Lego

The Lego Group, patented the design of Lego bricks in 28 January 1958. LEGO ™ was created by Danish businessman Ole Kirk Christiansen, who was born 7 April 1891 in Filskov, Denmark. He trained as a carpenter and started making wooden toys in 1932 to make a living after having lost his job during the depression. Sadly though, shortly after the depression Christiansen’s wife also died, leaving him to raise his four sons by himself. This experience inspired Christiansen to create a range of hard wearing toys. So to make ends meet he decided to construct a small wooden duck toy for his children. When he found that his sons loved the new toy he decided to put the ducks into production using the leftover wood from his old business. He then went on to making miniature versions of the houses and furniture, which also became quite successful.

Unfortunately though In 1942 a fire broke out at the factory destroying Ole’s life’s work and forcing them to rebuild from scratch. So in 1947 he invested in a revolutionary injection-moulding machine Imported from Britain for 30,000 Danish kroner (£3,200). After Building a new factory, Ole set about re-making his lost designs and moved on to manufacturing them in plastic rather than wood, these originally consisted of small plastic bears and rattles. By 1949 he had produced over 200 plastic and wooden toys. Then, two years after buying the injection-moulding machine, he produced the first Lego bricks, called Automatic Binding Bricks, they looked similar to today’s blocks but had a slit in the sides and were completely hollow. Ole Kirk Christiansen came up with the name Lego from the Danish words leg godt, meaning “play well”, and the company grew to become the Lego Group.

Then In 1954, Ole’s son Godtfred, the firm’s junior managing director returned from a UK toy fair with the idea of creating a toy system in which every element could connect together to build things, and by 1958 the firm had patented the colourful bricks with hollow tubes on the underside which could be locked together and the story of the Lego brick began. Sadly though On 11 March 1958, Christiansen died from a heart attack when he was 66 years old, however his third son Godtfred Kirk Christiansen promptly took over the company and developed his idea of interconnecting bricks culminating in The first Lego set, Town Plan No.1, which had everything a child needed to make their own model town centre, this became a huge success.

Since then Lego(tm) has grown to become a household name, annually selling many million sets worldwide. Then In 1968 they opened a theme park at their HQ in Billund, Denmark — the first of six worldwide. A year later came Lego Duplo for under-fives and in 1978 “minifigure” people. Since then, all manner of themed Lego sets have hit shelves, from pirates, Outer Space, Lord of the Rings, Ninjago and Harry Potter. It is estimated that eight Lego sets are sold every Second worldwide on Average. The UK even has its own Legoland which opened in Windsor in 1996 and there are now Lego-only stores, Lego computer games including Lego batman. There are also a number of rather entertaining LEGO Movies and Television series including Ninjago, Lego Star Wars, Lego Nexo Knights and Droid Tales. There is even a clothing range. The Lego Movie 2 has also recently been released. This takes place five years after the first with the citizens of Bricksburg facing another huge new threat from LEGO DUPLO® invaders from outer space, who are wrecking everything faster than they can rebuild. So Lucy, Batman and the rest of their friends battle to defeat the enemy and restore peace to the Lego world. This takes them to faraway, unexplored worlds that test their courage and creativity.

More events and National Holidays happening January 28

National Kazoo Day
Daisy Day
Data Privacy Day
National Blueberry Pancake Day
Pop Art Day
Thank a Plugin Developer Day

Punch the Clock Day🤜🏻⏰

Punch the Clock day takes place annually on 27 January in  commemoration of Willard Le Grand Bundy, a jeweler in Auburn, New York. who Created the first time clock, on November 20, 1888, His patent of 1890 speaks of mechanical time recorders for workers in terms that suggest that earlier recorders already existed, but Bundy’s had various improvements; for example, each worker had his own key. A year later his brother, Harlow Bundy, organized the Bundy Manufacturing Company, and began mass-producing time clocks. In 1900, the time recording business of Bundy Manufacturing, along with two other time equipment businesses, was consolidated into the International Time Recording Company (ITR).

In 1911, ITR, Bundy Mfg., and two other companies were amalgamated (via stock acquisition), forming a fifth company, Computing-Tabulating-Recording Company (CTR), which would later change its name to IBM. The Bundy Clock was used by Birmingham City Transport to ensure that bus drivers did not depart from outlying termini before the due time; now preserved at Walsall Arboretum. In 1909, Halbert P. Gillette explained about the state of the art around time clocks in those days:

Time clocks.—Such an appliance which may not, in general, be used in the field, but which is of immense value in the office and particularly in a shop, is the time clock. Various forms of time clocks are in common use, two types of which are illustrated. [The first] is a time card recorder, which is a clock so made that it will automatically stamp on a card inserted in a slot in the clock by the workman the time of his arrival and of his departure. The cards are made to hold a record covering the pay period and need no attention from a timekeeper or clerk until the termination of this period. The record of the men’s time can then be compiled very readily by one who need not be a skilled mathematician or time clerk. The time clock system has been developed very highly in shops for keeping track of time used in completing any job by workmen, but as this in a way is not in the realm of field cost keeping, it will not be entered into here.

Another form of time clock has the numbers of the employees fixed on the outer edge of a disk or ring and a record is made by the employee who shifts a revolving arm and punches his number upon entering the office and leaving. The working up of employees’ time then becomes simply a matter of computation from printed figures. These two types are made by the International Time Recording Co. of New York. An example of this other form of time clock, made by IBM, is pictured on the right. The face shows employee numbers which would be dialed up by employees entering and leaving the factory. The day and time of entry and exit was punched onto cards inside the box.

In 1958, IBM’s Time Equipment Division was sold to the Simplex Time Recorder Company. However, in the United Kingdom ITR (a subsidiary of IBM United Kingdom Ltd.) was the subject of a management buy-out in 1963 and reverted to International Time Recorders. In 1982, International Time Recorders was acquired by Blick Industries of Swindon, England, who were themselves later absorbed by Stanley Security Systems. The first punched-card system to be linked to a Z80 microprocessor was developed by Kronos Incorporated in the late 1970s and introduced as a product in 1979.

In the late 20th century, time clocks started to move away from the mechanical machines to computer-based, electronic time and attendance systems. The employee either swipes a magnetic stripe card, scans a barcode, brings an RFID (radio-frequency identification) tag into proximity with a reader, enters an employee number or uses a biometric reader to identify the employee to the system. These systems are much more advanced than the mechanical time clock: various reports can be generated, including on compliance with the European Working Time Directive, and a Bradford factor report. Employees can also use the gadget to request holidays, enter absenteeism requests and view their worked hours. User interfaces can be personalized and offer robust self-service capabilities.

Electronic time clock machines are manufactured in many designs by companies in China and sold under various brand names in places around the world, with accompanying software to extract the data from a single time clock machine, or several machines, and process the data into reports. In most cases local suppliers offer technical support and in some cases installation services.

More recently, time clocks have started to adopt technology commonly seen in phones and tablets – called ‘Smartclocks’. The “state of the art” smartclocks come with multi-touch screens, full color displays, real time monitoring for problems, wireless networking and over the air updates. Some of the smartclocks use front-facing cameras to capture employee clock-ins to deter “buddy clocking”, a problem usually requiring expensive biometric clocks. With the increasing popularity of cloud-based software, some of the newer time clocks are built to work seamlessly with the cloud.

Thomas Crapper Day
Auschwitz Liberation Day
National Chocolate Cake Day
Punch the Clock Day
Vietnam Peace Day

Eddie van Halen

Best known as the lead guitarist and co-founder of the hard rock band Van Halen, Guitarist, keyboardist, songwriter and producer, Eddie Van Halen was born 26th January, in 1955. He is commonly known for his innovative performing and recording styles in blues-based rock, tapping, intense solos and high frequency feedback; he is also known for energetic and acrobatic stage performances. he has been described as “Second to only Jimi Hendrix…undoubtedly one of the most influential, original, and talented rock guitarists of the 20th century.”. He is ranked 8th in Rolling Stone’s 2011 list of the Top 100 guitarists and has also been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Van Halen learned to play the piano as a child. His older brother Alex also played the piano. However, playing the piano did not prove to be challenging or interesting enough. Consequently, while Alex began playing the guitar, Eddie bought a drum kit and began practicing, and would practice for hours day after day. HoweverAfter Eddie heard Alex’s performance of the The Surfaris’ drum solo in the song “Wipe Out”, he decided to switch and begin learning how to play the electric guitar instead. He was influenced by supergroup Cream, holding their improvisation in high regard, considering ‘I’m so Glad’ on ‘Goodbye Cream’ to be mind-blowing. He also claimed that he had learned almost all of Eric Clapton’s solos in the band Cream “note for note”. Eddie has stated: “I’ve always said Eric Clapton was my main influence.

Van Halen, were originally called “Genesis” but they subsequently changed their name to “Mammoth” when they discovered there was already a band with the name “Genesis”. The band consisted of Eddie Van Halen on guitar and vocals, his brother, Alex on drums, and bassist Mark Stone. They had no P.A. system of their own, so they rented one from David Lee Roth. Eddie decided to let Roth join the band. Michael Anthony replaced Mark Stone on bass. They changed the name of the band because David Lee Roth suggested that the last name of the two brothers “sounded cool.” The band originally began playing cover material, ranging from pop to disco, before settling on original material .

Van Halen released a total of six albums with David Lee Roth on Vocals, However the band had trouble working together as a cohesive unit and in 1982 Eddie Van Halen approached Simmons about possibly joining Kiss and replacing Ace Frehley. However Simmons & Alex persuaded Eddie to remain with Van Halen, and shortly afterwards the band released the album 1984; which yielded the band’s first Number 1 hit, “Jump“. Other singles released from the album also sold well, particularly “Hot for Teacher”. The album peaked at Number 2 on the Billboard charts.

Roth left the band and was replaced by former Montrose singer Sammy Hagar in July 1985, the band’s sound changed somewhat to adapt to the strengths of the new vocalist, as Eddie’s keyboard playing became a permanent fixture, heard in songs such as “Dreams” “Why Can’t this be Love“and “Love Walks In”. Even on the more rocking, guitar-driven songs, Eddie’s performances became looser, less aggressive, and some said more thoughtful, while others said more commercial. However, tensions within the band again arose over identity and artist direction, and Hagar, like Roth earlier, departed in June 1996. Hagar left behind him a portfolio of 4 studio albums with the band (5150, OU812, For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge, and Balance) as well as one live album (Live: Right Here, Right Now).

Following Hagar’s departure, the group briefly reunited with original singer David Lee Roth and released Best of Volume I, a greatest hits package, in October 1996. Two new songs were recorded for the album, with the single “Me Wise Magic” reaching #1 on the mainstream rock chart (“Can’t Get This Stuff No More” was the other new single). However, previous disagreements resurfaced and the reunion did not last, as Roth left in September 1996, after the MTV Video Music Awards. The band auditioned many prospective replacements for Hagar, finally settling on Gary Cherone, former front man for Extreme, a band also represented by Van Halen’s manager. Cherone predicted that the new line-up would last ‘ten years’. The band also completed a world tour touting their new single “Without You” and did go back in the studio to start on a second record. However, Cherone left and without a lead singer, Van Halen went on hiatus. In 2004, Van Halen returned with Hagar as their lead singer. A greatest hits package, The Best of Both Worlds, was released to coincide with the band’s reunion tour. The album included three new tracks recorded with Hagar (“Up For Breakfast”, “It’s About Time”, & “Learning to See”).

A proposed 2007 summer tour with David Lee Roth was indefinitely postponed as was apreviously planned compilation of Roth era Van Halen hits. However, after six months and a stint in rehabilitation for Eddie, it was finally confirmed that the band would do a tour with the new lineup from late 2007-mid 2008 across North America, with further worldwide touring. Van Halen’s Latest album “Different kind of Truth” was released February 2012, containing the tracks Tattoo She’s The Woman, You and Your Blues, China Town, Blood and Fire, Bullethead, As Is, Honeybabysweetiedoll, The Trouble With Never, Outta Space, Stay Frosty, Big River and Beats Workin’.

Saint Dwynwen’s Day♥️❤️

Dydd Santes Dwynwen ( St Dwynwen’s Day) is considered to be the Welsh equivalent to Valentine’s Day and is celebrated on 25th of January every year. It celebrates Dwynwen, the Welsh saint of lovers. Much of Welsh history is based on stories and songs which were traditionally passed on by word of mouth. As such, the original tale has become mixed with elements of folktales and Celtic stories, and so there are a number variations on the tale. In the 5th Century Dwynwen fell in love with Maelon Daffodril. Maelon returned her feelings but they could not be together for her father forbade the marriage and her father had already promised her to someone else. Dwynwen, distraught by her love for Maelon, prays to fall out of love with him. After falling asleep, or possibly while still awake in a woods she had run to in her distress, Dwynwen was visited by an angel, who appeared carrying a sweet potion designed to erase all memory of Maelon and turn him into a block of ice. God then gave three wishes to Dwynwen.

First she wished that Maelon be thawed, second that God meet the hopes and dreams of true lovers and third that she should never marry. All three were fulfilled, and as a mark of her thanks, Dwynwen devoted herself to God’s service for the rest of her life. Dwynwen became a nun, fulfilling her wish to never marry. She left for the island of Anglesey and built a Church, which became known as Llanddwyn, literally meaning “Church of Dwynwen”. The remains can still be seen today on the island of Llanddwyn, off the coast of Anglesey. The smaller island also contains Dwynwen’s well, where, allegedly, a sacred fish swims, whose movements predict the future fortunes and relationships of various couples. Another tradition claims that if the water boils while visitors are present, then love and good luck will surely follow.

The popularity and celebration of St Dwynwen’s day has increased considerably in recent years, with special events, such as concerts and parties, often held and greetings cards printed. Although still not as popular as St Valentine’s Day in February, St Dwynwen is certainly becoming better-known among today’s population of Wales. St Dwynwen’s Day gained popularity in 2003 when the Welsh Language Board (Bwrdd yr Iaith Gymraeg) teamed up with UK supermarket Tesco to distribute 50,000 free cards in 43 of its Welsh stores. One card was inserted with a special heart, the finder of which would be entitled to a prize. The board also suggested numerous ways to celebrate the feast besides sending cards, for example, organize a love-themed gig, set up a singles night, prepare a romantic meal and perhaps compose a love poem to read at the local pub. The Welsh often celebrate with concerts and parties, and exchange Dydd Santes Dwynwen greetings cards.

 

Fluoride Day

Fluoride day takes place annually on 25 January. Fluoride is an inorganic, monatomic anion with the chemical formula F− whose salts are typically white or colorless. Fluoride salts typically have distinctive bitter tastes, and are odorless. Its salts and minerals are important chemical reagents and industrial chemicals, mainly used in the production of hydrogen fluoride for fluorocarbons. Fluoride is classified as a weak base since it only partially associates in solution, but concentrated fluoride is corrosive and can attack the skin. Fluoride is the simplest fluorine anion. In terms of charge and size, the fluoride ion resembles the hydroxide ion. Fluoride ions occur on earth in several minerals, particularly fluorite, but are present only in trace quantities in bodies of water in nature. Fluorides include compounds that contain both ionic fluoride and those where fluoride does not dissociate. The nomenclature does not distinguish these situations. For example, sulfur hexafluoride and carbon tetrafluoride are not sources of fluoride ions under ordinary conditions.

The systematic name fluoride, the valid IUPAC name, is determined according to the additive nomenclature. However, the name fluoride is also used in compositional IUPAC nomenclature which does not take the nature of bonding involved into account. Fluoride is also used non-systematically, to describe compounds which release fluoride upon dissolving. Hydrogen fluoride is itself an example of a non-systematic name of this nature. However, it is also a trivial name, and the preferred IUPAC name for fluorane. Fluorine is estimated to be the 13th most abundant element in the earth’s crust and is widely dispersed in nature, almost entirely in the form of fluorides. Many minerals are known, but of paramount commercial importance is fluorite (CaF2), which is roughly 49% fluoride by mass. The soft, colorful mineral is found worldwide. Fluoride is also naturally present at low concentration in most fresh and saltwater sources and may also be present in rainwater. Seawater fluoride levels are usually in the range of 0.86 to 1.4 mg/L, and average 1.1 mg/L (milligrams per litre). For comparison, chloride concentration in seawater is about 19 g/L. The low concentration of fluoride reflects the insolubility of the alkaline earth fluorides, e.g., CaF2.

Salts containing fluoride are numerous and adopt myriad structures. Typically the fluoride anion is surrounded by four or six cations, as is typical for other halides. Sodium fluoride and sodium chloride adopt the same structure. For compounds containing more than one fluoride per cation, the structures often deviate from those of the chlorides, as illustrated by the main fluoride mineral fluorite (CaF2) where the Ca2+ ions are surrounded by eight F− centers. In CaCl2, each Ca2+ ion is surrounded by six Cl− centers. The difluorides of the transition metals often adopt the rutile structure whereas the dichlorides have cadmium chloride structures. Upon treatment with a standard acid, fluoride salts convert to hydrogen fluoride and metal salts. With strong acids, it can be doubly protonated to give H2F. Oxidation of fluoride gives fluorine. Solutions of inorganic fluorides in water contain F− and bifluoride HF−2. Few inorganic fluorides are soluble in water without undergoing significant hydrolysis. In terms of its reactivity, fluoride differs significantly from chloride and other halides, and is more strongly solvated in protic solvents due to its smaller radius/charge ratio. Its closest chemical relative is hydroxide, since both have similar geometries. When relatively unsolvated, for example in nonprotic solvents, fluoride anions are called “naked”.

Naked fluoride is a very strong Lewis base, and reacts with Lewis acids, forming strong adducts. Naked fluoride salts have been prepared as tetramethylammonium fluoride, tetramethylphosphonium fluoride, and tetrabutylammonium fluoride. Many so-called naked fluoride sources are in fact bifluoride salts. In late 2016 a new type of imidazolium fluoride was synthesized that is termodynamically stable example of a “naked” fluoride source in acetonitrile and its reactivity shows significant potential. At physiological pHs, hydrogen fluoride is usually fully ionised to fluoride. In biochemistry, fluoride and hydrogen fluoride are equivalent. Fluorine, in the form of fluoride, is considered to be a micronutrient for human health, necessary to prevent dental cavities, and to promote healthy bone growth. The tea plant (Camellia sinensis L.) is a known accumulator of fluorine compounds, released upon forming infusions such as the common beverage. The fluorine compounds decompose into products including fluoride ions. Fluoride is the most bioavailable form of fluorine, and as such, tea is potentially a vehicle for fluoride dosing.

Approximately, 50% of absorbed fluoride is excreted renally with a twenty-four-hour period. The remainder can be retained in the oral cavity, and lower digestive tract. Fasting dramatically increases the rate of fluoride absorption to near 100%, from a 60% to 80% when taken with food. A 2013 study, discovered that consumption of one litre of tea a day, can potentially supply the daily recommended intake of 4 mg per day. Some lower quality brands can supply up to a 120% of this amount. Fasting can increase this to 150%. The study indicates that tea drinking communities are at an increased risk of dental and skeletal fluorosis, in the case where water fluoridation is in effect. Fluoride ion in low doses in the mouth reduces tooth decay. For this reason, it is used in toothpaste and water fluoridation. However At much higher doses and frequent exposure, fluoride causes health complications and can be toxic.

Fluoride salts and hydrofluoric acid also have industrial value. Compounds with C-F bonds fall into the realm of organofluorine chemistry. The main uses of fluoride, in terms of volume, are in the production of cryolite, Na3AlF6. It is used in aluminium smelting. Formerly, it was mined, but now it is derived from hydrogen fluoride. Fluorite is used on a large scale to separate slag in steel-making. Mined fluorite (CaF2) is a commodity chemical used in steel-making. Hydrofluoric acid and its anhydrous form, hydrogen fluoride, is also used in the production of fluorocarbons. Hydrofluoric acid has a variety of specialized applications, including its ability to dissolve glass.

John Hurt CBE

English actor and voice actor Sir John Vincent Hurt, CBE sadly died 25 January 2017. He was born 22 January 1940 in Chesterfield, Derbyshire. In 1937, his family moved and his Father became Perpetual Curate of Holy Trinity Church. When Hurt was five, his father became the vicar of St Stephen’s Church in Woodville, south Derbyshire, until 1952. When he was eight, Hurt was sent to the Anglican St Michael’s Preparatory School in Otford, Kent, where he developed his passion for acting and decided he wanted to become an actor. His first role was that of a girl in a school production of The Bluebird (L’Oiseau Bleu) by Maurice Maeterlinck. In 1952 Hurt’s father moved to Old Clee Church in Grimsby, Lincolnshire, and Hurt became a boarder at Lincoln School in Lincoln. He often went with his mother to Cleethorpes Repertory Theatre, but his parents disliked his acting ambitions and encouraged him to become an art teacher instead. His headmaster, Mr Franklin, also derided his ambitions. Aged 17, Hurt enrolled in Grimsby Art School (now the East Coast School of Art & Design), where he studied art. In 1959, he won a scholarship allowing him to study for an Art Teacher’s Diploma (ATD) at Saint Martin’s School of Art in London and In 1960, he won a scholarship to RADA, where he trained for two years.

Hurt’s first film was The Wild and the Willing, but his first major role was as Richard Rich in A Man for All Seasons. He also played Timothy Evans, who was hanged for murders committed by his landlord John Christie, in 10 Rillington Place earning him his first BAFTA nomination for Best Supporting Actor. His portrayal of Quentin Crisp in the TV play The Naked Civil Servant earned him the British Academy Television Award for Best Actor. Hurt also portrayed Roman emperor Caligula in the BBC drama serial, I, Claudius. In 1978 Hurt appeared in Midnight Express and won a Golden Globe and a BAFTA and was also nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor He also voiced Aragorn in Ralph Bakshi’s animated film adaptation of Lord of the Rings. Hurt then voiced Hazel, the heroic rabbit leader of his warren in the film adaptation of Watership Down and later voiced the villainous, General Woundwort, in the animated television adaptation. In 1980 he portrayed John Merrick in The Elephant Man for which he won another BAFTA and was nominated for a Golden Globe and an Academy Award for Best Actor. In 1979 he memorably portrayed Kane in the film Alien.

He also portrayed art school radical Scrawdyke in Little Malcolm and had a starring role in Sam Peckinpah’s film The Osterman Weekend. He also starred opposite Laurence Olivier’s King in King Lear and appeared as Raskolnikov in a BBC television adaptation of Crime and Punishment. Hurt also portrayed Winston Smith in the film adaptation of George Orwell’s novel Nineteen Eighty-Four and starred in Disney’s The Black Cauldron voicing the Horned King. Hurt provided the voiceover for the AIDS: Iceberg / Tombstone, public information film warning of the dangers of AIDS and also portrayed the on-screen narrator, in Jim Henson’s television series The StoryTeller. Hurt had a supporting role as “Bird” O’Donnell in Jim Sheridan’s film The Field , getting another BAFTA nomination and In 1997 He portrayed reclusive tycoon S.R. Hadden in the film Contact. Hurt also provided narration on the Art of Noise’s concept album The Seduction of Claude Debussy and narrated a four-part TV series The Universe (1999).

In 2001 Hurt portrayed Olivander, the Wand Maker In Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone and returned for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1 and Part 2. he also played the role of Adam Sutler, leader of the Norsefire fascist dictatorship in the film V for Vendetta and appeared as Harold Oxley in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. He voiced the Great Dragon Kilgharrah, in the TV series Merlin, who aids the young warlock Merlin as he protects the future king Arthur. In 2009, Hurt reprised the role of Quentin Crisp in An Englishman in New York and also returned to Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four, playing the on-screen Big Brother for a stage adaptation. Hurt won the award for Outstanding British Contribution to Cinema At the 65th British Academy Film Awards. In 2013, Hurt appeared in Doctor Who as a ‘forgotten’ incarnation of the Doctor, known as the War Doctor. In 2015, Hurt provided the voice of the main antagonist Sailor John in the Thomas & Friends film Sodor’s Legend of the Lost Treasure along with Eddie Redmayne and Jamie Campbell Bower. His last movies are That Good Night, in which he plays a terminally ill writer, and Darkest Hour, portraying Neville Chamberlain, opposite Gary Oldman. John Hurt leaves behind some great films.

Tobe Hooper

Best known for his work in the horror film genre,the American film director, screenwriter, and producer William Tobe Hooper was born January 25, 1943 in Austin, Texas, the son of Lois Belle (née Crosby) and Norman William Ray Hooper, who owned a theater in San Angelo. He first became interested in filmmaking when he used his father’s 8 mm camera at age 9. Hooper took Radio-Television-Film classes at the University of Texas at Austin and studied drama in Dallas under Baruch Lumet. Hooper spent the 1960s as a college professor and documentary cameraman. His first short film The Heisters (1965) almost made it into the short subject category for an Academy Award, but was not finished in time.

He directed The low budget American horror film The Texas Chain Saw Massacre in 1974. It features Sally Hardesty (Marilyn Burns) and her paraplegic brother, Franklin (Paul A. Partain), who travel with three friends, Jerry (Allen Danziger), Kirk (William Vail), and Pam (Teri McMinn), to visit the grave of the Hardestys’ grandfather to investigate reports of vandalism and grave robbing. Afterwards, they decide to visit the old Hardesty family homestead. Along the way, they pick up a hitchhiker (Edwin Neal) who talks about his family who worked at the old slaughterhouse. He then starts causing trouble so The group eject him and drive on. They stop at a gas station to refuel, but the proprietor (Jim Siedow) tells them that the pumps are empty.

When they arrive at the homestead, Franklin tells Kirk and Pam about a local swimming-hole and the couple head off to find it. They find the swimming-hole dried up but hear a generator running in the distance. They stumble upon a nearby house. So Kirk knocks on the door When he receives no answer he enters through the unlocked door, but soon wishes he hadn’t When he meets Leatherface (Gunnar Hansen) and meets a gruesome fate at the hands of Leatherface. Pam enters soon after, looking for Kirk but she also regrets it when she too encounters Leatherface and tries unsuccessfully to escape. After a while Jerry becomes increasingly concerned so heads out to look for Pam and Kirk but he also suffers a grisly fate when he encounters Leatherface. With darkness falling, Sally and Franklin also set out to find their friends however Leatherface confronts Franklin with gruesome results. Luckily Sally initially manages to escape Leatherface and flees to the gas station for help however The proprietor ties her up, gags her and drives her back to the house. The hitchhiker also arrives, and Sally finds herself attending a rather Macabre meal attended by Leatherface, The hitchhiker, Grandpa (John Dugan), and his family who all turn out to be cannibals and Sally faces a a grisly fate at the hands of Leatherface, Grandpa and his family unless she can escape…

Due to the film’s violent content, Hooper struggled so he limited the quantity of onscreen gore in hopes of securing a PG rating, but the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) rated it R. Upon its October 1974 release, The Texas Chain Saw Massacre was banned outright in several countries, and numerous theaters later stopped showing the film in response to complaints about its violence. Tobe Hooper later directed The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 in 1986. The character of Leatherface and minor plot details were inspired by the crimes of real-life murderer Ed Gein and It is credited with originating several elements common in the slasher genre, including the use of power tools as murder weapons and the characterization of the killer as a large, hulking, faceless figure.

In 1982, Hooper also directed the enjoyable supernatural horror film Poltergeist. This was based on a story by Steven Spielberg who wrote and produced the film but was making E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial at the time and could not direct another movie. Poltergeist features the Freeling family who live a quiet life in Cuesta Verde, Orange County, California where Steven Freeling works as a successful real estate developer while Diane Freeling looks after their children Dana, Robbie, and Carol Anne. However one night Carol Anne begins acting strangely and suddenly the Earth tremors and Carol Anne announces “They’re here”. Bizarre events then start occurring: glasses break, silverware bends and furniture moves of its own accord. The phenomena seem benign at first, but quickly becomes terrifying. That night, a gnarled backyard tree grabs Robbie through the bedroom window. While Steven rescues Robbie, Carol Anne is Taken by sinister supernatural forces.

So A group of parapsychologists from UC Irvine — Dr. Lesh, Ryan, and Marty — come to the Freeling house to investigate and discover that the Freelings are experiencing a poltergeist intrusion involving more than just one ghost. Steven then discovers that Cuesta Verde is built on an ancient Native American cemetery, but rather than relocating the whole cemetary The developers just removed the headstones and left the bodies behind. So Lesh and Ryan call in Tangina Barrons, a spiritual medium to try and sort this paranormal nightmare and she states that Carol Anne has been taken by a demon known as the “Beast”. Tangina then discovers that there is an portal to another dimension through the children’s bedroom closet, while the exit is through the living room ceiling. So the group attempts to rescue Carol Anne,

Unsurprisingly the Freelings decide to move and Steven hands in his notice. Sadly though before they can leave Diane, Robbie, and Carol Anne are once again attacked by the Beast. Robbie is attacked by an inanimate clown figure while Diane is seized by an unseen malevolent force which drags her into the swimming pool and attempts to drown her. Elsewhere coffins, skeletons and rotting corpses begin erupting out from the ground in their yard and throughout the neighborhood as more spirits begin coming through the Portal and all hell breaks loose in Cuesta Verde.

Hooper’s first novel, Midnight Movie, was published on Three Rivers Press in 2011 and the supernatural thriller film Djinn premiered at the 2013 Abu Dhabi Film Festival. Tobe Hooper sadly died on August 26, 2017 in Sherman Oaks, Los Angeles, at the age of 74. Many Filmmakers have been influenced by Hooper including Hideo Nakata, Wes Craven, Rob Zombie,Alexandre Aja, Jack Thomas Smith and Director Ridley Scott who stated that Alien was influenced by The Texas Chain Saw Massacre.

Gustav Doré

French artist, engraver, illustrator and sculptor Paul Gustave Doré sadly died on January 23, 1883 in Paris following a short illness. He was born January 6, 1832. He worked primarily with wood engraving and steel engraving. Doré was born in Strasbourg and his first illustrated story was published at the age of fifteen. His talent was evident even earlier, however. At age five he had been a prodigy troublemaker, playing pranks that were mature beyond his years. Seven years later, he began carving in cement. Subsequently, as a young man, he began work as a literary illustrator in Paris, winning commissions to depict scenes from books by Rabelais, Balzac, Milton and Dante.In 1853, Doré was asked to illustrate the works of Lord Byron. This commission was followed by additional work for British publishers, including a new illustrated English Bible. In 1856 he produced twelve folio-size illustrations of The Legend of The Wandering Jew for a short poem which Pierre-Jean de Ranger had derived from a novel of Eugène Sue of 1845. In the 1860s he illustrated a French edition of Cervantes’s Don Quixote, and his depictions of the knight and his squire, Sancho Panza, have become so famous that they have influenced subsequent readers, artists, and stage and film directors’ ideas of the physical “look” of the two characters. Doré also illustrated an oversized edition of Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Raven”, an endeavor that earned him 30,000 francs from publisher Harper & Brothers in 1883.


Doré’s illustrations for the English Bible (1866) were a great success, and in 1867 Doré had a major exhibition of his work in London. This exhibition led to the foundation of the Doré Gallery in Bond Street, London. In 1869, Blanchard Jerrold, the son of Douglas William Jerrold, suggested that they work together to produce a comprehensive portrait of London. Jerrold had obtained the idea from The Microcosm of London produced by Rudolph Ackermann, William Pyne, and Thomas Rowlandson in 1808. Doré signed a five-year contract with the publishers Grant & Co that involved his staying in London for three months a year, and he received the vast sum of £10,000 a year for the project. Doré was mainly celebrated for his paintings in his day. His paintings remain world renowned, but his woodcuts and engravings, like those he did for Jerrold, are where he really excelled as an artist with an individual vision.

The completed book, London: A Pilgrimage, with 180 engravings, was published in 1872. It enjoyed commercial and socio-economical success, but the work was disliked by many contemporary critics. Some of these critics were concerned with the fact that Doré appeared to focus on the poverty that existed in parts of London. Doré was accused by the Art Journal of “inventing rather than copying.” The Westminster Review claimed that “Doré gives us sketches in which the commonest, the vulgarest external features are set down.” The book was a financial success, however, and Doré received commissions from other British publishers. Doré’s later work included illustrations for new editions of Coleridge’s Rime of the Ancient Mariner, Milton’s Paradise Lost, Tennyson’s The Idylls of the King, The Works of Thomas Hood, and The Divine Comedy. Doré’s work also appeared in the weekly newspaper The Illustrated London News. Doré continued to illustrate books until his death, The city’s Père Lachaise Cemetery contains his grave.

John Hurt

English actor and voice actor Sir John Vincent Hurt, CBE was born 22 January 1940 in Chesterfield, Derbyshire. In 1937, his family moved and his Father became Perpetual Curate of Holy Trinity Church. When Hurt was five, his father became the vicar of St Stephen’s Church in Woodville, south Derbyshire, until 1952. When he was eight, Hurt was sent to the Anglican St Michael’s Preparatory School in Otford, Kent, where he developed his passion for acting and decided he wanted to become an actor. His first role was that of a girl in a school production of The Bluebird (L’Oiseau Bleu) by Maurice Maeterlinck. In 1952 Hurt’s father moved to Old Clee Church in Grimsby, Lincolnshire, and Hurt became a boarder at Lincoln School in Lincoln. He often went with his mother to Cleethorpes Repertory Theatre, but his parents disliked his acting ambitions and encouraged him to become an art teacher instead. His headmaster, Mr Franklin, also derided his ambitions. Aged 17, Hurt enrolled in Grimsby Art School (now the East Coast School of Art & Design), where he studied art. In 1959, he won a scholarship allowing him to study for an Art Teacher’s Diploma (ATD) at Saint Martin’s School of Art in London and In 1960, he won a scholarship to RADA, where he trained for two years.

Hurt’s first film was The Wild and the Willing, but his first major role was as Richard Rich in A Man for All Seasons. He also played Timothy Evans, who was hanged for murders committed by his landlord John Christie, in 10 Rillington Place earning him his first BAFTA nomination for Best Supporting Actor. His portrayal of Quentin Crisp in the TV play The Naked Civil Servant earned him the British Academy Television Award for Best Actor. Hurt also portrayed Roman emperor Caligula in the BBC drama serial, I, Claudius. In 1978 Hurt appeared in Midnight Express and won a Golden Globe and a BAFTA and was also nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor He also voiced Aragorn in Ralph Bakshi’s animated film adaptation of Lord of the Rings. Hurt then voiced Hazel, the heroic rabbit leader of his warren in the film adaptation of Watership Down and later voiced the villainous, General Woundwort, in the animated television adaptation. In 1980 he portrayed John Merrick in The Elephant Man for which he won another BAFTA and was nominated for a Golden Globe and an Academy Award for Best Actor. In 1979 he memorably portrayed Kane in the film Alien.

He also portrayed art school radical Scrawdyke in Little Malcolm and had a starring role in Sam Peckinpah’s film The Osterman Weekend. He also starred opposite Laurence Olivier’s King in King Lear and appeared as Raskolnikov in a BBC television adaptation of Crime and Punishment. Hurt also portrayed Winston Smith in the film adaptation of George Orwell’s novel Nineteen Eighty-Four and starred in Disney’s The Black Cauldron voicing the Horned King. Hurt provided the voiceover for the AIDS: Iceberg / Tombstone, public information film warning of the dangers of AIDS and also portrayed the on-screen narrator, in Jim Henson’s television series The StoryTeller. Hurt had a supporting role as “Bird” O’Donnell in Jim Sheridan’s film The Field , getting another BAFTA nomination and In 1997 He portrayed reclusive tycoon S.R. Hadden in the film Contact. Hurt also provided narration on the Art of Noise’s concept album The Seduction of Claude Debussy and narrated a four-part TV series The Universe (1999).

In 2001 Hurt portrayed Olivander, the Wand Maker In Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone and returned for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1 and Part 2. he also played the role of Adam Sutler, leader of the Norsefire fascist dictatorship in the film V for Vendetta and appeared as Harold Oxley in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. He voiced the Great Dragon Kilgharrah, in the TV series Merlin, who aids the young warlock Merlin as he protects the future king Arthur. In 2009, Hurt reprised the role of Quentin Crisp in An Englishman in New York and also returned to Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four, playing the on-screen Big Brother for a stage adaptation. Hurt won the award for Outstanding British Contribution to Cinema At the 65th British Academy Film Awards. In 2013, Hurt appeared in Doctor Who as a ‘forgotten’ incarnation of the Doctor, known as the War Doctor. In 2015, Hurt provided the voice of the main antagonist Sailor John in the Thomas & Friends film Sodor’s Legend of the Lost Treasure along with Eddie Redmayne and Jamie Campbell Bower. His last movies are That Good Night, in which he plays a terminally ill writer, and Darkest Hour, portraying Neville Chamberlain, opposite Gary Oldman. John Hurt sadly died 25 January 2017 however he leaves behind some great films.