including the fusion reactor before everyone on board dies…

Posted in Uncategorized, films & DVD, Science fiction

Alien:Covanent

I have recently watched the science fiction movie Alien:Covenant again. The film stars Michael Fassbender, Katherine Waterston, Billy Crudup, Danny McBride and Demián Bichir. It takes place In 2104 and features the crew of the colony ship Covenant who are bound for a remote planet Origae-6 with two thousand colonists and a thousand embryos aboard. Including Danny, Waters, Faris, Oram, Lope, Karine and an Android (who looks like David from the previous Prometheus mission)


While en route to their destination, an energy surge damages the ship, killing its captain and waking the crew. As they repair the ship, the crew intercept a radio transmission from a nearby planet and decide to investigate as the transmission is human in origin but the planet is supposedly lifeless. Crew members Waters, Faris and Karine descend to the surface with a contingent of security personnel. Karine sets up an ecological survey station while the others track down the source of the signal. They discover that the signal originates from an Engineer ship piloted by Elizabeth Shaw following the disastrous Prometheus mission. Then Two of the security team members are accidentally infected with an alien spore. The security team are then killed by a neomorph and Karine and Faris are killed fighting the Neomorph. The crew are rescued by the android David, the sole survivor of the ill-fated Prometheus mission as they radio Covenant for help. However, a neomorph attacks another crew member before being killed by Covenant’s first mate Oram, who witnesses David trying to tame the alien.

However The crew discover that David has got a rather sinister agenda and learn that he has been using the “black goo”, recovered during the Prometheus mission on local fauna for sinister purposes and discover that he has been incubating alien facehuggers and they learn how the earliest xenomorphs came about after David experimented with a parasitic wasp that laid its eggs inside its prey; upon being born, the larvae ate the prey from the inside out and discover That Dr Elizabeth Shaw met a Similar grisly fate at David’s hands. So the crew members attempt to evacuate However They are attacked by adult protomorphs as Covenant arrives and Crew member Lope is killed before the protomorph escapes aboard the Covenant and the remaining crew members attempt to get rid of the protomorph. Then Danny discovers that things are not as they seem regarding David.

Posted in Events

World Population day

World Population day is an annual event, observed on July 11 every year. The purpose of World Population Day is to raise awareness of global population issues. The event was established by the Governing Council of the United Nations Development Programme in 1989. It was inspired by the public interest in Five Billion Day on July 11, 1987-approximately the date on which the world’s population reached five billion people. World Population Day aims at increase people’s awareness on various population issues such as the importance of family planning, gender equality, poverty, maternal health and human rights.

The world population refers to the total number of humans currently living at any one time. The world population was estimated to have reached 7,500,000,000 at 16:21 on April 24, 2017. The United Nations estimates it will further increase to 11.2 billion in the year 2100. The World population has experienced continuous growth since the end of the Great Famine of 1315–17 and the Black Death in 1350, when it was near 370 million. The highest population growth rates – global population increases above 1.8% per year – occurred between 1955-1975 peaking to 2.06% between 1965-1970. The growth rate has declined to 1.18% between 2010-2015 and is projected to decline to 0.13% by the year 2100. Total annual births were highest in the late 1980s at about 139 million, and are now expected to remain essentially constant at their 2011 level of 135 million, while deaths number 56 million per year and are expected to increase to 80 million per year by 2040. World population reached 7 billion on October 31, 2011 according to the United Nations Population Fund, and on March 12, 2012 according to the United States Census Bureau.

In 2016 The median age of the world’s population was estimated to be 30.1 years, with the male median age estimated to be 29.4 years and female, 30.9 years. The 2012 UN projections show a continued increase in population in the near future with a steady decline in population growth rate; the global population is expected to reach between 8.3 and 10.9 billion by 2050. 2003 UN Population Division population projections for the year 2150 range between 3.2 and 24.8 billion. One of many independent mathematical models supports the lower estimate, while a 2014 estimate forecasts between 9.3 and 12.6 billion in 2100, and continued growth thereafter. Some analysts have questioned the sustainability of further world population growth, highlighting the growing pressures on the environment, global food supplies, and energy resources. While press interest and general awareness in the global population surges only at the increments of whole billions of people, the world population increases by 100 million approximately every 14 months. The world population reached 7,400,000,000 on February 6, 2016; and 7,500,000,000 on April 24, 2017.

Posted in books

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

The classic novel To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee was first published on 11 July 1960. It was immediately successful, winning the Pulitzer Prize, and has become a classic of modern American literature. The plot and characters are loosely based on the author’s observations of her family and neighbors, as well as on an event that occurred near her hometown in 1936, when she was 10 years old. The novel is renowned for its warmth and humor, despite dealing with the serious issues of rape and racial inequality. The narrator’s father, Atticus Finch, has served as a moral hero for many readers and as a model of integrity for lawyers. One critic explains the novel’s impact by writing, “In the twentieth century, To Kill a Mockingbird is probably the most widely read book dealing with race in America, and its protagonist, Atticus Finch, the most enduring fictional image of racial heroism.”

As a Southern Gothic novel the primary themes of To Kill a Mockingbird involve racial injustice and the destruction of innocence. Scholars have noted that Lee also addresses issues of class, courage, compassion, and gender roles in the American Deep South. The book is widely taught in schools in English-speaking countries with lessons that emphasize tolerance and decry prejudice. Despite its themes, To Kill a Mockingbird has been subject to campaigns for removal from public classrooms, and is often challenged for its use of racial epithets. Reception to the novel varied widely upon publication. Literary analysis of it is sparse, considering the number of copies sold and its widespread use in education. Author Mary McDonough Murphy, who collected individual impressions of the book by several authors and public figures, calls To Kill a Mockingbird “an astonishing phenomenon”.

In 2006, British librarians ranked the book ahead of the Bible as one “every adult should read before they die”.It was adapted into an Oscar-winning film in 1962 by director Robert Mulligan, with a screenplay by Horton Foote. Since 1990, a play based on the novel has been performed annually in Harper Lee’s hometown of Monroeville, Alabama. Harper Lee continues to respond to the book’s impact, she has refused any personal publicity for herself or the novel since 1964. To Kill a Mockingbird has also been adapted into an Oscar-winning film in 1962 by director Robert Mulligan, with a screenplay by Horton Foote. Since 1990, a play based on the novel has also been performed annually in Harper Lee’s hometown of Monroeville, Alabama.

In 2015 Harper Lee also published a sequel Go Set A Watchmen, This was originally written in the mid-1950s, before To Kill a Mockingbird was written, which was published in 1960. Sadly the manuscript for Go Set a Watchmen was Assumed to have been lost, until being discovered in late 2014 and published as originally written, with no revisions. Go Set a Watchman is described as a moving, funny and compelling 304 page novel which is set some twenty years after the events in To Kill a Mockingbird. It contains many of the characters from To Kill a Mockingbird, including an adult Scout (Jean Louise) Finch who travels from New York to Maycomb, Alabama, to visit her father, Atticus Finch and is “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 also examines how the characters adjust to the turbulent events transforming mid-1950s America. The title alludes to Scout’s view of her father, Atticus Finch, as the moral compass (“watchman”) of Maycomb and comes from Isaiah 21:6:

Posted in music

Richie Sambora (Bon Jovi)

Richie Sambora, American singer-songwriter, guitarist, and producer with rock band Bon Jovi was born 11 July 1959. Originally from Sayreville, New Jersey, Bon Jovi Formed in 1983 and consist of Jon Bon Jovi (John Francis Bongiovi, Jr.), guitarist Richie Sambora, keyboardist David Bryan and drummer Tico Torres. The band’s lineup has remained mostly static during their history, the only exception being the departure of bass player Alec John Such in 1994, who was unofficially replaced by Hugh McDonald.The band

Bon Jovi achieved widespread recognition with their third album, Slippery When Wet, which was released in 1986. Their fourth album New Jersey, was released in 1988, and became just as successful as its predecessor. Eventually Bon Jovi went onto achieve thirteen U.S. Top 40 hits between 1986-1995, including four number-ones including You Give love a Bad Name“”, “Livin on a Prayer“, “Bad Medicine“, and “I’ll Be There for You”. Other hits include Keep the Faith ”Wanted Dead or Alive” ”Bed of Roses” Have a Nice Day and “Always”.

In 2000 Bon Jovi’s single “, It’s My Life“, successfully introduced the band to a younger audience. Bon Jovi has been known to use different styles in their music, which has included country for their 2007 album Lost Highway which debuted at number one on the Billboard 200. The next album, The Circle was released in 2009, reaching number one as well. Throughout their career, the band have released eleven studio albums, three compilation albums and one live album, and have sold 130 million records worldwide. They have performed more than 2,700 concerts in over 50 countries for more than 35 million fans. Bon Jovi was inducted into the UK Music Hall of Fame in 2006. The band was also honored with the Award of Merit at the American Music Awards in 2004, and as songwriters and collaborators, Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora inducted into Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2009 and In 2013 Bon Jovi released the album “About Now”.

Richie Sambora recently parted company with Bon Jovi and has been interviewed about whether he will return. Aside from Bon Jovi, Sambora has also released a number of solo albums including: “Stranger in This Town” in 1991, “Undiscovered Soul” in 1998, and his third, “Aftermath of the Lowdown” In 2012.

Posted in music

Tommy Ramone

Tommy Ramone, (Thomas Erdelyi) from the punk band the Ramones, sadly died age 62 On 11 July 2014. The Ramones were founded by Guitarist and songwriter Johnny Ramone, (John Cummings) in the New York City neighborhood of Forest Hills, Queens, in 1974. Inspired by Paul McCartney’s use of the name Ramon, All of the band members adopted pseudonyms ending with the surname “Ramone”, though none of them were related. The original members of the band met in and around the middle-class neighborhood of Forest Hills in the New York City borough of Queens. John Cummings and Thomas Erdelyi had both been in a high-school garage band from 1966 to 1967 known as the Tangerine Puppets. They became friends with Douglas Colvin, who had recently moved to the area from Germany, and Jeffrey Hyman, who was the initial lead singer of the glam rock band Sniper, founded in 1972.

The Ramones began taking shape in early 1974, when Cummings and Colvin invited Hyman to join them in a band. The initial lineup featured Colvin on lead vocals and rhythm guitar, Cummings on lead guitar, and Hyman on drums. Colvin, who soon switched from rhythm guitar to bass, was the first to adopt the name “Ramone”, calling himself Dee Dee Ramone. He was inspired by Paul McCartney’s use of the pseudonym Paul Ramon during his Silver Beatles days. Dee Dee convinced the other members to take on the name and came up with the idea of calling the band the Ramones. Hyman and Cummings became Joey and Johnny Ramone.

However Soon after the band was formed, Dee Dee realized that he could not sing and play his bass guitar simultaneously; so Joey became the band’s new lead singer. Dee Dee continued to count off each song’s tempo with his signature rapid-fire shout of “1-2-3-4!” Joey could not sing and play drums simultaneously either and left the position of drummer. While auditioning prospective replacements, Erdelyi often demonstrated how to play the songs. It became apparent that he was able to perform the group’s music better than anyone else, so he joined the band as Tommy Ramone. the Ramones played before an audience for the first time on March 30, 1974, at Performance Studios. The songs they played were very fast and very short. Around this time, a new music scene was emerging in New York centered around two clubs in downtown Manhattan—Max’s Kansas City and, more famously, CBGB (usually referred to as CBGB’s).

The Ramones made their CBGB debut on August 16. Legs McNeil, who cofounded Punk magazine the following year, later described the impact of that performance: “They were all wearing these black leather jackets. And they counted off this song…and it was just this wall of noise…. They looked so striking. These guys were not hippies. This was something completely new.” the band swiftly became regulars at the club, playing there seventy-four times by the end of the year. After garnering considerable attention for their performances—which averaged about seventeen minutes from beginning to end—the group was signed to a recording contract in late 1975 by Seymour Stein of Sire Records. Stein’s wife, Linda Stein, had seen the band play at CBGB; she would later co-manage them along with Danny Fields.By this time, the Ramones were recognized as leaders of the new scene that was increasingly being referred to as “punk”. The group’s unusual frontman had a lot to do with their impact.

The Ramones recorded their debut album, Ramones, 1976. Featuring the song I Don’t Wanna Go Down to the Basement”, Blitzkrieg Bop and I wanna be your boyfriend. The now iconic front cover photograph of the band was taken by Roberta Bayley, a photographer for Punk magazine and it received glowing reviews. However I t wasn’t until they toured England that they began to see the fruits of their labor; a performance at The Roundhouse in London and a club night where The band met members of the Sex Pistols and The Clash introduced them to the burgeoning UK punk rock scene. They played atThe Roxy in Los Angeles the following month, fueling the punk scene and becoming increasingly popular. Their next two albums, Leave Home and Rocket to Russia, were released in 1977. Both were coproduced by Tommy and Tony Bongiovi, the second cousin of Jon Bon Jovi. Leave Home contained the song Pinhead”, which contains the memorable refrain of “Gabba gabba hey!” Rocket to Russia was the band’s next album. Featuring the songs “Sheena Is a Punk Rocker” and “Rockaway Beach”. In 1977, the Ramones recorded It’s Alive, a live concert double album, at theRainbow Theatre, London, which was released in April 1979 (the title is a reference to the 1974 horror film of the same name).

Tommy, left the band in early 1978. But continued as the Ramones’ record producer under his birth name of Erdelyi. His position as drummer was filled by Marc Bell, who had been a member of the early 1970s hard rock band Dust, Wayne County and the Backstreet Boys, and Richard Hell & The Voidoids. Bell became Marky Ramone. The Ramones fourth studio album, Road to Ruin contained the song “I Wanna Be Sedated”,The artwork on the album’s cover was done by Punk magazine cofounder John Holmstrom. The band also made their movie debut in Roger Corman’s Rock ‘n’ Roll High School (1979), renowned producer Phil Spector became interested in the Ramones and produced their 1980 album End of the Century. Pleasant Dreams, the band’s sixth album, was released in 1981. the next album Subterranean Jungle, was released in 1983.

After the release of Subterranean Jungle, Marky was fired from the band due to his alcoholism and replaced by Richard Reinhardt, who adopted the name Richie Ramone. The first album the Ramones recorded with Richie Ramone was Too Tough to Die in 1984 containing the song “Bonzo Goes to Bitburg”; The following year the band recorded their last album with Richie, Halfway to Sanity, Richie left in August 1987, and was replaced by Clem Burke from Blondie, then Dee Dee left the band as they began recording their eleventh studio album, 1989′s Brain Drain. He was replaced by Christopher Joseph Ward (C.J. Ramone), who performed with the band until they disbanded. Dee Dee initially pursued a brief career as a rapper under the name Dee Dee King. In 1995, the Ramones released ¡Adios Amigos!, their fourteenth studio album,and announced plans to disband if it was not successful. They also accepted an offer to appear in the sixth Lollapalooza festival, After the Lollapalooza tour’s conclusion, the Ramones played their final show on August 6, 1996, at the Palace in Hollywood. A recording of the concert was later released on video and CD as We’re Outta Here, which featured several guests including Motörhead’s Lemmy, Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder, Soundgarden’s Chris Cornell, and Rancid’s Tim Armstrong and Lars Frederiksen.

The Ramones then disbanded After having performed 2,263 concerts, touring virtually nonstop for 22 years. Sadly a little more than eight years since the breakup, the band’s three founding members had all passed away—lead singer Joey Ramone, guitarist Johnny Ramone in 2004 and bassist Dee Dee Ramone in 2002. Amazingly their only record with enough U.S. sales to be certified gold was the compilation album Ramones Mania. However, recognition of the band’s importance built over the years, and they are now cited in many assessments of all-time great rock music, such as the Rolling Stone list of the 50 Greatest Artists of All Time and VH1′s 100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock. In 2002, the Ramones were ranked the second-greatest band of all time by Spin magazine, trailing only The Beatles. On March 18, 2002, the Ramones—including the three founders and drummers Tommy and Marky Ramone—were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In 2011, the group was awarded a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.

Posted in films & DVD

Sir Laurence Olivier

One of the most famous and revered actors of the 20th century, the English stage & screen actor, director, and producer Sir Laurence Olivier Sadly died at his home in Steyning, West Sussex, England, from renal failure on 11 July 1989. He, was born 22nd May 1907. He was also the youngest actor to be knighted and the first to be elevated to the peerage. He married three times, to actresses Jill Esmond, Vivien Leigh, and Joan Plowright. Actor Spencer Tracy said that Olivier was ‘the greatest actor in the English-speaking world’.During his long and distinguished career Olivier played a wide variety of roles on stage and screen from Greek tragedy, Shakespeare and Restoration comedy to modern American and British drama. He was the first artistic director of the National Theatre of Great Britain and its main stage is named in his honour. He is regarded by some to be the greatest actor of the 20th century, in the same category as David Garrick, Richard Burbage, Edmund Kean and Henry Irving in their own centuries. Olivier’s AMPAS acknowledgments are considerable: twelve Oscar nominations, with two awards (for Best Actor and Best Picture for the 1948 film Hamlet), plus two honorary awards including a statuette and certificate. He was also awarded five Emmy awards from the nine nominations hereceived. Additionally, he was a three-time Golden Globe and BAFTA winner.

Olivier’s career as a stage and film actor spanned more than six decades and included a wide variety of roles, from the title role in Shakespeare’s Othello and Sir Toby Belch in Twelfth Night to the sadistic Nazi dentist Christian Szell in Marathon Man and the kindly but determined Nazi-hunter in The Boys from Brazil. A High church clergyman’s son who found fame on the West End stage, Olivier became determined early on to master Shakespeare, and eventually came to be regarded as one of the foremost Shakespeare interpreters of the 20th century. He continued to act until the year before his death in 1989. Olivier played more than 120 stage roles: Richard III, Macbeth, Romeo, Hamlet, Othello, Uncle Vanya, and Archie Rice in The Entertainer. He appeared in nearly sixty films, including William Wyler’s Wuthering Heights, Alfred Hitchcock’s Rebecca, Stanley Kubrick’s Spartacus, Otto Preminger’s Bunny Lake Is Missing, Richard Attenborough’s Oh! What a Lovely War, and A Bridge Too Far, Joseph L. Mankiewicz’s Sleuth, John Schlesinger’s Marathon Man, Daniel Petrie’s The Betsy, Desmond Davis’ Clash of the Titans, and his own Henry V, Hamlet, and Richard III. He also preserved his Othello on film, with its stage cast virtually intact.

For television, he starred in The Moon and Sixpence, John Gabriel Borkman, Long Day’s Journey into Night, Brideshead Revisited, The Merchant of Venice, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, and King Lear, among others.Olivier was created a Knight Bachelor on 12 June 1947 in the King’s Birthday Honours, becoming the youngest actor so honored. Nominated by Prime Minister Harold Wilson, he was created a life peer on 13 June 1970 in the Queen’s Birthday Honours as Baron Olivier, of Brighton in the County of Sussex, the first actor to be accorded this distinction. He was admitted to the Order of Merit in 1981, the first actor to be so honoured.

The Laurence Olivier Awards, organised by The Society of London Theatre, were renamed in his honour in 1984.Though he was a knight, a life peer, and one of the most respected personalities in the industry, Olivier insisted he be addressed as “Larry”, which he made clear he preferred to “Sir Laurence” or “Lord Olivier”. In 1999, the American Film Institute named Olivier among the Greatest Male Stars of All Time, at number 14 on the list. . He was survived by his son Tarquin from his first marriage, as well as his wife Joan Plowright and their three children. He was cremated and his ashes interred in Poets’ Corner in Westminster Abbey, London. Olivier is one of only a few actors, along with David Garrick, Henry Irving, Ben Jonson and Sybil Thorndike to have been accorded this honour. Olivier is buried alongside some of the people he portrayed in theatre and film, for example King Henry V, General John Burgoyne and Air Chief Marshal Hugh Dowding. Fifteen years after his death, Olivier once again received star billing in a film. Through the use of computer graphics, footage of him as a young man was integrated into the 2004 film Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow in which played the villain.

Posted in Events

Town criers day

Town Criers day takes place Annually on 11 July. A town crier, is an officer of a royal court or public authority who makes public pronouncements as required. The town crier can also be used to make public announcements in the streets. Criers often dress elaborately, by a tradition dating to the 18th century, in a red and gold coat, white breeches, black boots and a tricorne hat. They carry a handbell to attract people’s attention, as they shout the words “Oyez, Oyez, Oyez!” before making their announcements. The word “Oyez” means “hear ye,” which is a call for silence and attention. Oyez derives from the Anglo-Norman word for listen (modern French, oyez, infinitive, ouïr, but largely replaced by the verb écouter). The proclamations book in Chester from the early 19th century records this as “O Yes, O Yes!”

Prior to widespread literacy, town criers were the means of communication with the people of the town since many people could not read or write. Proclamations, local bylaws, market days, adverts, were all proclaimed by a bellman or crier. In ancient Rome, they typically proclaimed public business during the market days that formed a kind of weekend every 8 days. In Goslar, Germany, a crier was employed to remind the local populace not to urinate or defecate in the river the day before water was drawn for brewing beer. Ewww!

Criers were not always men either. many town criers were women. Bells were not the only means used to get people’s attention, in the Netherlands, a gong was the instrument of choice for many, and in France a drum was used, or a hunting horn.
In the observance of Allhallowtide, “it was customary for criers dressed in black to parade the streets, ringing a bell of mournful sound and calling on all good Christians to remember the poor souls.

In England the crier would yell, “Hear ye” In order to gain the attention of the crowd,
In Medieval England, town criers were the chief means of news communication with the townspeople, since many were illiterate in a period before the moveable type was invented. Royal proclamations, local bylaws, market days, adverts, even selling loaves of sugar were all proclaimed by a bellman or crier throughout the centuries—at Christmas 1798, the Chester Canal Co. sold some sugar damaged in their packet boat and this was to be advertised by the bellman. The crier also escorted the destitute to the workhouse, installed minor criminals in the stocks and administered floggings. During public hangings he read out why the person was being hanged, and helped to cut him or her down.

Chester records of 1540 show fees were due to the bellman. In 1556, a record shows “To ye belman for p’claimyng ye Founder’s dyryge” i.e two pence on Henry VIII’s death, the founder of the King’s School). In 1620, there was a fight at the Chester cross between the butchers and the bakers Which was sorted by the town Crier. In 1607, one public notice read by George Tunnall, the bellman, forbade tipping rubbish in the river. In 1715, a local man recorded that the “Belman at the Cross … Reads publicly a proclamation in the Mayor’s name, commanding all persons in the City to be of peaceable and civil behaviour, not to walk around the Streets or Rows at unreasonable hours of night”. Chester once had a crier, a day bellman and a night bellman, but in 1734, John Posnitt took over as “Day and Night Bellman.” A 1701 will of the vicar at Waverton stated that notice was to be given “by the Belman to the People of Chester, of the time when, and the place where my Corpse is to be buried”. Salmon fishing season was also closed by the Town Crier/Bellman. The term “Posting A Notice” comes from the act of the town crier, who having read his message to the townspeople, would attach it to the door post of the local inn. Some newspapers took the name “The Post” for this reason.

Town criers were protected by law, as they sometimes brought bad news such as tax increases. Anything done by the town crier was done in the name of the ruling monarch and harming a town crier was considered to be treason. (Hence the term “Don’t shoot the messenger”). There are two organizations representing town criers including the Ancient and Honourable Guild of Town Criers and Loyal Company of Town Criers, both of which take part in the Lord Mayors Procession.

By tradition, a copy of the Royal Proclamation about the dissolution of the Parliament of the United Kingdom is also delivered by hand from the Privy Council Office to Mansion House in the City of London. It is then read out by the Common Crier (aka Mace-bearer) of the City on the steps of the Royal Exchange in the heart of the City, having been handed to him by the Common Serjeant of the City, ahead of its being also read out in the London boroughs.

Gradually the need for a town crier disappeared, and the position passed into local folklore. Nevertheless Informal and later formal town crier competitions were held from the early 20th century. Subsequently, some cities and towns reinstated the post purely for ceremonial purposes. Many local councils in England and Wales reinstated the post of town crier from the mid-1990s onwards (e.g. Chester). Many are honorary appointments or employed part-time by the council. In October 2010, there were 144 towns in England and Wales with town criers registered with the Ancient and Honourable Guild of Town Criers. They mainly perform ceremonial duties at civic functions. Local councils with a paid town crier often make them available for charity events. In the Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames, the town crier is also appointed the Tipstaff, an appointment which exists in no other local council. In the 2010s in England, town criers still announce the births of royal heirs and occasionally the arrival of the royal family. Having previously served as town crier for the nearby city of Romford! Ton Appleton, an octogenarian and self-proclaimed “royalist crier,” took it upon himself to announce, as loudly as he can, important news about the royal family.

There are also several town crier guilds in both Canada and the United States. These include the Ontario Guild of Town Criers, the Nova Scotia Guild of Town Criers and the American Guild of Town Criers. In 2016, the town of Burlingame, California added a town crier. In Australia, as of October 2010, the City of Sydney, City of Hobart, City of Greater Geelong, City of Portland, City of Ipswich, City of Gosford, City of Salisbury, City of Gold Coast and 22 other local councils had an official town crier.

Cheer Up the Lonely Day
All American Pet Photo Day
Bowdler’s Day
National Blueberry Muffin Day
National Mojito Day
National Rainier Cherries Day
National Swimming Pool Day
Slurpee Day
World Population Day

Posted in Uncategorized

Neil Tennant (Pet Shop boys)

English musician, singer, songwriter, music journalist and co-founder of the synthpop duo Pet Shop Boys Neil Tennant was born 10 July 1954. As a child, Tennant attended St. Cuthbert’s Grammar School, an all-boys’ Catholic school in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne. Tennant’s songs “This Must Be the Place I Waited Years to Leave” and “It’s a Sin” refer to his early life in Catholic school and the strict upbringing there While at school, Tennant played guitar and cello. At age 16, he played in a folk music group called Dust, whose most popular song was called “Can You Hear the Dawn Break?” They were heavily influenced by The Incredible String Band. During his teenage years, he was a member of the youth theatre at the People’s Theatre, Newcastle upon Tyne.

In 1975, having completed a degree in history at North London Polytechnic (now London Metropolitan University), Tennant worked for two years as London editor for Marvel UK, the UK branch of Marvel Comics. He was responsible for anglicising the dialogue of Marvel’s catalogue to suit British readers, and for indicating where women needed to be redrawn for the British editions. He also wrote occasional features for the comics, including interviews with pop stars Marc Bolan and Alex Harvey. In 1977, he moved to Macdonald Educational Publishing where he edited The Dairy Book Of Home Management and various illustrated books about cookery, playing the guitar, and other home interests. Then he moved to ITV Books where he edited TV tie-in books. After having commissioned Steve Bush, then the designer of Smash Hits and The Face, to design a book about the group Madness, he was offered a job at Smash Hits as news editor of the British teen pop magazine in 1982. The following year he became Assistant Editor. He also edited the 1982, 1983 and 1984 editions of The Smash Hits Yearbook.

While working At Smash Hits, an opportunity arose for him to go to New York to interview The Police. Meanwhile Tennant formed the band Pet Shop Boys in London with Chris Lowe in 1981 whom he had met in an electronics shop on Kings Road in Chelsea, London, and who had a mutual interest in dance music. they began to work together on material, and produced “It’s a Sin”, “West End Girls”, “Rent” and “Jealousy”. The duo were obsessed with a stream of Hi-NRG records made by New York producer Bobby Orlando, simply known as Bobby O. After hearing a demo tape that Tennant had brought along with him, Orlando suggested making a record with the Pet Shop Boys and Between 1983–84, Orlando recorded eleven tracks with Tennant and Lowe including; “West End Girls”, “Opportunities (Let’s Make Lots of Money”), “It’s A Sin”, “I Want A Lover”, “I Get Excited”, “Two Divided By Zero”, “Rent”, “Later Tonight”, “Pet Shop Boys”, “A Man Could Get Arrested” and “One More Chance.

In March 1985, after long negotiations, Pet Shop Boys cut their contractual ties with Bobby O. Tennant left Smash Hits (where he had progressed to the position of deputy editor) and released the single, “Opportunities (Let’s Make Lots of Money)”/”In the Night”, “West End Girls” was rereleased in 1986 becoming a hit. followed by, “Love Comes Quickly” and the debut album, Please. New versions of their second single, “Opportunities (Let’s Make Lots of Money)”, and the album track “Suburbia” were also released in 1986, followed by a remix album, Disco. Pet Shop Boys also performed “Love Comes Quickly” and “West End Girls” at the 1986 MTV Video Music Awards in Los Angeles. In 1987 The Pet Shop Boys received both BRIT Awards and Ivor Novello Awards for “West End Girls” and released “It’s a Sin followed by “What Have I Done to Deserve This?” featuring Dusty Springfield which appeared on the second album Actually featuring the songs “Rent” , “King’s Cross”

Pet Shop Boys also appeared on Love Me Tender, a UK television programme, on ITV, commemorating the tenth anniversary of Elvis Presley’s death. They were asked to perform one of their favourite Elvis tracks and played “Always on My Mind”, which was re-released in a 12″ version with “In My House” which was included on the 1988 album, Introspective. Pet Shop Boys started work on an film It Couldn’t Happen Here, with director Jack Bond, starring Barbara Windsor, Joss Ackland and Gareth Hunt. In 1988. The Pet Shop Boys wrote and produced the song “I’m Not Scared” for Patsy Kensit’s band, Eighth Wonder. The song became her biggest hit single and the Pet Shop Boys included their own extended version of the track on their Introspective album. The Pet Shop Boys released “Heart”, Which was included on their first and third greatest hits albums, Discography: The Complete Singles Collection and Ultimate. whereas the album version was on their second retrospective, the double PopArt: Pet Shop Boys – The Hits. The video to the single, directed by Jack Bond, starred Ian McKellen as a vampire who steals Neil Tennant’s wife.

In 1988, Pet Shop Boys released, “Domino Dancing” followed by the third album, Introspective-a six-track album of previously unheard remixes and extended tracks. Followed by “Left to My Own Devices”, and a cover version of the Sterling Void single “It’s Alright”. In 1990, Pet Shop Boys released, “So Hard”, followed by the’ fourth album Behaviour, containing the song “Being Boring”. In 1991, Pet Shop Boys released a cover of U2’s “Where the Streets Have No Name” as a medley with “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You”, together with a remix of the album track “How Can You Expect to Be Taken Seriously?” by Brothers in Rhythm. In 1991 the Pet Shop Boys embarked on World Tour visiting Tokyo, United States, Canada, France, Belgium, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Czechoslovakia, Austria, Hungary, Yugoslavia, Switzerland, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, Ireland, and the United Kingdom. The Pet Shop Boys also released an 18-track compilation called Discography, which included all of their single releases up until then, two new singles—”DJ Culture” and “Was It Worth It?

The Pet Shop Boys also collaborated with many musicians. Including Dusty Springfield, on the singles “Nothing Has Been Proved” From the film Scandal about the Profumo political scandal starring John Hurt and “In Private”. The duo later went on to produce half of the tracks on her 1990 solo Reputation album. Pet Shop Boys were also asked to write and produce an album for Liza Minnelli, in 1989. The album, Results, generated four singles, including the hit single “Losing My Mind”, a cover version of the Stephen Sondheim song from the 1971 Broadway musical “Follies”. In 1989 Neil Tennant formed Electronic with Bernard Sumner and Johnny Marr and co-wrote and co-produced the song “Getting Away with It”. Lowe also contributed to the chord sequence to “The Patience of a Saint” on Electronic’s 1991 album. In 1992, Tennant sang lead vocals on the song “Disappointed”, for the soundtrack for the film Cool World. A remix of “So Hard”, by The KLF, led to Tennant re-recording his vocals for the song. Pet Shop Boys set up the Spaghetti Records label in 1991. Their most successful release was the soundtrack to the 1992 film The Crying Game, which featured Boy George performing the title song “The Crying Game”.

In 1992, Pet Shop Boys were the subjects of a South Bank Show program on ITV. This included interviews with Neil and Chris, and contributions from Liza Minnelli, Simon Frith, David Alden and David Fielding. In 1993, Pet Shop Boys released the song “Can You Forgive Her?” and covered the Village People single “Go West which was adopted into a football chant at Arsenal Football Club (which Chris Lowe supports) and is heard at grounds throughout Europe. Pet Shop Boys released their fifth studio album, Very, featuring the songs “I Wouldn’t Normally Do This Kind of Thing”, “Liberation” and “Yesterday, When I Was Mad”. Pet Shop boys also released the album, Relentless, which was composed of six all-new darker progressive house tracks. In 1994, Pet Shop Boys remixed Blur’s single “Girls & Boys” and released the Comic Relief single, “Absolutely Fabulous” featuring Jennifer Saunders and Joanna Lumley. The Pet Shop Boys also released Disco 2 a follow-up to their 1986 remix album Disco featuring club remixes of songs from Very and Behaviour, in a continuous megamix by Danny Rampling. The subsequent Discovery Tour visited Singapore, Australia, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Colombia, Chile, Argentina and Brazil. In 1995 Pet Shop Boys released a new version of “Paninaro”.

In 1996 The Pet Shop Boys remix of the David Bowie song “Hallo Spaceboy” (co-written by Brian Eno), from the album Outside, was released, The Pet Shop Boys then joined Bowie at the 1996 BRIT Awards and released the singles, “Before” and Se a vida é (That’s the Way Life Is)”, from the sixth Pet Shop Boys album Bilingual. Tina Turner also released her Wildest Dreams album, featuring a Pet Shop Boys-produced track “Confidential”. 1996, Neil appeared live with Suede, singing the Suede song “Saturday Night” and Pet Shop Boys track “Rent” alongside Brett Anderson. In 1997 Pet Shop Boys had a three-week residency at the Savoy Theatre, in London, featuring a cover of the song “Somewhere” from the musical West Side Story featuring projections filmed by the artist Sam Taylor-Wood. Pet Shop Boys collaborated with Sam Taylor-Wood again in 1998, recording a version of “Je t’aime… moi non plus”, by Serge Gainsbourg, and also covered the Donna Summer track “Love to Love You Baby”. In 1998 thePet Shop Boys performed a series of live dates and released a charity album of Noël Coward songs, called Twentieth Century Blues. The album included Pet Shop Boys’ version of “Sail Away”, along with songs performed by Elton John, Texas, Marianne Faithfull, The Divine Comedy, Suede, Damon Albarn, Vic Reeves and Robbie Williams. Tennant provided backing vocals on Robbie Williams’ “No Regrets” single, along with Neil Hannon from The Divine Comedy. Pet Shop Boys also worked with playwright Jonathan Harvey on a stage musical project. In 1999, many of the tracks recorded ended up on the duo’s seventh studio album, Nightlife, including “I Don’t Know What You Want But I Can’t Give It Any More”,”New York City Boy”, “You Only Tell Me You Love Me When You’re Drunk”, and”Closer to Heaven” which became the title of Pet Shop Boys’ musical.

PART TWO

Tennant also sang “In Denial”, with Kylie Minogue about a father coming out to his daughter. Minogue also performed the track live, during her 2005 Showgirl tour. The Pet Shop Boys also toured during 1999 and 2000 playing in the United States, Canada, Japan, Europe and the UK. they also played a series of festival dates in Europe, including Glastonbury. They also won their third Ivor Novello Award, honouring their “Outstanding Contribution” to music. The musical, Closer to Heaven, opened at the Arts Theatre in London, in 2001. Tennant also wanted Closer to tour Europe and New York. in 2005, a series of performances were staged in the Brisbane Powerhouse, Australia. In 2002, Pet Shop Boys released their eighth album Release featuring the songs “London”, “I Get Along” and “Home and Dry”, this album has a stripped back acoustic sound and is a complete change from dance music and featuresJohnny Marr on guitar. They embarked on a less lavish tour, with no dancers, backing singers, or outrageous costumes which also included Bristol University, Keele University, University of East Anglia in Norwich, University of Teesside, Middlesbrough and De Montfort University, Leicester. They used two extra guitarists, Bic Hayes and Mark Refoy, a percussionist (Dawne Adams) and regular programmer (Pete Gleadall) alongside Chris Lowe (keyboards) and Neil Tennant (vocals and guitar).

They also toured Germany, the U.S., Canada, Spain, Italy, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong and Thailand. In 2003 The Pet Shop Boys released Disco 3, Which included new songs as well as remixes. They also launched two new labels, Olde English Vinyl and Lucky Kunst. The first release on Olde English Vinyl was Atomizer’s “Hooked on Radiation”, followed by Pete Burns’ “Jack and Jill Party”. They also remixed Yoko Ono’s “Walking on Thin Ice” and Rammstein’s “Mein Teil”. In 2003, Pet Shop Boys released a second greatest hits album, PopArt: Pet Shop Boys – The Hits, a double compilation with two new singles: “Miracles” and “Flamboyant”. In 2004, Pet Shop Boys appeared at a free concert in Trafalgar Square in London , with the Dresdner Sinfoniker orchestra Performing a new soundtrack to accompany the 1925 silent film Battleship Potemkin. There were four more live performances in Germany in 2005. The Pet Shop Boys also played at the Prince’s Trust concert with other artists who had worked with the British producer Trevor Horn, including Grace Jones, ABC, Seal and Frankie Goes to Hollywood. In 2005, Pet Shop Boys headlined the Moscow Live 8 concert, in Red Square. They were also asked to put together music for the Back to Mine series, an ongoing anthology showcasing artists’ favourite music selections, with an emphasis on afterhours chill-out music. In 2006 Pet Shop Boys remixed Madonna’s single “Sorry”. The Pet Shop Boys also released “I’m with Stupid”, parodying the relationship between George W. Bush and Tony Blair. The promo video featured Matt Lucas and David Walliams as Tennant and Lowe, parodying, “Go West”, and “Can You Forgive Her?”.

The Pet Shop Boys released their ninth studio album, Fundamental, with a remix album called Fundamentalism, which included a version of “In Private” as a duet with Elton John and “Fugitive”, “Minimal”. A Channel 4 documentary, titled Pet Shop Boys – A Life in Pop, was also broadcast directed by George Scott and produced by Nick de Grunwald. With Contributions from Robbie Williams, Brandon Flowers, Tim Rice-Oxley, Jake Shears and Bruce Weber. Pet Shop Boys toured Europe in support of Fundamental in 2006 at assorted festivals and outdoor venues. They also played two dates at the Tower of London and at Thetford Forest. There were also performances of Battleship Potemkin, in Germany and Spain and at the Swan Hunter shipyard, in Newcastle upon Tyne, accompanied by the Northern Sinfonia orchestra. The Pet Shop Boys also worked with Robbie Williams on the album, Rudebox, producing two tracks: a cover version of “We’re the Pet Shop Boys”, written by My Robot Friend and “She’s Madonna”, a duet with Tennant, allegedly about Guy Ritchie’s affair with Tania Strecker, prior to his relationship with Madonna. They also toured Canada, the United States and Mexico, A DVD of the show in Mexico City titled Cubism was also released.

A book called “catalogue” was published, containing their entire visual output (photography, as well as the design of albums, videos, tours, books and fan club magazines) from 1984 to 2004. A small exhibition of Pet Shop Boys Artwork also opened in the Bookshop Gallery of London’s National Portrait Gallery. The song, “Numb”, was also released. the album Concrete was released in 2006. It is a double CD of the complete Mermaid Theatre concert, with the BBC Concert Orchestra (musical director: Trevor Horn), featuring Rufus Wainwright, Frances Barber and Robbie Williams. The Pet Shop Boys were also nominated for two 2007 Grammy Awards for “I’m with Stupid”, and ‘Best Electronic/Dance Album’ for Fundamental. Neil Tennant served as executive producer on Rufus Wainwright’s new album, Release the Stars, and also sang backing vocals on “Do I Disappoint You”, and “Tiergarten”. Pet Shop Boys’ released the Stars Are Blazing’ remix of The Killers’ “Read My Mind”. Pet Shop Boys continued their world tour, performing in Brazil, Argentina, Chile, New Zealand and Australia (as co-headliners of the V Festival 2007), Norway, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Germany, Switzerland, France, the Netherlands, Great Britain, Denmark, Ireland, Sweden, Italy, Romania, Spain, Belgium and Singapore.

In 2007, Pet Shop Boys released Disco 4, Comprising remixes, completed by Pet Shop Boys, of other artists’ work including The Killers, David Bowie, Yoko Ono, Madonna, Atomizer and Rammstein. Plus two remixed PetShop Boys “Integral” and “I’m with Stupid”. In 2008, the Pet Shop Boys released the single “I’m in Love with a German Film Star” featuring photographer Sam Taylor-Wood on vocals, to coincide with her exhibition in London, this was remixed by Gui Boratto, Juergen Paape and Mark Reeder. The Pet Shop Boys next album Yes was released in 2009featuring “Beautiful People” “Love etc” and “Did You See Me Coming?” They also appeared on Girls Aloud’s new album Out of Control, collaborating on the Song “The Loving Kind”. In 2009, Pet Shop Boys received the British Phonographic Industry’s most prestigious accolade, the award for outstanding contribution to British music, at the 2009 Brit Awards ceremony atEarls Court’ London. During the show the Pet Shop Boys collaborated with Lady Gaga and Brandon Flowers (The Killers). following the new album and tour a new official website was released

in 2009 Pet Shop Boys began their Pandemonium Tour playing Saint Petersburg, Russia, Tel Aviv, Israel, the Manchester Apollo and the O2 Arena in London, the Metropolis, in Montreal, Canada. This tour included songs such as “West End Girls”, “It’s a Sin” and “Always on My Mind”,” Two Divided by Zero”, “Why Don’t We Live Together?” and the B-side “Do I Have To?” InBrazil the Pet Shop Boys released a compilation titled Party, including songs that were heavily featured in the following TV Globo soap operas: “Being boring” (Meu Bem Meu Mal OST), “Domino dancing” (O Salvador da Patria OST), “West End Girls” (Selva de Pedra OST) and “King of Rome” (Viver a Vida). On 14 December 2009, Pet Shop Boys released an EP of covers, remixes, and new material, titled Christmas.

PART THREE

In 2010, Pet Shop Boys released a live album/DVD double-pack called Pandemonium. Containing the soundtrack and footage recorded from their 21 December 2009 show at the O2 Arena in London. The Pet Shop Boys also released a cover of “Love life”, as part Record Store Day 2010, which was originally recorded during the Release sessions in 2001 and given to Swedish band Alcazar. The B-side was “A Powerful Friend”, which was composed in the early 1980s and appears on the Disco 3 album. The Pet Shop Boys also headlined the Other Stage at the Glastonbury Festival. They also released The greatest hits album “Ultimate” preceded by the single “Together”. The Pet Shop Boys’ also produced a ballet based on The Most Incredible Thing by Hans Christian Andersen. It was adapted by Matthew Dunster with choreography by Javier de Frutos and features former Royal Ballet star Ivan Putrov, with animated films created by Tal Rosner, and orchestrations by German composer Sven Helbi. In 2012 the album, Format, was released featuring the duo’s B-sides from 1996 to 2009, as a sequel to their earlier B-side collection Alternative. In 2011, the Beyond Theatre Award, was presented to Pet Shop Boys and the director of The Most Incredible Thing, Javier de Frutos.

The Pet Shop Boys next album Elysium included the song “winner” which was featured heavily during the 2012 London Olympic Games. Pet Shop Boys also performed three songs before the Olympic tennis games in Henman Hill, Wimbledon: “Always On My Mind”, “What Have I Done to Deserve This?”, and “Winner. Pet Shop Boys performed “West End Girls” in the closing ceremony of the 2012 Olympic Games in August. Elysium contained the songs “Winner” “Leaving” and, “Memory of the Future” and the b-side “Listening” which was written for Morten Harkett (Aha). The Pet Shop Boys also played a free concert in the recently opened MediaCityUK BBC facilities accompanied by the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra and the Manchester Chamber Choir. Performing ‘Miracles’,”The Survivors’ and “He Dreamed of Machines”. In 2013 The Pet Shop Boys twelfth album, “Electric”, was released. In 2014 The Pet Shop Boys new orchestral work A Man from the Future received its world premiere at the BBC Proms. Performed by the BBC Singers, BBC Concert Orchestra Sven Helbi and the Pet Shop Boys, the work was inspired by the life of WW2 code breaker Alan Turing. The concert also included Overture to Performance, an orchestral arrangement of Pet Shop Boys songs used to open their 1991 Performance tour, and four Pet Shop Boys songs arranged by Angelo Badalamenti and sung by Chrissie Hynde – “Vocal”, “Love is a Catastrophe”, “Later Tonight” and “Rent”.

the Pet Shop Boys released that their thirteenth album, Super, in 2016 containing the songs “Inner Sanctum”& “The Pop Kids”. They performed the ‘Inner Sanctum’ tour, for four nights at the Royal Opera House in London. The subsequent Super Tour started in October 2016. In 2017, the Pet Shop boys announced their latest ‘Further Listening’ reissues project, called ‘Catalogue: 1985-2012’. Featuring remasters of ‘Nightlife’, ‘Release’ and ‘Fundamental’. ‘Further Listening’ ‘Yes’ and ‘Elysium’.

The Pet Shop Boys have sold more than 50 million records worldwide, and are listed as the most successful duo in UK music history by The Guinness Book of Records Three-time Brit Award winners and six-time Grammy nominees, since 1985 they have achieved forty-two Top 30 singles and 22 Top 10 hits in the UK Singles Chart, including four UK number ones: “West End Girls” (also number one on the US Billboard Hot 100), “It’s a Sin”, an acclaimed cover of “Always on My Mind” and “Heart”. Other hit songs include a cover of “Go West”, “Opportunities (Let’s Make Lots of Money)” (satire of Thatcherism) and “What Have I Done to Deserve This?” in a duet with Dusty Springfield. At the 2009 Brit Awards in London, Pet Shop Boys received an award for Outstanding Contribution to Music. In 2016, Billboard magazine named Pet Shop Boys the No. 1 Billboard Dance duo/group over the 40 years since the chart’s inception in 1976. In 2017 the duo received NME’s Godlike Genius Award