Ursula k. LeGuin

American Sci-fi and Fantasy novelist Ursula K. Le Guin, was born in Berkeley, California, on October 21, 1929. Her father Alfred Louis Kroeber was an anthropologist at the University of California, Berkeley. Le Guin’s mother Theodora Kroeber had a graduate degree in psychology, but turned to writing in her sixties. She developed a successful career as an author: her best known work was Ishi in Two Worlds, a biographical volume about Ishi, an indigenous American who was the last known member of the Yahi tribe. Ursula had three older brothers, Karl, Theodore, and Clifton. The family had a large book collection, and the siblings all became interested in reading while they were young. The Kroeber family knew well-known academics such as Robert Oppenheimer. Le Guin would later use Oppenheimer as the model for her protagonist in The Dispossessed.

The family divided its time between a summer home in the Napa valley, and a house in Berkeley during the academic year. Le Guin’s reading included science fiction and fantasy: she and her siblings frequently read issues of Thrilling Wonder Stories and Astounding Science Fiction. She was fond of myths and legends, particularly Norse mythology, and of Native American legends that her father would narrate. Le Guin developed an early interest in writing; she wrote a short story when she was nine, and submitted her first short story to Astounding Science Fiction when she was eleven and She was also interested in biology and poetry but had difficulties with mathematics. Le Guin attended Berkeley High School. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Renaissance French and Italian literature from Radcliffe College in 1951, and graduated as a member of the Phi Beta Kappa honor society. Le Guin undertook graduate studies at Columbia University, and earned a Master of Arts in French in 1952. Soon after, she began working towards a Ph.D., and won a Fulbright grant to continue her studies in France from 1953 to 1954.

In 1953, she traveled to France aboard the Queen Mary, And met historian Charles Le Guin, whom she married in Paris in December 1953. While her husband finished his doctorate at Emory University in Georgia, and later at the University of Idaho, Le Guin taught French and worked as a secretary until the birth of her daughter Elisabeth in 1957. In 1959 Charles became an instructor in history at Portland State University, and the couple moved to Portland, Oregon. Le Guin received further Fulbright grants to travel to London in 1968 and 1975. The couple had two daughters, Elisabeth and Caroline, by the time they moved, and a son, Theodore, was born in Portland in 1964.

Le Guin began writing in the 1950s, but the time she spent caring for her children constrained her writing schedule. She also became an editor and a teacher at the undergraduate level. She served on the editorial boards of the journals Paradoxa and Science Fiction Studies, in addition to writing literary criticism herself. She also taught courses at Tulane University, Bennington College, and Stanford University, among others.

Le Guin’s first published work was the poem “Folksong from the Montayna Province” in 1959, while her first short story was “An die Musik”, in 1961; both were set in her fictional country of Orsinia. Between 1951 and 1961 she also wrote five novels, all set in Orsinia, which were rejected by publishers on the grounds that they were inaccessible. Some of her poetry from this period was published in 1975 in the volume Wild Angels. Le Guin turned her attention to science fiction after lengthy periods of receiving rejections from publishers, knowing that there was a market for writing that could be readily classified as such. Her first professional publication was the short story “April in Paris” in 1962 in Fantastic Science Fiction, and four other stories followed in the next few years, in Fantastic or Amazing Stories Among them was The Dowry of the Angyar, which introduced the fictional Hainish Universe, and “The Rule of Names” and “The Word of Unbinding”, which introduced the world of Earthsea.

Rocannon’s World, Le Guin’s first published novel was released in 1966. Followed by, Planet of Exile and City of Illusions these became known as the Hainish Trilogy and contained many themes and ideas also present in Le Guin’s later works, including the “archetypal journey”, cultural contact and communication, the search for identity, and reconciling opposing forces. Le Guin’s next two books brought her sudden and widespread critical acclaim. A Wizard of Earthsea, published in 1968, was a fantasy coming of age story set in the fictional archipelago of Earthsea, the book received a positive reception in both the US and Britain

Her next novel, The Left Hand of Darkness, was a Hainish Universe story exploring themes of gender and sexuality on a fictional planet where humans have no fixed sex. it won both the Hugo and the Nebula Awards for best novel, making Le Guin the first woman to win these awards, and a number of other accolade. A Wizard of Earthsea and The Left Hand of Darkness were described by critic Harold Bloom as Le Guin’s masterpieces. She won the Hugo Award again in 1973 for The Word for World is Forest. Between 1966 and 1974, Le Guin also wrote the Hugo Award-winning “The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas” and the Nebula Award-winning “The Day Before the Revolution”, the next two novels in the Earthsea series, The Tombs of Atuan and The Farthest Shore, were published in 1971 and 1972. Her next novel The Dispossessed, was published in 1974 and took place in the Hainish Universe and explored anarchism and utopianism. This won both the Hugo and the Nebula awards for best novel, making her the first person to win both for the same two books.

However Le Guin refused a Nebula Award for her story “The Diary of the Rose” in 1975, in protest at the Science Fiction Writers of America’s revocation of Stanisław Lem’s membership. Le Guin attributed the revocation to Lem’s criticism of American science fiction and willingness to live in the Soviet Union, and said she felt reluctant to receive an award “for a story about political intolerance from a group that had just displayed political intolerance”.

Next Le Guin published the speculative fiction collection The Wind’s Twelve Quarters, the novels The Eye of the Heron, Orsinian Tales, Malafrena and Far Away from Anywhere Else, a realistic novel for adolescents, in 1979 she released a collection of essays entitled The Language of the Night and a volume of poetry entitled Wild Angels. Between 1979, and 1994, Le Guin wrote primarily for a younger audience releasing an adolescent fantasy novel called The Beginning Place, the experimental Always Coming Home together with 11 children’s picture books, between 1979 and 1994. Le Guin also wrote four more poetry collection and another Earthsea novel Tehanu in 1992. In 1983 she delivered a commencement address entitled “A Left-Handed Commencement Address” at Mills College in Oakland, California.

In 1990 Le Guin published – “The Shobies’ Story” containing the story “Coming of Age in Karhide”. She also published Four Ways to Forgiveness, and “Old Music and the Slave Women”, and In 2000 she published The Telling, her final Hainish novel. Several collections and anthologies of Le Guin’s work were also published. A series of her stories from the period 1994–2002 was released in 2002 Including The Birthday of the World and Other Stories, the novella Paradises Lost, the novel Changing Planes and the anthology The Unreal and the Real. In 2008 she published Lavinia, this was based on a character from Virgil’s Aeneid and the Annals of the Western Shore trilogy, consisting of Gifts, Voices and Powers which received the Nebula Award for Best Novel in 2009.

Le Guin’s final publication, was a collection of non-fiction, titled Dreams Must Explain Themselves. Le Guin also resigned from the Authors Guild in protest over its endorsement of Google’s book digitization project. “You decided to deal with the devil”, she wrote in her resignation letter. “There are principles involved, above all the whole concept of copyright; and these you have seen fit to abandon to a corporation, on their terms, without a struggle. In a speech at the 2014 National Book Awards, Le Guin criticized Amazon and the control it exerted over the publishing industry, specifically referencing Amazon’s treatment of the Hachette Book Group during a dispute over ebook publication. Sadly. Le Guin died on January 22, 2018, at her home in Portland, Oregon at the age of 88 having been in poor health She was survived by her husband Charles and her three children. Private memorial services for her were held in Portland and A public memorial service, which included speeches by Margaret Atwood, Molly Gloss, and Walidah Imarisha, was held in Portland in June 2018.

Godzilla: King of the Monsters

Godzilla king of the Monsters is released 14 October 2019. On DVD and BlueRay. It was directed by Michael Dougherty and is A sequel to Godzilla (2014), it is the 35th film in the Godzilla franchise, the third film in Legendary’s MonsterVerse. The film stars Kyle Chandler, Vera Farmiga, Millie Bobby Brown, Bradley Whitford, Sally Hawkins, Charles Dance, Thomas Middleditch, Aisha Hinds, O’Shea Jackson Jr., David Strathairn, Ken Watanabe, and Zhang Ziyi.

It begins Five years after the events of the previous film, where Dr. Emma Russell, a paleobiologist who works for the Kaiju-studying organization Monarch, and her daughter Madison witness the birth of a larva dubbed Mothra. A group of eco-terrorists, led by Alan Jonah, suddenly attack the base, slaughter everyone and kidnap Emma and Madison. Luckily Mothra flees and pupates under a waterfall. Monarch scientists Dr. Ishirō Serizawa and Dr. Vivienne Graham approach former employee Dr. Mark Russell, Emma’s ex-husband and Madison’s father, to help track them down.

Meanwhile Jonah follows Godzilla to Antarctica with his captives and reveals a sinister plot to free a three-headed Kaiju codenamed “Monster Zero”. Meanwhile Dr. Ishirō Serizawa, Dr. Vivienne Graham and Dr. Mark Russell are close behind. However this does not go to plan and Once freed Monster Zero causes havoc killing many people including Dr. Graham before escaping. The team then learn that Emma is secretly working with the terrorists. Emma contacts Monarch and argues that the Titans must be awakened in order to heal the Earth from the damages that humans have caused. So Emma uses a device called the “Orca”, to attract Another Kaiju called Rodan and Monarch lures Rodan into fighting the approaching Monster Zero, however this does not go to plan either, luckily Godzilla shows up again and also confronts Monster Zero. Then the Navy try to intervene, however this also goes awry and Monster Zero tries to summon yet more dormant Kaiju.

Later after doing some research Dr. Ilene Chen discovers the frightening truth about Monster Zero. Meanwhile Mothra emerges and Dr. Serizawa and the team attempt to locateGodzilla who was last seen with Rodan and Monster Zero. Elsewhere Emma has a change of heart concerning Monster Zero however Jonah ignores her. Meanwhile Unbeknownst to them Madison has unwittingly set a cataclysmic chain of events in motion and Soon all hell breaks loose…

Dune

A new science fiction film and spin-off television series Based on Frank Herbert’s original epic science fiction novel Dune is in the works and is being directed by Denis Villeneuve. It takes place in the distant future, in an intergalactic feudal society presided over by various noble families and one all-powerful emperor named Pradishah Shaddam IV. He controls the flow of an all-important and powerful spice called Melange And has employed Navigators to use Melange to “Fold Space”, this makes travelling vast distances through space possible. However Melange can only be found on the desolate planet of Arrakis and mining for Melange is a dangerous business thanks to Arrakis’ massive indigenous sandworms.

Duke Leto Atreides, ruler of the ocean planet Caladan, is despatched to the harsh desert planet of Arrakis – known colloquially as Dune – to oversee the mining of the spice Melange along with Leto’s son Paul, Paul’s mother the Lady Jessica, who is a member of the mysterious and sorcerous Bene Gesserit sisterhood who have been working towards creating a super-being known as the Kwisatz Haderach for centuries. Meanwhile Paul starts having prophetic dreams and shows signs of potentially becoming an all powerful Kwisatz Haderach, then his younger sister also starts showing some extraordinary abilities

Unfortunately the journey to Arrakis turns out to be a trap set for House Atreides by the Increasingly paranoid Emperor Shaddam IV and the corrupt House Harkonnen in an effort to control the spice Melange. House Atreides are attacked by the Harkonnen and Paul and Jessica are forced to flee into the desert, luckily they are rescued by the Native Fremen who dislike Emperor Shaddam IV and the Harkonnen and resent them strip miningArrakis for Melange. So Paul agrees to lead the Fremen in a high-stakes all out battle against the combined forces of Emperor Shaddam IV and the Harkonnen for control of the Spice Melange and ultimately the universe….

World Octopus Day

World octopus day is celebrated annually on 8 October. The purpose of World octopus day is to educate the public concerning these fascinating creatures. The octopus is a soft-bodied, eight-limbed mollusc of the order Octopoda. Around 300 species are recognised, and the order is grouped within the class Cephalopoda with squids, cuttlefish, and nautiloids. Like other cephalopods, the octopus is bilaterally symmetric with two eyes and a beak, with its mouth at the center point of the eight limbs (traditionally called “arms”, sometimes mistakenly called “tentacles”). The soft body can rapidly alter its shape, enabling octopuses to squeeze through small gaps. They trail their eight appendages behind them as they swim. The siphon is used both for respiration and for locomotion, by expelling a jet of water. Octopuses have a complex nervous system and excellent sight, and are among the most intelligent and behaviourally diverse of all invertebrates.

Octopuses inhabit various regions of the ocean, including coral reefs, pelagic waters, and the seabed; some live in the intertidal zone and others at abyssal depths. Most species grow fast, mature early and are short-lived. During breeding, the male uses a specially adapted arm to deliver a bundle of sperm directly into the female’s mantle cavity, after which he becomes senescent and dies. The female deposits fertilised eggs in a den and cares for them until they hatch, after which she also dies. Strategies to defend themselves against predators include the expulsion of ink, the use of camouflage and threat displays, their abilities to jet quickly through the water and hide, and even through deceit. All octopuses are venomous, but only the blue-ringed octopuses are known to be deadly to humans.

The giant Pacific octopus (Enteroctopus dofleini) is often cited as the largest known octopus species. Adults usually weigh around 15 kg (33 lb), with an arm span of up to 4.3 m (14 ft).The largest specimen of this species to be scientifically documented was an animal with a live mass of 71 kg (156.5 lb). Much larger sizes have been claimed for the giant Pacific octopus: one specimen was recorded as 272 kg (600 lb) with an arm span of 9 m (30 ft). A carcass of the seven-arm octopus, Haliphron atlanticus, weighed 61 kg (134 lb) and was estimated to have had a live mass of 75 kg (165 lb) The smallest species is Octopus wolfi, which is around 2.5 cm (1 in) and weighs less than 1 g (0.035 oz)

The octopus is bilaterally symmetrical along its dorso-ventral axis; the head and foot are at one end of an elongated body and function as the anterior (front) of the animal. The head includes the mouth and brain. The foot has evolved into a set of flexible, prehensile appendages, known as “arms”, that surround the mouth and are attached to each other near their base by a webbed structure. The arms can be described based on side and sequence position (such as L1, R1, L2, R2) and divided into four pairs. The two rear appendages are generally used to walk on the sea floor, while the other six are used to forage for food, hence some biologists refer to the animals has having six “arms” and two “legs”. The bulbous and hollow mantle is fused to the back of the head and is known as the visceral hump; it contains most of the vital organs. The mantle cavity has muscular walls and contains the gills Respiration involves drawing water into the mantle cavity through an aperture, passing it through the gills, and expelling it through the siphon which is connected to the exterior. The mouth of an octopus, located underneath the arms, has a sharp hard beak. Octopuses have a closed circulatory system, where the blood remains inside blood vessels. Octopuses have three hearts; a systemic heart that circulates blood round the body and two branchial hearts that pump it through each of the two gills.

The digestive system of the octopus begins with the buccal mass which consists of the mouth, pharynx, radula and salivary glands. The radula is a spiked, tongue-like organ made of chitin. Food is broken down and is forced into the oesophagus by two lateral extensions of the esophageal side walls in addition to the radula. From there it is transferred to the gastrointestinal tract, which is mostly suspended from the roof of the mantle cavity by numerous membranes. The tract consists of a crop, where the food is stored; a stomach, where food is ground down; a caecum where the now sludgy food is sorted into fluids and particles and which plays an important role in absorption; the digestive gland, where liver cells break down and absorb the fluid and become “brown bodies”; and the intestine, where the accumulated waste is turned into faecal ropes by secretions and blown out of the funnel via the rectum.

The octopus (along with cuttlefish) has the highest brain-to-body mass ratios of all invertebrates; it is also greater than that of many vertebrates. It has a highly complex nervous system, only part of which is localised in its brain, which is contained in a cartilaginous capsule.Two-thirds of an octopus’s neurons are found in the nerve cords of its arms, which can perform complex reflex actions. Attached to the brain are two special organs called statocysts (sac-like structures containing a mineralised mass and sensitive hairs), that allow the octopus to sense the orientation of its body. Due to its intelligence, octopuses can also distinguish the polarisation of light. Colour vision appears to vary from species to species,

The skin consists of a thin outer epidermis with mucous cells and sensory cells, and a connective tissue dermis consisting largely of collagen fibres and various cells allowing colour change. Most of the body is made of soft tissue allowing it to lengthen, contract, and contort itself. The octopus can squeeze through tiny gaps; even the larger species can pass through an opening close to 2.5 cm (1 in) in diameter. Lacking skeletal support, the arms work as muscular hydrostats and contain longitudinal, transverse and circular muscles around a central axial nerve. They can extend and contract, twist to left or right, bend at any place in any direction or be held rigid.

Octopuses also have an excellent sense of touch. They have eight arms and the interior surfaces of the arms are covered with circular, adhesive suckers. The suckers allow the octopus to anchor itself or to manipulate objects. Each sucker is usually circular and bowl-like and has two distinct parts: an outer shallow cavity called an infundibulum and a central hollow cavity called an acetabulum, both of which are thick muscles covered in a protective chitinous cuticle. When a sucker attaches to a surface, the orifice between the two structures is sealed. The infundibulum provides adhesion while the acetabulum remains free, and muscle contractions allow for attachment and detachment. The octopus’s suction cups are also equipped with chemoreceptors so the octopus can taste what it touches. The arms contain tension sensors so the octopus knows whether its arms are stretched out, but this is not sufficient for the brain to determine the position of the octopus’s body or arms. As a result, the octopus does not possess stereognosis; that is, it does not form a mental image of the overall shape of the object it is handling. It can detect local texture variations, but cannot integrate the information into a larger picture. The neurological autonomy of the arms means the octopus has great difficulty learning about the detailed effects of its motions. It has a poor proprioceptive sense, and it knows what exact motions were made only by observing the arms visually. Despite this Octopus arms do not become tangled or stuck to each other because the sensors recognise octopus skin and prevent self-attachment.

The eyes of the octopus are large and are at the top of the head. They are similar in structure to those of a fish and are enclosed in a cartilaginous capsule fused to the cranium. The cornea is formed from a translucent epidermal layer and the slit-shaped pupil forms a hole in the iris and lies just behind. The lens is suspended behind the pupil and photoreceptive retinal cells cover the back of the eye. The pupil can be adjusted in size and a retinal pigment screens incident light in bright conditions.

Octopuses appear in mythology as sea monsters like the Kraken of Norway and the Akkorokamui of the Ainu, and probably the Gorgon of ancient Greece. A battle with an octopus appears in Victor Hugo’s book Toilers of the Sea, inspiring other works such as Ian Fleming’s Octopussy. Octopuses appear in Japanese erotic art, shunga. They are eaten and considered a delicacy by humans in many parts of the world, especially the Mediterranean and the Asian seas.

 

C. J. & Johnny Ramone



C.J Ramone (The Ramones,, Los Gusanos, and The Ramainz was born 8 October 1965 and Johnny Ramone, Founder Member, guitarist and songwriter also s was born 8 October 1948. Formed in the New York City neighborhood of Forest Hills, Queens, in 1974, 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. A friend of the band, Monte A. Melnick (later their tour manager), helped to arrange rehearsal time for them at Manhattan’s Performance Studios, where he worked. Johnny’s former bandmate Erdelyi was set to become their manager. Soon after the band was formed, Dee Dee realized that he could not sing and play his bass guitar simultaneously; with Erdelyi’s encouragement, Joey became the band’s new lead singer. Dee Dee would continue, however, to count off each song’s tempo with his signature rapid-fire shout of “1-2-3-4!” Joey soon similarly realized that he could not sing and play drums simultaneously and left the position of drummer. While auditioning prospective replacements, Erdelyi would often take to the drums and demonstrate how to play the songs. It became apparent that he was able to perform the group’s music better than anyone else, and he joined the band as Tommy Ramone.

The Ramones played for the first time on March 30, 1974, at Performance Studios. The songs they played were very fast and very short; most clocked in at under two minutes. 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 and made quite an impact with their black leather jackets and wall of noise. Following this performance the band 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 with Sire Records. Stein’s wife, Linda Stein later co-managed them along with Danny Fields. The Ramones were soon 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, in April 1976. Of the fourteen songs on the album, the longest, “I Don’t Wanna Go Down to the Basement”, barely surpassed two-and-a-half minutes. While the songwriting credits were shared by the entire band, Dee Dee was the primary writer. It was produced on an extremely low budget of about $6,400 and released in April. The now iconic front cover photograph of the band was taken by Roberta Bayley. It was greeted by rock critics with glowing reviews and was described as having an exhilarating intensity rock & roll has not experienced since its earliest days.” The Ramones were described as “the best young rock ‘n’ roll band in the known universe. It contained the songs, “Blitzkrieg Bop” and “I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend”. However it wasn’t until they made a brief tour of England that they began to see the fruits of their labor; a performance at The Roundhouse in London on July 4, 1976 (second-billed to the Flamin’ Groovies), organized by Linda Stein, was a resounding success. Their Roundhouse appearance and a club date the following night—where the band met members of the Sex Pistols and The Clash—helped galvanize the burgeoning UK punk rock scene. The Flamin’ Groovies/Ramones double bill was successfully reprised at The Roxy in Los Angeles in August and at Toronto in September.

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 included the song “Pinhead”, which became one of the band’s signature songs with its chanted refrain of “Gabba gabba hey!” Rocket to Russia was the band’s highest-charting album to date, and was hailed as “the best American rock & roll of the year” contained 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 April 1979 (the title is a reference to the 1974 horror film of the same name).

Tommy, tired of touring, left the band in early 1978. He 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 the pioneering punk group Richard Hell & The Voidoids. Bell became Marky Ramone. Later that year, the band released their fourth studio album, and first with Marky, Road to Ruin. The album, co-produced by Tommy with Ed Stasium, included some new sounds such as acoustic guitar, several ballads, and the band’s first two recorded songs longer than three minutes and contained the song, “I Wanna Be Sedated”, which appeared both .The artwork on the album’s cover was done by Punk magazine cofounder John Holmstrom. In 1979, the band made their movie debut in Roger Corman’s Rock ‘n’ Roll High School (1979), and 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. It continued the trend established by End of the Century, taking the band further from the raw punk sound of its early records the next album Subterranean Jungle, produced by Ritchie Cordell and Glen Kolotkin, was released in 1983. After the release of Subterranean Jungle, Marky was fired from the band due to his alcoholism. He was replaced by Richard Reinhardt, who adopted the name Richie Ramone.

he first album the Ramones recorded with Richie Ramone was Too Tough to Die in 1984. The band’s main release of 1985 was the British single “Bonzo Goes to Bitburg”; The following year the band recorded their last album with Richie, Halfway to Sanity,Richie left in August 1987, upset that after being in the band for four years, the other members would still not give him a share of the money they made selling T-shirts. Richie 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 that they planned to disband if it was not successful. The band spent late 1995 on what was promoted as a farewell tour. However, they accepted an offer to appear in the sixth Lollapalooza festival, which toured around the United States during the following summer. 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! In addition to a reappearance by Dee Dee, the show featured several guests including Motörhead’s Lemmy, Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder, Soundgarden’s Chris Cornell, and Rancid’s Tim Armstrong and Lars Frederiksen and disbanded After having performed 2,263 concerts, touring virtually nonstop for 22 years.

Sadly Little more than eight years after 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.

 

Leeroy Thornhill (The Prodigy)


Leeroy Thornhill, Ex-dancer and occasional keyboard player with English electronic dance music group the Prodigy was born 8th October 1968. The group’s brand of music makes use of various styles ranging from rave, hardcore techno, industrial, and breakbeat and big beat and electronic rock with punk vocal elements. The current members include Liam Howlett, Keith Flint (dancer and vocalist), and Maxim (MC and vocalist). Leeroy Thornhill (dancer and occasional live keyboardist) was a member of the band from 1990 to 2000, as was a female dancer and vocalist called Sharky who left the group during their early period.

The Prodigy were formed by Liam Howlett in 1990 in Braintree, Essex and first emerged on the underground rave scene in the early 1990s, and have since then achieved immense popularity and worldwide renown, releasing epic techno stompers like Fire starter , Breathe, No Good (Start the Dance) and Poison. Along with Fatboy Slim, The Chemical Brothers, and other acts, The Prodigy have been credited as pioneers of the big beat genre, which achieved mainstream popularity in the 1990s and 2000s. They have sold over 25 million records worldwide, and have won numerous music awards throughout their career, including two Brit Awards—winning Best British Dance Act twice, three MTV Video Music Awards, two Kerrang! Awards, five MTV Europe Music Awards, and have twice been nominated for Grammy Awards.

Frank Herbert


Prolific American science fiction author Frank Patrick Herbert, Jr. Was born October 8, 1920 in Tacoma, Washington. Because of a poor home environment, he ran away from home in 1938 to live with an aunt and uncle in Salem, Oregon. Heenrolled in high school at Salem High School (now North Salem High School), where he graduated in 1939. In 1939 he lied about his age to get his first newspaper job at the Glendale Star. He returned to Salem in 1940 where he worked for the Oregon Statesman newspaper (now Statesman Journal) in a variety of positions, including photographer. He also served in the U.S. Navy’s Seabees for six months as a photographer during World War II, then he was given a medical discharge. He married Flora Parkinson in San Pedro, California in 1940. They had a daughter, Penny (b. February 16, 1942), but divorced in 1945.

After the war Herbert attended the University of Washington, where he met Beverly Ann Stuart at a creative writing class in 1946. Herbert had sold two pulp adventure stories to magazines, the first to Esquire in 1945, and Stuart had sold a story to Modern Romance magazine. They married in Seattle, Washington on June 20, 1946 and had two sons, Brian Patrick Herbert (b. June 29, 1947, Seattle, Washington) and Bruce Calvin Herbert (b. June 26, 1951, Santa Rosa, California d. June 15, 1993, San Rafael, California, a gay rights activist who died of AIDS). In 1949 Herbert and his wife moved to California to work on the Santa Rosa Press-Democrat. Here they befriended the psychologists Ralph and Irene Slattery who introduced Herbert to several thinkers including Freud, Jung, Jaspers and Heidegger; who familiarized Herbert with Zen Buddhism and also influenced his writing.

After failing to graduate from University He returned to journalism and worked at the Seattle Star and the Oregon Statesman. He was a writer and editor for the San Francisco Examiner’s California Living magazine for a decade. Herbert also started reading science fiction, his favourite authors were H. G. Wells, Robert A. Heinlein, Poul Anderson and Jack Vance and His first science fiction story, “Looking for Something”, was published in the April 1952 edition of Startling Stories. In 1954 He wrote three more for Astounding Science Fiction and Amazing Stories and In 1955 he published Under Pressure in Astounding Science Fiction which was issued as The Dragon in the Sea, and explored sanity and madness in the environment of a 21st-century submarine and predicted worldwide conflicts over oil consumption and production. Herbert also worked as a speechwriter for Republican senator Guy Cordon.

In 1959 Herbert began researching for the epic novel Dune. The idea originated from a magazine article he wrote on the Oregon Dunes near Florence, Oregon which gradually evolved into the novel Dune, which was eventually completed after six years of research. The magazine Analog published it in two parts “Dune World” and “Prophet of Dune”. After being revised it was eventually published in hardback by the Chilton Book Company and became a critical success winning the Nebula Award for Best Novel in 1965 and sharing the Hugo Award in 1966 with …And Call Me Conrad by Roger Zelazny. Dune was the first major ecological science fiction novel, which embraced a multitude of sweeping, inter-related themes and multiple character viewpoints in the story.

From 1969 until 1972 Herbert worked as the Seattle Post-Intelligencer’s education writer and lectured in general studies and interdisciplinary studies at the University of Washington (1970–1972). He also worked in Vietnam and Pakistan as social and ecological consultant in 1972 and was director-photographer of the television show The Tillers. By 1972, Herbert retired from newspaper writing and became a full-time fiction writer enjoying considerable commercial success. He divided his time between homes in Hawaii and Washington’s Olympic Peninsula; his home in Port Townsend, which was intended to be an “ecological demonstration project” where he wrote numerous books and pushed ecological and philosophical ideas. He also continued his Dune saga, following it with Dune Messiah, Children of Dune, and God Emperor of Dune. Other highlights were The Dosadi Experiment, The Godmakers, The White Plague and the books he wrote in partnership with Bill Ransom: The Jesus Incident, The Lazarus Effect, and The Ascension Factor which were sequels to Destination: Void. He also helped launch the career of Terry Brooks with a very positive review of Brooks’ first novel, The Sword of Shannara, in 1977. In October 1978 Herbert was the featured speaker at the Octocon II science fiction convention at the El Rancho Tropicana in Santa Rosa, California. In 1979, he met anthropologist James Funaro and they created the Contact Conference. Sadly in 1984, his wife of 38 years Beverly Herbert died. His next novel Heretics of Dune was published in 1984 and David Lynch’s big budget film version of Dune was also released in 1984 with an A-list cast including Kyle Maclachlan, Francesca Annis, Patrick Stewart and Sting. After Beverly’s death, Herbert married Theresa Shackleford in 1985, and also published Chapterhouse: Dune, which tied up many of the saga’s story threads. His final novels the anthology Eye was published that year, and Man of Two Worlds was published posthumously

Herbert sadly died of a massive pulmonary embolism while recovering from surgery for pancreatic cancer on February 11, 1986 in Madison, Wisconsin age 65. However His legacy lives on and he has influenced many authors and film-makers and his epic Dune novels remain popular. Beginning in 2012, Herbert’s estate and WordFire Press have released four previously unpublished novels in e-book and paperback formats: High-Opp (2012), Angels’ Fall (2013), A Game of Authors (2013), and A Thorn in the Bush (2014).

 

Stephenson’s Rocket

Stephenson’s early locomotive “Rocket” won the Rainhill Trials On 8 October 1829 . Stephenson’s Rocket was an early steam locomotive of 0-2-2 wheel arrangement, built in 1829 at the Forth Street Works of Robert Stephenson and Company in Newcastle Upon Tyne, specially for the Rainhill Trials held by the Liverpool & Manchester Railway in 1829 to choose the best design to power the railway. Though the Rocket was not the first steam locomotive, it brought together several innovations to produce the most advanced locomotive of its day and became the template for most steam engines in the following 150 years. It had a tall smokestack chimney at the front, a cylindrical boiler in the middle, and a separate firebox at the rear. The large front pair of wooden wheels was driven by two external cylinders set at an angle. The smaller rear wheels were not coupled to the driving wheels, giving an 0-2-2 wheel arrangement. As the first railway intended for passengers more than freight, the rules emphasised speed and would require reliability, but the weight of the locomotive was also tightly restricted. Six-wheeled locomotives were limited to six tons, four-wheeled locomotives to four and a half tons. In particular, the weight of the train expected to be hauled was to be no more than three times the actual weight of the locomotive.

Stephenson realised that whatever the size of previously successful locomotives, this new contest would favour a fast, light locomotive of only moderate hauling power. His most visible decision was to use a single pair of driving wheels, with a small carrying axle behind giving a 0-2-2 arrangement. The use of single drivers gave several advantages. The weight of coupling rods was avoided and the second axle could be smaller and lightweight, as it only carried a small proportion of the weight. Rocket placed 2½ tons of its 4¼ ton total weight onto its driving wheels,a higher axle load than the rival locomotive Sans Pareil, even though the 0-4-0 was heavier overall at 5 ton, and officially disqualified by being over the 4½ ton limit. Stephenson’s past experience convinced him that the adhesion of the locomotive’s driving wheels would not be a problem, particularly with the light trains of the trials contest. Rocket uses a multi-tubular boiler design. Previous locomotive boilers consisted of a single pipe surrounded by water. Rocket has 25 copper fire-tubes that carry the hot exhaust gas from the firebox, through the wet boiler to the blast pipe and chimney. This arrangement resulted in a greatly increased surface contact area of hot pipe with boiler water when compared to a single large flue. Additionally, radiant heating from the enlarged separate firebox helped deliver a further increase in steaming and hence boiler efficiency.The advantages of the multiple-tube boiler were quickly recognised, even for heavy, slow freight locomotives. By 1830, Stephenson’s past employee Timothy Hackworth had re-designed his return-flued Royal George as the return-tubed Wilberforce class.

Rocket also used a blastpipe, feeding the exhaust steam from the cylinders into the base of the chimney so as to induce a partial vacuum and pull air through the fire. .the blastpipe worked well on the multi-tube boiler of Rocket but on earlier designs with a single flue through the boiler it had created so much suction that it tended to rip the top off the fire and throw burning cinders out of the chimney, vastly increasing the fuel consumption. Like the Lancashire Witch, Rocket had two cylinders set at angle from the horizontal, with the pistons driving a pair of 4 ft 8.5 in (1.435 m) diameter wheels. Most previous designs had the cylinders positioned vertically, which gave the engines an uneven swaying motion as they progressed along the track. Subsequently Rocket was modified so that the cylinders were set close to horizontal, a layout that influenced nearly all designs that followed. The cylinders were also connected directly to the driving wheels, an arrangement which is found in all subsequent steam locomotives.The firebox was separate from the boiler and was double walled, with a water jacket between them. This firebox was heated by radiant heat from the glowing coke, not just convection from the hot exhaust gas.Locomotives of Rocket’s era were fired by coke rather than coal. Local landowners were already familiar with the dark clouds of smoke from coal-fired stationary engines and had imposed regulations on most new railways that locomotives would ‘consume their own smoke’. The smoke from a burning coke fire was much cleaner than that from coal. It was not until thirty years later and the development of the long firebox and brick arch that locomotives would be effectively able to burn coal directly.Rocket’s first firebox was of copper sheet and of a somewhat triangular shape from the side. The throatplate was of firebrick, possibly the backhead too.

When the Liverpool and Manchester Railway was approaching completion, the directors of the railway ran a competition to decide whether stationary steam engines or locomotives would be used to pull the trains. So the Rainhill Trials were run in October 1829 in Rainhill,Lancashire (now Merseyside) they featured several tests for each locomotive which were performed over the course of several days. The Rainhill stretch of the Railway was very level for approximately a mile and considered a perfect site for the Trials. The Rainhill Trials were arranged as an open contest that would let them see all the locomotive candidates in action, with the choice to follow. Regardless of whether or not locomotives were settled upon, a prize of £500 was offered to the winner of the trials. Three notable figures from the early days of engineering were selected as judges: John Urpeth Rastrick, a locomotive engineer of Stourbridge, Nicholas Wood, a mining engineer from Killingworth with considerable locomotive design experience and John Kennedy, a Manchester cotton spinner and a major proponent of the railway Locomotives were run two or three per day, and several tests for each locomotive were performed over the course of several days.The Rainhill stretch of the Railway was very level for a mile or so: a perfect site for the Trials.

The locomotive Cycloped was the first to drop out of the competition. Built with “legacy technology”, it used a horse walking on a drive belt for power, and was withdrawn after an accident caused the horse to burst through the floor of the engine.Next to retire was Perseverance. Damaged en route to the competition, Burstall spent five days repairing it. When it failed to reach the required 10 miles per hour (16 km/h) on its first tests the next day, it was withdrawn from the trial. It was granted a £26 consolation prize. Sans Pareil nearly completed the trials, though at first there was some doubt as to whether it would be allowed to compete as it was 300 pounds (140 kg) overweight. However, it did eventually complete eight trips before cracking a cylinder. Despite the failure it was purchased by the Liverpool & Manchester, where it served for two years before being leased to theBolton and Leigh Railway. The last engine to take part was Novelty. In complete contrast to Cycloped it was cutting-edge for 1829, lighter and considerably faster than the other locomotives in the competition. It was accordingly the crowd favourite. Reaching a then-astonishing 28 miles per hour (45 km/h) on the first day of competition, it later suffered some damage to a boiler pipe which could not be fixed properly on site in the time allotted. Nevertheless it continued its run on the next day, but upon reaching 15 mph the pipe gave way again and damaged the engine severely enough that it had to drop out. Consequently, the Rocket was the only locomotive to complete the trials. It averaged 12 miles per hour (19 km/h) (achieving a top speed of 30 miles per hour (48 km/h)) hauling 13 tons, and was declared the winner of the £500 prize. The Stephensons were accordingly given the contract to produce locomotives for the Liverpool & Manchester Railway.

In 1980 the Rocket 150 celebration was held to mark the 150th Anniversary of the trials. A replica of Novelty was built for the event, which was also attended by replicas of Sans Pareil and Rocket (plus coach).The Rocket replica bent its axle in Bold Colliery railway sidings during the event and was exhibited on a low loader carriage.The event was also attended by:Lion, at the time of Rocket 150 the oldest operable steam locomotive in existence. Flying Scotsman No. 4472, LMS 4-6-0 Jubilee class No. 5690 Leander, Sir Nigel Gresley No. 4498, GWR 0-6-0 No. 3205, lMS Class 4 MT 2-6-0 No 43106, BR 92220 Evening Star, the last steam locomotive to be built by British Railways,LMS 4-6-2 Princess Elizabeth No. 6201, Class 86 locomotives 86214, Sans Pareil and 86235. In a recent (2002) restaging of the Rainhill Trials using replica engines, neither Sans Pareil nor Novelty completed the course. In calculating the speeds and fuel efficiencies, it was found that Rocket would still have won, as its relatively modern technology made it a much more reliable locomotive than the others. Novelty almost matched it in terms of efficiency, but its firebox design caused it to gradually slow to a halt due to a build up of molten ash (called “clinker”) cutting off the air supply. The restaged trials were run over a section of line in Llangollen, Wales, and were the subject of a BBC Timewatch documentary.

 

Doctor Who Series 23 Blu-Ray special edition

Doctor Who series 23 has been released on Blu-ray it features The Trial of a Time Lord and Events of the serial are framed on an arcing plot that carries through the other three serials of the 23rd season. The Trial of a Time-Lord sees the Sixth Doctor is forced to land the TARDIS aboard a Gallifreyan space station, where he is brought into a courtroom presided over by. The Inquisitor informs the Doctor he is on trial for conduct unbecoming a Time Lord; evidence will be presented by the Valeyard. It contains four adventures: The Mysterious Planet, Mindwarp, Terror of the Vervoids, and The Ultimate Foe Events

Mysterious planet concerns the Doctor’s involvement in the planet Ravolox, where the Valeyard shows that the Doctor meddled in the affairs of the planet. The Doctor is aware that Ravolox was devastated by a fireball, according to official records, but the presence of flourishing plant life make him suspicious. As they walk, they are observed by Sabalom Glitz and Dibber, mercenaries on the planet attempting to destroy a “black light” generator in order to destroy the L3 robot deep underground that it powers. The Doctor and Peri find a tunnel and enter to find remains that appear to be that of the Marble Arch tube station on the London Underground Central line, Unfortunately Peri is captured by a local human tribe, led by Katryca, who informs Peri that she will need to take many husbands for the tribe, (steady on, we’ve only just met) and locks her away with Glitz and Dibber; the two were captured after approaching the tribe to try to convince them to let them destroy the generator, which the tribe has taken as a totem.

Meanwhile The Doctor, in exploring the modern underground complex, is also captured by humans under watch by “the Immortal”. He is brought before the Immortal, the L3 robot that Glitz is looking for. The robot calls itself Drathro, and is following its instructions to maintain the habitat of the underground system. Peri, Glitz, and Dibber eventually meet up with the Doctor back at the ruins of Marble Arch, trapped between the tribe and a service robot. Unfortunately, the tribesmen recapture the group and when The Doctor tries to explain the nature of the tribe’s totem, but Katryca is unimpressed. Glitz then makes a startling revelation concerning Ravolox. Meanwhile Drathro reactivates, so Katryca decides they should attack Drathro’s “castle” to steal its technology for itself, however this does not go to plan
Meanwhile the Doctor and Peri use the opportunity to escape and re-enter the underground complex, despite the dangers posed by the Black Light Generator and Drathro. The Doctor then offers Drathro a solution regarding the black light system, and Glitz makes Drathro another tempting offer

In the second story Mindwarp The Valeyard presents his second piece of evidence for the prosecution, the Doctor and Peri’s activities on Thoros Beta, where the Doctor is investigating arms sales, where he sees his old adversary Sil. Sil’s race, the Mentors, are revealed to have been supplying Yrcanos, the local king of a Viking-like primitive culture, with advanced weaponry. Meanwhile, a scientist, Crozier, is preparing for surgery on Kiv, an influential Mentor whose brain is expanding. When the Doctor learns that Peri has been chosen as the new host for Kiv’s brain, he allies with Yrcanos to kill the Mentors however this has tragic consequences.

In the third story Terror of the Vervoids the Doctor begins to suspect that evidence is being tampered with. It takes place in the year 2986, and sees the Doctor and his new companion Mel answer a distress call from the interstellar ship Hyperion III. The ship is sabotaged and people are dying at the hands of the Vervoids, plant-like humanoids who the Doctor learns were genetically engineered to be slaves. So the Doctor and Mel try to stop the Vervoids running amok

In the final story the Ultimate Foe The Doctor claims that the Matrix has been deliberately altered, and the Keeper of the Matrix is summoned Seconds later, the Master appears on the Matrix’s screen. Sabalom Glitz and Mellearn of a deadly conspiracyconcerning The Doctor who finally discovers the the uncomfortable truth behind the Valeyard’s true identity and that his suspicions may have been right. The Valeyard and Master then resorts to extreme measures against the High Council while the Doctor tries to stop them. The Inquisitor then makes the Doctor a tempting offer and reveals what really happened to Peri. However Mel makes a disturbing discovery concerning the Keeper of the Matrix….

Philip Hinchcliffe

English television producer, writer and script editor Philip Michael Hinchcliffe was born October 1944 in Dewsbury, Yorkshire. He was educated at Slough Grammar School and Pembroke College, Cambridge, where he studied English literature. After a brief period working for a travel company and then as a teacher. Hinchcliffe began his Television career as a writer and script editor in commercial television after Joining Associated Television, writing episodes for series including the soap Crossroads. He then served as script editor of the sitcom Alexander the Greatest, the children’s adventure series The Jensen Code and the children’s drama series The Kids from 47A.

In Spring 1974, at the age of 29, he was approached by the BBC’s head of serials to take over as producer on Doctor Who, his first full production job, initially trailing and then succeeding long-serving producer Barry Letts. Although he trailed Letts on Tom Baker’s first story Robot, he was first credited on The Ark in Space. Throughout his first year he was mostly producing scripts that had been commissioned by the previous production team prior to their departure and it was not until a year later that Hinchcliffe’s full influence came to bear, with Planet of Evil in late 1975 – Tom Baker’s second season in the title role of the Doctor.

Hinchcliffe, together with script editor Robert Holmes, ushered in a change in tone for the television series. The series became darker and more adult than previously, with a gothic atmosphere influenced by the horror films produced by Hammer Films. This horror influence is especially evident in serials like Planet of Evil, Pyramids of Mars, The Brain of Morbius, The Hand of Fear and The Talons of Weng-Chiang, all of which have content which directly recalls well known horror novels and movies. Hinchcliffe also aspired to give the programme a more literary feel with a stronger science fiction basis.

Hinchcliffe was reluctant to use characters and monsters from the series’ past: the Daleks, the Cybermen and the Sontarans only appeared once during his tenure, and these stories were commissioned by Barry Letts. The Master and the Time Lords returned for one adventure, The Deadly Assassin, at the suggestion of script editor Robert Holmes, but were portrayed very differently from their previous appearances. The character of Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart and the United Nations Intelligence Taskforce were written out of the series.

Hinchcliffe produced more episodes to achieve over 10 million viewers than any other producer in the series’ history; only during the “Dalekmania” spell of the mid-Sixties had the series gained a comparable reception from the public. However, the BBC received several complaints from Mary Whitehouse of the National Viewers’ and Listeners’ Association that the series was unduly frightening for children and could traumatise them. The NVALA had been critical of the series before but the complaints reached their height in the Hinchcliffe period. Her strongest criticism was for The Deadly Assassin, where an attempt is made to drown the Doctor at the end of an episode. While the BBC publicly defended the programme, after three seasons Hinchcliffe was moved onto the adult police thriller series Target in 1977, and his replacement Graham Williams, who had created Target, was specifically instructed to lighten the tone of the storylines and reduce violence. Screenonline states that this resulted in “the start of an erratic decline in both popularity and quality” for Doctor Who which led to its eventual cancellation. Hinchcliffe also wrote several novelisations of Doctor Who serials for Target Books, adapting The Keys of Marinus, The Seeds of Doom, and The Masque of Mandragora.

After Doctor Who Hinchcliffe worked on numerous series, single dramas and films including Target, Private Schulz, The Charmer, Take Me Home, Friday on My Mind and many others. He finished his career as an executive producer for Scottish Television and stepped down from the producer role in 1995, after working on the feature films An Awfully Big Adventure starring Hugh Grant and Total Eclipse starring Leonardo DiCaprio, but was engaged as an Executive Producer by Scottish Television from 1998 to 2001, overseeing series including Taggart, John Hannah episodes of Rebus, and one-off dramas including The Last Musketeer with Robson Green and Take Me in 2001.

Hinchcliffe has made numerous appearances on DVD releases of Doctor Who serials made under his producership. His most notable appearance is in Serial Thrillers, a documentary included in the Pyramids of Mars DVD release, focusing on his three-year reign as producer in some depth, examining what made the show so successful during that period. Most recently, an interview titled “Life After Who” was included on The Android Invasion DVD release, where daughter Celina Hinchcliffe takes her father on a trip down memory lane to recall his distinguished career in British television and film after his work on Doctor Who. With the death of his immediate predecessor Barry Letts in October 2009, Hinchcliffe and Derrick Sherwin are the only producers of the classic series of Doctor Who still alive.

Mark Hamill

American actor, voice actor, producer, director, and writer Mark Richard Hamill was born September 25, 1951. He is best known for his performance as Luke Skywalker in the original Star Wars trilogy, as well as his voice role as the Joker in Batman: The Animated Series, its various spin-offs, and the video games Batman: Arkham Asylum andBatman: Arkham City. Hamill has also lent his voice to various other villains and anti-heroes in various other animated productions.

Mark atended Nile C. Kinnick High School in Yokosuka, and was a member of the drama club. After that he attended Annandale High School in Annandale, Virginia. He subsequently enrolled at Los Angeles City College and majored in drama. Hamill’s early career included voicing the character Corey Anders on the Saturday morning cartoon Jeannie by Hanna-Barbera Productions. He also portrayed the oldest son, David, on the pilot episode of Eight Is Enough, though the role was later performed byGrant Goodeve. He acted in TV series such as The Texas Wheelers, General Hospital, The Partridge Family, and One Day at a Time. One of his earliest films was the made-for-TV film The City.Robert Englund was auditioning for a part in Apocalypse Now when he walked across the hall where auditions were taking place forGeorge Lucas’ Star Wars. After watching the auditions for a while, he realized that his friend, aspiring actor Mark Hamill, would be perfect for the role of Luke Skywalker. He suggested to Hamill that he audition for the part; Hamill did, and won the role.Released in the summer of 1977, Star Wars was an enormous, unexpected success and made a huge impact on the film industry. Hamill also appeared in Star Wars Holiday Special (1978) and later starred in the successful Star Wars sequels The Empire Strikes Back(1980) and Return of the Jedi (1983). For each of the sequels, Hamill was honored with the Saturn Award for Best Actor given by the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy, & Horror Films.He reprised the role of Luke Skywalker for the radio dramatizations of both Star Wars and The Empire Strikes Back, but did not act in theReturn of the Jedi radio drama due to budgetary concerns.

After the success of Star Wars, Hamill found that audiences identified him very closely with the role of Luke Skywalker. He attempted to avoid typecasting by appearing in Corvette Summer (1978) and the better-known World War II film The Big Red One (1980). Hamill also made a guest appearance on The Muppet Show as both himself and his role of Luke Skywalker. C3PO and R2-D2 were along with him on a search for Chewbacca in that episode. As the 1980s wore on, Hamill did little film work outside of Star Wars. Instead, he acted on Broadway, starring in The Elephant Man, Harrigan ‘N Hart (for which he received a Drama Desk Award nomination), The Nerd, and other stage plays. Hamill also played the antagonist Hawkins in the Swedish action movie Hamilton in 1998. Some of his other film credits include The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia, Britannia Hospital, Slipstream, The Guyver, and the 1995 remake of Village of the Damned. In 1990, he played an escaped mental patient who terrorizes Michael Dudikoff and his wife in Midnight Ride. He also narrated The Sci-Fi Files, a four-part documentary about the influence of science fiction upon present society. In 2001, Hamill starred in Thank You, Good Night alongside Christian Campbell, John Paul Pitoc, and Sally Kirkland. Hamill appeared in the film Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back and parodies Luke Skywalker, The Joker, The Trickster (of “The Flash” fame), and the rest of the vast array of super-villain voices he has done and himself all at the same time.

In live-action television, Hamill had recurring roles in General Hospital and The Texas Wheelers, and a small role in The Bill Cosby Show. He guest appeared in two episodes as the Trickster in the live-action television series of The Flash, a role he would later reprise in the animated series Justice League Unlimited. He has made cameo appearances on MADtv (where he played the estranged father ofMs. Swan), and appeared on Saturday Night Live (playing himself being sold on a Star Wars-themed home shopping sale). Hamill appeared on single episodes of 3rd Rock from the Sun and Just Shoot Me! He also had a guest spot on The Muppet Show as both himself and his “cousin” Luke Skywalker, along with C-3PO, Chewbacca and R2-D2. In 1986, he appeared in an episode of the TV seriesAmazing Stories (“Gather Ye Acorns”) in the role of Jonathan. He also had a recurring role as Tobias LeConte on seaQuest DSV. It has been recounted by Richard Hatch that, shortly after the filming of Star Wars, when Mark appeared on set for a guest appearance onStreets of San Francisco, he was asked by Richard about recent work, to which Mark had reportedly replied “I just finished a movie called Star Wars.”Hamill also directed and starred in the 2005 direct-to-DVD Comic Book: The Movie. A comic book fan who attended science fiction and comic conventions before he became famous, Hamill claimed that his character was based on an exaggerated version of himself. He and his crew shot most of the “mockumentary” film during the 2002 San Diego Comic-Con, and enlisted Stan Lee, Kevin Smith, andHugh Hefner in small roles. The movie won an award for Best Live-Action DVD Premiere Movie at the 2005 DVD Exclusive Awards.

Mark Hamill has gained a reputation as a prolific voice actor. He previously did voice acting work in the Ralph Bakshi film Wizards, where he played “Sean, leader of the Knights of Stardust,” which was released just three months before Star Wars in 1977. Though the voice-role he is most known for is Batman’s archenemy the Joker, his success as the Joker has led him to portray a wide variety of characters (mostly villainous) in television, film, anime, and video games including the Hobgoblin in the 1990sSpider-Man cartoon series, Lawrance “Larry” 3000, in Cartoon Network’s animated series Time Squad. He also guest starred in The Simpsons episode “Mayored to the Mob”, he played the Gargoyle in the animated series of The Incredible Hulk, the Hobgoblin in Spider-Man: The Animated Series, Maximus in Fantastic Four, Captain Stickybeard inCodename: Kids Next Door, and the deranged shock jock anchorman Dr. Jak in Phantom 2040. He even parodied his Joker role in theTom & Jerry Kids episode “Droopy Man Returns,” and in the Animaniacs episode “The Cranial Crusader”, as Johnny Bad-Note. He voiced Dr. Julius Pendecker in The Tick, and Niju the Evil Wolf in Balto II: Wolf Quest. He also voiced Christopher “Maverick” Blair in the animated series Wing Commander Academy. In 1999, he provided the voice of Van Ripper in The Night of the Headless Horseman. 

He voiced the character of Chanukah Zombie for the 2007 straight-to-DVD release Futurama: Bender’s Big Score. He also voiced the character Adolpho in Loonatics Unleashed.Hamill was also the voice of Judah in the DreamWorks film Joseph: King of Dreams As well asSolomon Grundy and the Trickster in the DC animated universe seriesJustice League and Justice League Unlimited. He voiced the murderous gangster Tony Zucco in The Batman, an animated series unrelated to the various DCAU shows. He also voiced the Spectre, in an episode of Batman: The Brave and the Bold, another animated series unrelated to the DCAU.Hamill performs the voice of Undergrowth in the Danny Phantom episode “Urban Jungle.” He provided the voice of series antagonist Fire Lord Ozai in Avatar: The Last Airbender and Skeleton King in Super Robot Monkey Team Hyperforce Go!. He also guest starred as The Moth in the SpongeBob SquarePants episode “Night Light”. Additionally, he played the latter character in the Mina and the Count shorts.In the Hanna-Barbera Productions cartoon SWAT Kats: The Radical Squadron, Hamill voiced Jonny K., the Red Lynx, and Burke, among others. He is also a recurring voice actor on Seth Green’s Robot Chicken. He also voiced Cry Baby Clown in Sccoby Doo Mystery Incorporated And had a voice cameo in the NASA animated short “Robot Astronomy Talk Show: Gravity and the Great Attractor,” part of the web-series IRrelevant Astronomy, produced by NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope.

He appeared in Star Wars episode VII alongside Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher. Hamill is also doing voicework for several characters in the Metalocalypse animated series, and plays the voice of Skips in the animated series Regular Show. He also voices Frank the Director in Random! Cartoons on Frederator Studios. He also voiced Abraham Kane in the new series, Motorcity. He voiced Colonel Muska in the English-language version of Castle in the Sky and the Mayor of Pejite in Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, both directed by Hayao Miyazaki and distributed by Disney. Hamill provided the voice of Commander Taylor in Robotech: The Shadow Chronicles, the sequel to the 1980s adapted anime series Robotech. He was also in Afro Samurai Resurrection. Hamill provides the voice of Jameson Burkright in the miniseries comedy The Wrong Coast, and Yamma in the joint Cartoon Network/Production I.G anime series IGPX Immortal Grand Prix. In early 2010, he voiced as Dante’s father in the anime film version ofDante’s Inferno. Hamill also co-wrote The Black Pearl, a comic book miniseries published by Dark Horse Comics. He wrote an introduction to the Trade Paperback Batman: Riddler Two-Face which reprints various stories involving The Riddler and Two-Face to tie in with Batman Forever. He has also written several stories for Simpsons Comics, including “Catastrophe in Substitute Springfields!”, which parodies DC’s Crisis on Infinite Earths and also references several other classic comics. It was confirmed that Hamill is also doing the voicework for Alvin the Treacherous, a villain who is appeared in DreamWorks Television Series, Dragons: Riders of Berk.