G. K. Chesterton

English writer G.K Chesterton was born 29th May 1874. He published works on philosophy, ontology, poetry, plays, journalism, public lectures and debates, literary and art criticism, biography, Christian apologetics, and fiction, including fantasy and detective fiction. Chesterton has been called the “prince of paradox”. Time magazine, in a review of a biography of Chesterton, observed of his writing style: “Whenever possible Chesterton made his points with popular sayings, proverbs, allegories— first carefully turning them inside out.” For example, Chesterton wrote “Thieves respect property. They merely wish the property to become their property that they may more perfectly respect it.”Chesterton is well known for his reasoned apologetics and even some of those who disagree with him have recognized the universal appeal of such works as Orthodoxy and The Everlasting Man.

Chesterton, as a political thinker, cast aspersions on both progressivism and conservatism, saying, “The whole modern world has divided itself into Conservatives and Progressives. The business of Progressives is to go on making mistakes. The business of the Conservatives is to prevent the mistakes from being corrected.” Chesterton routinely referred to himself as an “orthodox” Christian, and came to identify such a position more and more with Catholicism, eventually converting to Roman Catholicism from High Church Anglicanism. George Bernard Shaw, Chesterton’s “friendly enemy” according to Time, said of him, “He was a man of colossal genius”. Biographers have identified him as a successor to such Victorian authors as Matthew Arnold, Thomas Carlyle, John Henry Cardinal Newman, and John Ruskin.Among his best known works are The Napoleon of Notting Hill, Heretics, Charles Dickens: A Critical Study, The Man Who Was Thursday, Orthodoxy, Manalive, Father Brown short stories (detective fiction), Eugenics and Other Evils, Saint Francis of Assisi (1923), Doubleday, The Everlasting Man & Saint Thomas Aquinas. A lot of these can be found on the Project Gutenberg Website.

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Malcolm X

African-American Muslim minister and human Civil rights activist Malcolm X was Born 19th May in 1925. To his admirers, he was a courageous advocate for the rights of African Americans, a man who indicted white America in the harshest terms for its crimes against black Americans. Detractors accused him of preaching racism, black supremacy, antisemitism, and violence. Malcolm X’s father died—killed by white supremacists, it was rumored—when he was young, and at least one of his uncles was lynched.

When he was thirteen, his mother was placed in a mental hospital, and he was placed in a series of foster homes. In 1946, at age 20, he went to prison for breaking and entering. In prison, Malcolm X became a member of the Nation of Islam and after his parole in 1952 he quickly rose to become one of its leaders.For a dozen years Malcolm X was the public face of the controversial group, but disillusionment with Nation of Islam head Elijah Muhammad led him to leave the Nation in March 1964. After a period of travel in Africa and the Middle East, he returned to the United States, where he founded Muslim Mosque, Inc. and the Organization of Afro-American Unity. In February 1965, less than a year after leaving the Nation of Islam, he was assassinated by three members of the group. Malcolm X’s expressed beliefs changed substantially over time. As a spokesman for the Nation of Islam he taught black supremacy and advocated separation of black and white Americans—in contrast to the civil rights movement’s emphasis on integration. After breaking with the Nation of Islam in 1964—saying of his association with it, “I was a zombie then … pointed in a certain direction and told to march”—and becoming a Sunni Muslim, he disavowed racism and expressed willingness to work with civil rights leaders, though still emphasizing black self-determination and self defense.

Sadly On February 21, 1965, Malcolm X was assassinated, as he prepared to address the Organization of Afro-American Unity in Manhattan’s Audubon Ballroom, after a disturbance broke out in the 400-person audience. As Malcolm X and his bodyguards moved to quiet the disturbance, a man seated in the front row rushed forward and shot him once in the chest with a double-barreled sawed-off shotgun. Two other men charged the stage and fired semi-automatic handguns, hitting Malcolm X several times.The funeral was held on February 27 at the Faith Temple Church of God in Christ in Harlem and Malcolm X was buried at Ferncliff Cemetery in Hartsdale, New York.Malcolm X has been described as one of the greatest and most influential African Americans in history and is credited with raising the self-esteem of black Americans and reconnecting them with their African heritage. He is largely responsible for the spread of Islam in the black community in the United States. Many African Americans, especially those who lived in cities in the Northern and Western United States, felt that Malcolm X articulated their complaints concerning inequality better than the mainstream civil rights movement did.

David Attenborough OM CH CVO CBE FZS FSA

English wildlife enthusaist Sir David Attenborugh OM, CH, CVO, CBE, FRS, FZS, FSA was born 8th May in 1926. He is a younger brother of the late director, producer and actor Richard Attenborough and His career as the face and voice of natural history programmes has endured for more than 50 years. He is best known for writing and presenting the Life series, in conjunction with the BBC Natural History Unit, which collectively form a comprehensive survey of all life on the planet. Attenborough grew up in College House on the campus of the University College, Leicester, where he spent his childhood collecting fossils, stones and other natural specimens. He received encouragement in this pursuit at age seven, and one of his adoptive sisters also gave him a piece of amber filled with prehistoric insects. He was educated at Wyggeston Grammar School for Boys in Leicester and then won a scholarship to Clare College, Cambridge in 1945, where he studied geology and zoology and obtained a degree in natural sciences.

In 1950, he applied for a job as a radio talks producer with the BBC and attracted the interest of the head of the Factual broadcasting department of the BBC and joined the BBC full-time. Attenborough’s association with natural history programmes began when he produced and presented the three-part series The Pattern of Animals, which discussed the use of camouflage, aposematism and courtship displays among animals. Through this programme.Attenborough met the curator of the zoo’s reptile house, and they decided to make a series about an animal-collecting expedition. The result was Zoo Quest, first broadcast in 1954, which Attenborough presented. In 1957, the BBC Natural History Unit was established and Attenborough formed the Travel and Exploration Unit, allowing him to continue to front Zoo Quest as well as produce other documentaries, notably the Travellers’ Tales. Attenborough also began studying for a post-graduate degree in social anthropology at the London School of Economics, however he returned to the BBC as controller of BBC Two before he could finish the degree and became the controller of BBC Two in March 1965 but was allowed to continue sudying as well as making programmes on an occasional basis. Later the same year, he filmed elephants in Tanzania, and in 1969, he made a series on the cultural history of the Indonesian island of Bali. For the 1971 film A Blank on the Map, he joined the first Western expedition to a remote highland valley in New Guinea to seek out a lost tribe.

Life in the Freezer (1993)

As controller of BBC2 Attenborough established a portfolio of diverse and different programmes which defined the channel’s identity including music, arts, entertainment, archaeology, experimental comedy, travel, drama, sport, business, science and natural history programmes such as Man Alive, Call My Bluff, Chronicle, Life, One Pair of Eyes, The Old Grey Whistle Test, Monty Python’s Flying Circus and The Money Programme. He also ordered a 13-part series on the history of Western art, which was Broadcast in 1969 and set the blueprint for landmark documentaries. Others followed, including The Ascent of Man and Alistair Cooke’s America. Attenborough thought that the story of evolution would be a natural subject for such a series. He shared his idea with a producer at the Natural History Unit, who came up with the title Life on Earth and returned to Bristol to start planning the series.Early the following year, he returned to full-time programme-making, leaving him free to write and present the planned natural history epic. Attenborough became a freelance broadcaster and immediately started work on his next project, which resulted in the 1973 series Eastwards with Attenborough, which was similar to Zoo Quests . On his return, he began to work on Life on Earth. Due to the scale of his ambition, the BBC decided to partner with an American network meanwhile he worked on a number of other television projects including a series on tribal art (The Tribal Eye) and another on the voyages of discovery (The Explorers).

The Life of Mammals (2002)

Life on Earth began production in 1976 And Attenborough set about creating a body of work which set the benchmark for wildlife film-making and influence a generation of documentary film-makers. By treating his subject seriously and researching the latest discoveries, Attenborough and his production team gained the trust of the scientific community, who responded by allowing him to feature their subjects in his programmes. In Rwanda, Attenborough and his crew were granted privileged access to film Dian Fossey’s research group of mountain gorillas. new film-making techniques were devised to get hitherto unfilmable events and animals. Attenborough also managed to visit several locations around the globe in each episode, sometimes even changing continents mid-sentence. Although appearing as the on-screen presenter, he consciously restricted his pieces to camera to give his subjects top billing. The success of Life on Earth prompted the BBC to consider a follow-up, and five years later, The Living Planet was screened dealing with the theme of ecology, how living things adapt to their environment. It was another critical and commercial success, generating huge international sales for the BBC.In 1990, The Trials of Life completed the original Life trilogy, looking at animal behaviour through the different stages of life.

In 1993, he continued with Life in the Freezer, which surveyed the natural history of Antarctica, and then embarked on a number of more specialised surveys of the natural world, beginning with plants. The result, The Private Life of Plants , showed plants as dynamic organisms by using time-lapse photography to speed up their growth. Attenborough then made The Life of Birds dealing with Avian matters. Technological developments in camera technology played a big part in subsequent program’s and for the next series Life of Mammals, low-light and infrared cameras were deployed to reveal the behaviour of nocturnal mammals. Advances in macro photography also made it possible to capture natural behaviour of very small creatures for the first time, and in 2005, Life in the Undergrowth dealt with the hitherto hidden world of invertebrates.The Next series Attenborough made was Life in Cold Blood which dealt with Reptiles and Amphibians.

The Life program’s were assembled In a DVD encyclopaedia called Life on Land. Then in 2010 Attenborough made First Life — dealing with evolutionary history before Life on Earth. He has continued to work on other documentaries, and his voice is synonymous with many other wildlife documentaries including The First Eden, Lost Worlds Vanished Lives, Wildlife on One, BBC Wildlife Specials, The Blue Planet, Nature’s Great Events, Life, Frozen Planet, Wildlife on One and the Natural World. n 1997, he narrated the BBC Wildlife Specials, each focussing on a charismatic species, and screened to mark the Natural History Unit’s 40th anniversary, and continued to collaborate with the BBC Natural History Unit in the new millennium. Attenborough then narrated The Blue Planet (2001), which dealt with marine life, And Planet Earth (2006), the biggest nature documentary ever made for television. In 2011, he narrated Frozen Planet featuring the Natural History of the Polar Regions.In 2009, he co-wrote and narrated Life, a ten-part series focussing on extraordinary animal behaviour, and narrated Nature’s Great Events, which showed how seasonal changes trigger major natural spectacles.

Recently Attenborough’s documentaries have became more overtly environmentalist. In State of the Planet, he assesses the impact man’s activities have had on the natural world by using scientific evidence and interviews with leading scientists and conservationists. He has also addressed global warming (The Truth about Climate Change) and human population growth (How Many People Can Live on Planet Earth?) and Highlighted the plight of endangered species in BBC’s Saving Planet Earth project in 2007, the 50th anniversary of the Natural History Unit. Attenborough is also working on documentaries for Sky’s new 3D network, Sky 3D. Their first collaboration was Flying Monsters 3D, a film about pterosaurs a second film, The Bachelor King, followed a year later, and further collaborations are planned including a series on plants, and following that, a series on the wildlife of the Galapagos Islands. and a second series of First Life, which explored the origins of life on Earth.

In 2012 Attenborough celebrated 50 years in broadcasting and during this long and distinguished career he has been given many honorary degrees by British universities. In 1980, he was honoured by the Open University. He also has honorary Doctor of Science awards from the University of Cambridge, the University of Oxford and the University of Bath. In 2006, he received the title of Distinguished Honorary Fellows of the University of Leicester, “in recognition of a record of continuing distinguished service to the University.” David Attenborough was also awarded an honorary Doctor of Letters degree by the university in 1970, and was made an honorary Freeman of the City of Leicester in 1990. He has also received the title Honorary Fellow from Clare College, Cambridge, the Zoological Society of London, the Linnean Society, the Institute of Biology and the Society of Antiquaries, snd was named as the most trusted celebrity in Britain in a 2006 Reader’s Digest poll. The following year he won The Culture Show’s Living Icon Award and was also named among the 100 Greatest Britons in a 2002 BBC poll and is one of the top ten “Heroes of Our Time” according to New Statesman magazine.

He also has the distinction of having a number of newly-discovered species and fossils being named in his honour. In 1993, a fossilised Mesozoic armoured fish discovered in Western Australia was given the name Materpiscis attenboroughi, which is also believed to be the earliest organism capable of internal fertilisation. He has also lent his name to a species of Ecuadorian flowering tree, Blakea attenboroughi, one of the world’s largest-pitchered carnivorous plants, Nepenthes attenboroughii, and one of only four species of long-beaked echidna, the critically endangered Zaglossus attenboroughi, discovered by explorer and zoologist Tim Flannery in the Cyclops Mountains of New Guinea in 1998, and In September 2009, London’s Natural History Museum opened the Attenborough Studio, part of its Darwin Centre development. An arctic research vessel has also recently been named Sir David Attenborough. Attenborough’s contribution to broadcasting and wildlife film-making has brought him international recognition. He has been called “the great communicator, the peerless educator” and “the greatest broadcaster of our time”. His programmes are often cited as an example of what public service broadcasting should be, and have influenced a generation of wildlife film-makers.

Star Wars Day

Star WarsMany Star Wars fans celebrate Star Wars culture, books and honour the films annually on May 4th, which has been dubbed Star Wars Day because of the popularity of a common pun “May the fourth be with you”. If you wanted To prolong the celebrations you could also try Revenge of the 5ith, The la5t Jedi, Ro6ue One or Revenge of the Si(x)th. The original quote is derived from the famous quote ‘May the Force be with you” and was first used in an advertisement placed in the London Evening News when Margaret Thatcher was elected Britain’s first female Prime Minister on May 4, 1979, and The Conservative political party placed an advertisement in The London Evening News which read “May the Fourth Be with You, Maggie. Congratulations.” The line was also recorded in the UK Parliament’s Hansard. Star Wars creator George Lucas was also asked to say the famous sentence “May the Force be with you” during a 2005 interview on German news Channel N24 and the nterpreter simultaneously interpreted the sentence into German as Am 4. Mai sind wir bei Ihnen (“On May 4 we are with you.”).

The first organized celebration of Star Wars Day took place in Toronto, Ontario, Canada at the Toronto Underground Cinema in 2011 festivities included an Original Trilogy Trivia Game Show; a costume contest with celebrity judges; and the web’s best tribute films, mash-ups, parodies, and remixes on the big screen. The second annual edition took place on Friday, May 4, 2012. In 2013, Disney’sHollywood Studios is celebrating the holiday with several Star Wars events and festivities. To mark the event I have decided to watch the entire Star Wars saga in order from The Phantom manace to The Force Awakens over the next few days.

Phantom Menace

The Phantom Menace takes place during a trade dispute between The greedy Trade Federation and the Galactic Federation Over the Taxation of Trade Routes, and the Trade Federation blockade many trade routes. So Spreme Chancellor Velorum dispatches two Jedi Knights Qui Gonn Jinn anf Obi Wan Kenobi to negotiate. Meanwhile the evil Darth Sidious, a Sith Lord and the Trade Federation’s secret adviser, orders Federation Viceroy Nute Gunray to kill the Jedi and invade Naboo with an army of battle droids. The Jedi escape and flee to Naboo. During the invasion, Qui-Gon saves a Gungan outcast, Jar Jar Binks, from being run over and killed by a droid tank. Indebted to Qui-Gon, Jar Jar leads the Jedi to an underwater Gungan city. The Jedi unsuccessfully try to persuade the Gungan leader, Boss Nass, into helping the people of Naboo, though they are able to obtain transportation to Theed, the capital city on the surface. They rescue Queen Amidala, the ruler of the Naboo people, and escape the planet on her royal starship, which is damaged as they pass the Federation blockade.

Amidala’s ship lands for repairs on the desert planet Tatooine. Qui-Gon, Jar Jar, astromech droid R2-D2, and Amidala (in disguise as the handmaiden Padmé) visit Mos Espa to buy new parts at a junk shop. They meet the shop’s owner Watto and his nine-year-old slave, Anakin Skywalker, who is a gifted pilot and engineer and has created a protocol droid called C-3PO. Qui-Gon senses a strong presence of the Force within Anakin and is convinced that he is the “chosen one” of Jedi prophecy who will bring balance to the Force. Qui-Gon wagers Anakin’s freedom with Watto in a Podrace, which Anakin wins. Anakin joins the group to be trained as a Jedi, leaving his mother Shmi behind. En route to their starship, Qui-Gon encounters Darth Maul, Darth Sidious’s apprentice, who was sent to capture Amidala. A duel ensues, but Qui-Gon quickly disengages and escapes on board the starship.

Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan escort Amidala to the Republic capital planet of Coruscant so that she can plead her people’s case to Chancellor Valorum and the Galactic Senate. Qui-Gon asks the Jedi Council for permission to train Anakin as a Jedi, but the Council refuses, concerned that Anakin is vulnerable to the dark side. Undaunted, Qui-Gon vows to train Anakin himself. Meanwhile, Naboo’s Senator Palpatine persuades Amidala to make a vote of no confidence in Valorum to elect a more capable chancellor to resolve the crisis on Naboo. Though she is successful in pushing for the vote, Amidala grows frustrated with the corruption in the Senate and decides to return to Naboo. Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan are ordered by the Jedi Council to accompany the queen to Naboo, as well as to confirm the return of the Sith, whom they believe to be extinct.

On Naboo, Padmé reveals herself to the Gungans as Queen Amidala and persuades them into an alliance against the Trade Federation. Jar Jar leads his people in a battle against the droid army while Padmé leads the hunt for Viceroy Gunray in Theed. During a battle in a starship hangar to free Naboo pilots, Anakin takes shelter in a vacant starfighter and inadvertently triggers its autopilot, joining the battle against the Federation droid control ship in space. Anakin blunders into the hangar of the droid control ship and destroys the ship from within before escaping, deactivating the droid army. Meanwhile, Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan battle Darth Maul, who mortally wounds Qui-Gon before being defeated by Obi-Wan. As he dies, Qui-Gon asks Obi-Wan to train Anakin. Subsequently, Palpatine is elected as the new Supreme Chancellor and Gunray is arrested. The Jedi Council promotes Obi-Wan to the rank of Jedi Knight and reluctantly accepts Anakin as Obi-Wan’s apprentice.

Attack of the Clones

Ten years after the Trade Federation’s invasion of Naboo, the Galactic Republic is threatened by a Separatist movement organized by former Jedi Master Count Dooku. Senator Padmé Amidala comes to Coruscant to vote on a motion to create an army to assist the Jedi against this threat. Narrowly avoiding an assassination attempt upon arrival, she is placed under the protection of Jedi Knight Obi-Wan Kenobi and his apprentice, Anakin Skywalker. The two Jedi thwart a second attempt on her life and subdue the assassin, Zam Wesell, but she is killed by her bounty hunter client before she can reveal his identity. The Jedi Council assigns Obi-Wan to identify and capture the bounty hunter, while Anakin is assigned to escort Padmé back to Naboo, where the pair develop a romantic attraction towards each other.

Obi-Wan’s investigation leads him to the remote ocean planet Kamino, where he discovers an army of clones is being produced for the Republic, with bounty hunter Jango Fett serving as their genetic template. Obi-Wan deduces Jango to be the bounty hunter he is seeking, and follows him and his clone son, Boba, to the desert planet Geonosis via a homing beacon placed on their ship, the Slave I. Meanwhile, Anakin becomes troubled by premonitions of his mother, Shmi, in pain, and travels to Tatooine with Padmé to save her. They meet Owen Lars, Anakin’s stepbrother and the son of Shmi’s new husband, Cliegg Lars. Cliegg tells Anakin that Shmi was abducted by Tusken Raiders weeks earlier and is likely dead. Determined to find her, Anakin ventures out and finds Shmi at the Tusken campsite, where she dies in Anakin’s arms. Enraged, Anakin massacres the Tuskens and returns to the Lars homestead with Shmi’s body. After revealing his deed to Padmé, Anakin says that he wants to prevent death.

On Geonosis, Obi-Wan discovers a Separatist gathering led by Count Dooku, whom Obi-Wan learns had authorized Padmé’s assassination and is developing a battle droid army with Trade Federation Viceroy Nute Gunray. Obi-Wan is captured. With knowledge of the droid army, Supreme Chancellor Palpatine is voted emergency powers to send the clones into battle. Anakin and Padmé journey to Geonosis to rescue Obi-Wan, but are also captured. The three are sentenced to death, but are eventually saved by a battalion of Jedi and clone troopers led by Mace Windu and Yoda; Jango Fett is killed by Mace during the rescue. As the clone and droid armies battle, Obi-Wan and Anakin intercept Dooku, and the three engage in a lightsaber battle. Dooku overpowers Obi-Wan and Anakin, but Yoda arrives and duels the count, however Dooku escapes to Coruscant, where he delivers blueprints for a superweapon to his Sith master, Darth Sidious. Meanwhile Anakin secretly marries Padmé on Naboo, with C-3PO and R2-D2 as their witnesses.

Revenge of the Sith

Three years after the start of the Clone Wars between the Galactic Republic and the Confederacy of Independent Systems, Jedi Knights Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker lead a mission to rescue the kidnapped Supreme Chancellor Palpatine from Separatist commander General Grievous during a battle over the skies of Coruscant. After infiltrating Grievous’s flagship, the Jedi battle Count Dooku. Anakin subdues Dooku, and on Palpatine’s urging, executes him. Grievous flees the battle-torn cruiser, which the Jedi crash-land on Coruscant. There, Anakin reunites with his wife, Padmé Amidala, who reveals she is pregnant. While initially excited, Anakin begins to have prophetic visions of Padmé dying in childbirth, and his worry steadily grows.

Palpatine appoints Anakin to the Jedi Council as his representative, but the Council declines to grant Anakin the rank of Jedi Master and orders him to spy on Palpatine, causing Anakin’s faith in the Jedi to diminish significantly. Palpatine tantalizes Anakin with secret knowledge of the dark side of the Force, including the power to save his loved ones from dying. Meanwhile, Obi-Wan travels to the planet Utapau to deal with General Grievous, and Yoda travels to Kashyyyk to defend the planet from invasion. Tempting Anakin, Palpatine eventually reveals that he is the Sith Lord Darth Sidious, saying that only he has the knowledge to save Padmé from dying. Anakin reports Palpatine’s treachery to Mace Windu, who confronts and subdues the Sith Lord, severely disfiguring him in the process. Fearing that he will lose Padmé, Anakin intervenes on Palpatine’s behalf and severs Windu’s hand, allowing Palpatine to throw him out of a window to his death. Anakin pledges himself to Palpatine, who dubs him Darth Vader. Palpatine issues an order for the clone troopers to kill their Jedi commanders and dispatches Vader along with a legion of clones to kill everyone in the Jedi Temple. Vader massacres the remaining Separatist leaders hiding on the volcanic planet Mustafar, while Palpatine addresses the Galactic Senate, transforming the Republic into the Galactic Empire and declaring himself Emperor. Having survived the chaos, Obi-Wan and Yoda return to Coruscant and learn of Anakin’s treachery.

Unable to convince Padmé about Anakin’s turn to the dark side, Obi-Wan stows aboard her ship. Padmé travels to Mustafar and begs Vader to leave the dark side. He refuses, and upon witnessing Obi-Wan, chokes Padmé into unconsciousness. Obi-Wan duels and defeats Vader, severing most of his limbs and leaving him at the bank of a lava river where he is horribly burned. On Coruscant, Yoda battles Palpatine to a stalemate Yoda flees with Bail Organa. Palpatine, sensing that his apprentice is in danger, travels to Mustafar.

On the asteroid Polis Massa, Obi-Wan regroups with Yoda and Padmé gives birth to twins Luke and Leia before dying. A funeral is held for Padmé on Naboo. On Mustafar, Palpatine finds a severely burnt Vader still alive. After returning to Coruscant, Vader’s mutilated body is treated and covered in a black armored suit. Palpatine explains to Vader that he killed Padmé in his anger. Meanwhile, Obi-Wan and Yoda decide to conceal the twins from the Sith, as they are the galaxy’s only hope for freedom. Yoda exiles himself to the planet Dagobah, while Vader and the Emperor oversee the construction of a superstation, the Death Star. Bail Organa adopts Leia as his own daughter and takes her to Alderaan, while Obi-Wan delivers Luke to his step-family Owen and Beru Lars on Tatooine.

Rogue One

An Imperial technician named Galen Erso has a crisis of concience leaves the evil Empire and goes AWOL with his family Jyn and Lyra to the the remote planet Lahmu. Sadly though the Empire eventually locate him, catch up with him and take him prisoner and send his daughter Jyn to Wobani Labour Camp. However She is rescued by Guerrilla leader and Rebel extremist Saw Gerrera who teaches her to become a fighter with his militia as well as a smuggler and criminal.

However Jyn is abandoned by Gerrera, luckily though she is rescued by a Rebel named Ruescott Melshi and taken to the rebel base where she meets Mon Mothma and Cassian Andor. Meanwhile an Imperial Pilot Defector named Bodhi Rook is being held by Saw Gerrera at the holy city of Jedha having been sent by Galen Erso to warn the rebels that the Empire Is constructing a superweapon of unimagineable power which is capable of destroying whole planets and has been given the name Death StaR So The Rebels send Jyn Erso and rebel pilot Cassian Andor to Jedha where they encounter two Mystic Warriors Chirrut Imwe and Baze Malbus battling the Imperial Invaders. They also encounter Saw Gerrera who is also waging his own guerrilla warfare on the Empire and are imprisoned in his secret base on Jedha. However They are unexpectedly freed when unbeknownst to them, the Empire led by Grand Moff Tarkin and Scientist Orson Krennic decide to demonstrate the Death Star’s destructive capacity on Jedha. Cassian, Jyn, Bodhi Rook, Chirrut Imwe and Baze only just manage to escape the subsequent carnage.

They are then sent to an Imperial Research Facility on the windswept, inhospitable planet Eadu on a mission to find and extract Galen Erso, however unbeknownst to Jyn, Cassian is a secretly given orders by the rebels to assassinate Galen Erso instead. So they arrive on Eadu, Then the rest of the rebels arrive and it all kicks off. Whilst on Eadu Jyn, Cassian, Bodhi Rook, Chirut Imwe and Baze Malbus discover that the technical blueprints for the Empire’s superweapon are being stored in another Imperial Facility on the planet Scarif. So after reasoning that stealth is required rather than a full scale attack, they set off, unbeknownst to the Rebels, on an unsanctioned and very dangerous mission to Scarif to recover the technical blueprints for the Death Star.

Star Wars

Star Wars The first film in the original Star Wars Trilogy was originally released 25 May 1977. (Technically it is the fourth film, and chronologically the prequels take place before Star Wars, however they were released sixteen years after this date). Star Wars is described as taking place a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away and sees a young farm boy named Luke Skywalker thrust unwittingly into a Rebellion to rid the galaxy of an evil empire after acquiring two droids C3POandR2D2, who have escaped from a spaceship which has come under attack from the Empire and landed on the desolate planet Tattooine. Along the way He meets an old Jedi Knight named Obi Wan Kenobi and discovers that one of the droids is carrying the technical data for the Empire’s terrifying new weapon ‘The Death Star’ which is capable of destroying whole planets. Luke also learns that he has a special power and asks Obi Wan to teach him to master it. On Tattoine he also meets charismatic smuggler Han Solo and his wookiee first mate Chewbacca, who are asked to take them to the planet Alderaaan, home of Princess Leia to help mount an attack on the Death Star. However Princess Leia has been captured by the evil Empire, led by The Evil Sith Lord Emperor Palpatine and his sinister apprentice Darth Vader and taken to theDeath Star and Alderaan has been destroyed. so the rebels mount a daring rescue attempt to free Princess Leia and Luke gets swept up in the battle to destroy the Death Star

Empire Strikes Back takes place Three years later, and sees the Rebels attacked by the Empire on the ice world of Hoth and Luke traveling to find Jedi Master Yoda, who is living in exile on the swamp-infested world Dagobah, to begin his Jedi training. The Rebels manage to escape Hoth hotly pursued by the Empire. However, Luke is interrupted from his training when Vader lures him into a trap by capturing Han and the others who have journeyed to Cloud City on Bespin seeking help from Han’s old acquaintance Lando Calrissian. During a fierce lightsaber duel, Vader reveals that he is in fact Luke’s father and used to be Anakin Skywalker, and attempts to turn Luke to the dark side.

Return of the Jedi sees, Luke journeys to Tattoine to save Han from the clutches of the vile gangster Jabba the Hutt and then return to Yoda to complete his training. However, now over 900 years old, Yoda is on his deathbed. Before he passes away, Yoda confirms that Vader is Luke’s father; moments later, Obi-Wan’s spirit tells Luke that he must face his father before he can become a true Jedi, and that Leia is his twin sister. The Rebels then attempt to destroy a second Death Star which is being built near the forest moon of Endor and manage to pursuade the local inhabitants to help them. Meanwhile Luke confronts Vader as Palpatine watches; both Sith Lords intend to turn Luke to the dark side and take him as their apprentice. During the subsequent lightsaber duel, Luke succumbs to his anger and brutally overpowers Vader, but controls himself at the last minute; realizing that he is about to suffer his father’s fate, and he spares Vader’s life and declares his allegiance to the Jedi. An enraged Palpatine then attempts to kill Luke with Force lightning. However Darth Vader Redeems himself at the last moment, switching loyalties from the Empire to his Son, but pays the ultimate price. Subsequently Luke becomes a full-fledged Jedi, and the Rebels destroy the second Death Star.

The Force Awakens

Thirty years have passed since the Death Star was destroyed and Emperor Palpatine defeated, however a new evil power has risen in the form of the First Order led by the Sinister Supreme Leader Snoke and his acolyte Kyle Ren. (Adam Driver). Meanwhile on the remote planet of Jakku a young woman named Rey (Daisy Ridley) eeks out a meager living by scavenging parts from obsolete space ships in exchange for food, she finds a droid BB-8, which contains a top secret map. Then a defector named Finn (John Boyega) crash-lands on Jakku, where he meets Rey (Daisy Ridley), Together, the young duo try to escape theFirst Order who are in hot pursuit and encounter Han Solo (Harrison Ford) before finding themselves drawn into the fight against the evil First Order, led by Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher) and the search for Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), the last of the Jedi Knights, who mysteriously vanished after a former pupil turned evil

 

Spike Jones

The late, great musician and bandleader, Lindley Armstrong “Spike” Jones sadly died 1 May 1965. He was born on December 14th 1879 and got his nickname from being so thin that he was compared to a railroad spike. At the age of 11 he got his first set of drums. As a teenager he played in bands that he formed himself. A railroad restaurant chef taught him how to use pots and pans, forks, knives and spoons as musical instruments. He frequently played in theater pit orchestras. In the 1930s he joined the Victor Young orchestra and thereby got many offers to appear on radio shows, including Al Jolson’s Lifebuoy Program, Burns and Allen, and Bing Crosby’s Kraft Music Hall. From 1937 to 1942, he was the percussionist for the John Scott Trotter Orchestra, which played on Bing Crosby’s first recording of White Christmas. The City Slickers evolved out of the Feather Merchants, and made experimental records and performed publicly, gaining a small following. The original members included vocalist-violinist Carl Grayson, banjoist Perry Botkin, trombonist King Jackson and pianist Stan Wrightsman.Throughout the 1940s and early 1950s Spike Jones and his City Slickers enjoyed huge success, with their satirical arrangements of popular songs. Ballads and classical works, which after receiving “the Jones treatment” would be punctuated with gunshots, whistles, cowbells, and outlandish vocals and sounded absolutely hilarious.

Among the best known satirical recordings were humorous takes on the classics such as the adaptation of Liszt’s Liebesträume, played at a breakneck pace on unusual instruments. Others followed: Rossini’s William Tell Overture was rendered on kitchen implements using a horse race as a backdrop, with one of the “horses” in the “race” likely to have inspired the nickname of the lone SNJ aircraft flown by the US Navy’s Blue Angels aerobatic team’s shows in the late 1940s, “Beetle Bomb”. In live shows Spike would acknowledge the applause with complete solemnity, saying “Thank you, music lovers.” A collection of these 12 “homicides” was released in 1971 as Spike Jones Is Murdering the Classics. They include such tours de force as Pal-Yat-Chee (Pagliacci), Ponchielli’s Dance of the Hours, Tchaikovsky’s None but the Lonely Heart, Flight of the Bumble-Bee and Bizet’s Carmen. Then In December 1945 Spike released his version of Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Suite, arranged by Joe “Country” Washburne with lyrics by Foster Carling.

Sadly The rise of rock-’n’-roll during the 1950′sand the decline of big bands hurt Spike Jones’ repertoire. The new rock songs were already novelties, and Jones could not decimate them the way he had lampooned “Cocktails for Two” or “Laura.” He played rock-’n’-roll for laughs when he presented “for the first time on television, the bottom half of Elvis Presley!” This was the cue for a pair of pants — inhabited by dwarf actor Billy Barty — to scamper across the stage. Jones adapted to changing tastes. In 1950, when America was nostalgically looking back at the 1920s, Jones recorded an album of Charleston arrangements. In 1953 he responded to the growing market for children’s records, with tunes aimed directly at kids (like “Socko, the Smallest Snowball”).In 1956 Jones supervised an album of Christmas songs, many of which were performed seriously.

In 1957, he revamped his own act for television. Gone was the old City Slickers mayhem, replaced by a more straightforward big-band sound, with tongue-in-cheek comic moments. The new band was known as Spike Jones and the Band that Plays for Fun. He also recorded a cover of “Dominique” with Spike Jones’ New Band in 1964, a hit by The Singing Nun, in which he not only plays part of the melody on a banjo but melds the melody successfully with “When the Saints Go Marching In!” The last City Slickers record was the LP Dinner Music For People Who Aren’t Very Hungry. The whole field of comedy records changed from musical satires to spoken-word comedy (Tom Lehrer, Bob Newhart, Mort Sahl, Stan Freberg). Spike Jones adapted to this, too; most of his later albums are spoken-word comedy, including the horror-genre sendup Spike Jones in Stereo (1959) and Omnibust (1960). Jones remained topical to the last: his final group, Spike Jones’ New Band, recorded four LPs of brassy renditions of pop-folk tunes of the 1960s (including “Washington Square” and “The Ballad of Jed Clampett”). Jones was a lifelong smoker. He was once said to have gotten through the average workday on coffee and cigarettes. Smoking may have contributed to his developing emphysema. His already thin frame deteriorated, to the point where he used an oxygen tank offstage, and onstage he was confined to a seat behind his drum set. He sadly died on May 1, 1965 and is buried in Holy Cross Cemetery, Culver City, California.


  • Actress Una Stubbs was Born 1 May 1937
  • American singer Rita Coolidge, was born 1 May 1945
  • English actress, voice-over artist, author, and activist Joanna Lumley, was Born 1 May 1946
  • Hong Kong director, producer, and screenwriter John Woo, was also born 1 May 1946

World Malaria Day

World Malaria Day (WMD) is an international observance commemorated every year on 25 April to educate the public concerning global efforts to control malaria. World Malaria Day sprung out of the efforts taking place across the African continent to commemorate Africa Malaria Day. Malaria is commonly associated with poverty and has a major negative effect on economic development. In Africa, it is estimated to result in losses of US$12 billion a year due to increased healthcare costs, lost ability to work, and negative effects on tourism

Malaria is a mosquito-borne infectious disease affecting humans and other animals caused by parasitic protozoans (a group of single-celled microorganisms). Malaria causes symptoms that typically include fever, tiredness, vomiting, and headaches. In severe cases it can cause yellow skin, seizures, coma, or death. Symptoms usually begin ten to fifteen days after being bitten. If not properly treated, people may have recurrences of the disease months later. In those who have recently survived an infection, reinfection usually causes milder symptoms. However This partial resistance disappears over months to years if the person has no continuing exposure to malaria.

The disease is most commonly transmitted by an infected female Anopheles mosquito. The mosquito bite introduces the parasites from the mosquito’s saliva into a person’s blood. The parasites travel to the liver where they mature and reproduce. Five species of Plasmodium can infect and be spread by humans. Most deaths are caused by P. falciparum because P. vivax, P. ovale, and P. malariae generally cause a milder form of malaria. The species P. knowlesi rarely causes disease in humans. The disease is widespread in the tropical and subtropical regions that exist in a broad band around the equator. This includes much of Sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, and Latin America. Globally, 3.3 billion people in 106 countries are at risk of malaria. In 2012, malaria caused an estimated 627,000 deaths, mostly among African children. Asia, Latin America, and to a lesser extent the Middle East and parts of Europe are also affected.

Malaria is typically diagnosed by the microscopic examination of blood using blood films, or with antigen-based rapid diagnostic tests Methods that use the polymerase chain reaction to detect the parasite’s DNA have been developed, but are not widely used in areas where malaria is common due to their cost and complexity. The risk of disease can be reduced by preventing mosquito bites through the use of mosquito nets and insect repellents, or with mosquito control measures such as spraying insecticides and draining standing water. Medication is available to prevent malaria in travellers to areas where the disease is common Occasional doses of the combination medication sulfadoxine/pyrimethamine are recommended in infants and after the first trimester of pregnancy in areas with high rates of malaria. Despite a need, no effective vaccine exists, although efforts to develop one are ongoing. The recommended treatment for malaria is a combination of antimalarial medications that includes an artemisinin. The second medication may be either mefloquine, lumefantrine, or sulfadoxine/pyrimethamine. Quinine along with doxycycline may be used if an artemisinin is not available. However There are concerns the parasites are becoming resistant to many antimalarial drugs

WMD is one of eight official global public health campaigns currently marked by the World Health Organization (WHO), along with World Health Day, World Blood Donor Day, World Immunization Week, World Tuberculosis Day, World No Tobacco Day, World Hepatitis Day and World AIDS Day. According to the most recent World Malaria Report, the global tally of malaria reached 429,000 malaria deaths and 212 million new cases in 2015. The rate of new malaria cases fell by 21 per cent globally between 2010 and 2015, and malaria death rates fell by 29 per cent in the same period. In sub-Saharan Africa, case incidence and death rates fell by 21 per cent and 31 per cent, respectively. In 2016, there were 216 million cases of malaria worldwide resulting in an estimated 731,000 deaths 90% of both cases and deaths occurred in Africa

J.G.Ballard

English novelist and short story writer James Graham “J. G.” Ballard sadly died 19 April 2009 from Prostate Cancer. He was Born 15 November 1930 and raised in the Shanghai International Settlement, an area under foreign control where people “lived an American style of life”. He was sent to the Cathedral School, the Anglican Holy Trinity Church near the Bund, Shanghai. After the outbreak of the Second Sino-Japanese War, Ballard’s family were forced to evacuate their suburban home temporarily and rent a house in central Shanghai to avoid the shells fired by Chinese and Japanese forces.

 

After the Japanese attack on Hong Kong, the Japanese occupied the International Settlement in Shanghai. In early 1943, they began to intern Allied civilians, and Ballard was sent to the Lunghua Civilian Assembly Center with his parents and younger sister. He spent over two years, the remainder of World War II, in the internment camp. His family lived in a small area in G block, a two-story residence for 40 families. He attended school in the camp, the teachers being camp inmates from a number of professions. These experiences formed the basis of Empire of the Sun, although Ballard exercised considerable artistic licence in writing the book, such as the removal of his parents from the bulk of the story.

It has been supposed that Ballard’s exposure to the atrocities of war at an impressionable age explains the apocalyptic and violent nature of much of his fiction.In late 1945, after the end of the war, his mother returned to Britain with Ballard and his sister on the SS Arawa. They lived in the outskirts of Plymouth, and he attended The Leys School in Cambridge. He won an essay prize whilst at the school but did not contribute to the school magazine. After a couple of years his mother and sister returned to China, rejoining Ballard’s father, leaving Ballard to live with his grandparents when not boarding at school. In 1949 he went on to study medicine at King’s College, Cambridge, with the intention of becoming a psychiatrist.

At university, Ballard was writing avant-garde fiction heavily influenced by psychoanalysis and surrealist painters. At this time, he wanted to become a writer as well as pursue a medical career. In May 1951, when Ballard was in his second year at Cambridge, his short story “The Violent Noon”, a Hemingwayesque pastiche written to please the contest’s jury, won a crime story competition and was published in the student newspaper Varsity. Encouraged by the publication of his story and realising that clinical medicine would not leave him time to write, Ballard abandoned his medical studies, and enrolled at Queen Mary College to read English Literature. However, he was asked to leave at the end of the year. Ballard then worked as a copywriter for an advertising agency. and as an encyclopaedia salesman. He kept writing short fiction but found it impossible to get published.

In spring 1954 Ballard joined the Royal Air Force and was sent to the Royal Canadian Air Force flight-training base in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, Canada. There he discovered science fiction in American magazines. While in the RAF, he also wrote his first science fiction story, “Passport to Eternity”, as a pastiche and summary of the American science fiction he had read. The story did not see publication until 1962.

Ballard left the RAF in 1955 after thirteen months and returned to England.[22] In 1955 he married Helen Mary Matthews and settled in Chiswick, the first of their three children being born the following year. He made his science fiction debut in 1956 with two short stories, “Escapement” and “Prima Belladonna”,[23] published in the December 1956 issues of New Worlds and Science Fantasy respectively. The editor of New Worlds, Edward J. Carnell, would remain an important supporter of Ballard’s writing and would publish nearly all of his early stories.

From 1958 Ballard worked as assistant editor on the scientific journal Chemistry and Industry. His interest in art led to his involvement in the emerging Pop Art movement, and in the late fifties he exhibited a number of collages that represented his ideas for a new kind of novel. Ballard’s avant-garde inclinations did not sit comfortably in the science fiction mainstream of that time, which held attitudes he considered philistine. Briefly attending the 1957 Science Fiction Convention in London, Ballard left disillusioned and demoralised[25] and did not write another story for a year. By the late 1960s, however, he had become an editor of the avant-garde Ambit magazine, which was more in keeping with his aesthetic ideals.

He was also a prominent member of the New Wave movement in science fiction. His best-known books are Crash (1973), which was adapted into a (rather strange) film by David Cronenberg, and the semi-autobiographical Empire of the Sun (1984), which was awarded the James Tait Black Memorial Prize. Empire of the Sun is Based on Ballard’s boyhood in the Shanghai International Settlement and internment by the Japanese Imperial Army during the Second World War, and recounts the story of a young British boy, Jaime Graham, who lives with his parents in Shanghai. After the Pearl Harbor attack, the Japanese occupy the Shanghai International Settlement, and in the following chaos Jim becomes separated from his parents. He spends some time in abandoned mansions, living on remnants of packaged food. Having exhausted the food supplies, he decides to try to surrender to the Japanese Army. After many attempts, he finally succeeds and is interned in the Lunghua Civilian Assembly Center. Although the Japanese are “officially” the enemies, Jim identifies partly with them, both because he adores the pilots with their splendid machines and because he feels that Lunghua is still a comparatively safe place for him. However the food supply also runs short here and Jim barely survives, with people around him starving to death. The camp prisoners are forced upon a march to Nantao, with many dying along the route. However some are saved from starvation by air drops from American Bombers.

The book was adapted by Tom Stoppard in 1987. The screenplay was filmed by Steven Spielberg, to critical acclaim, being nominated for six Oscars and winning three British Academy Awards (for cinematography, music and sound). It starred 13-year-old Christian Bale, as well as John Malkovich and Miranda Richardson; it also featured a cameo by the 21 year old Ben Stiller, in a dramatic role.The literary distinctiveness of Ballard’s work has given rise to the adjective “Ballardian”, defined by the Collins English Dictionary as “resembling or suggestive of the conditions described in J. G. Ballard’s novels and stories, especially dystopian modernity, bleak man-made landscapes and the psychological effects of technological, social or environmental developments.” Sadly Ballard was diagnosed with prostate cancer in June 2006. In 2008, The Times included Ballard on its list of “The 50 greatest British writers since 1945