Colin Burgess (AC/DC)

Colin Burgess, Australian drummer in the rock groups The Masters Apprentices and AC/DC was born 16 November 1946. Formed in 1973 by brothers Malcolm and Angus Young, who have remained the sole constant members. AC/DC are Commonly classified as hard rock and are considered pioneers of heavy metal and are sometimes classified as such, though they themselves have always classified their music as simply “rock and roll”. To date they are one of the highest grossing bands of all time. AC/DC underwent several line-up changes before releasing their first album, High Voltage, on 17 February 1975. Membership subsequently stabilised until bassist Mark Evans was replaced by Cliff Williams in 1977 for the album Powerage. Within months of recording the album Highway to Hell, lead singer and co-songwriter Bon Scott died on 19 February 1980, after a night of heavy alcohol consumption. The group briefly considered disbanding, but Scott’s parents urged them to continue and hire a new vocalist.

Four hours of AC/DC http://youtu.be/OxkoU_xhC8c

Ex-Geordies singer Brian Johnson was auditioned and selected to replace Scott. Later that year, the band released their highest selling album, and ultimately the third highest-selling album by any artist, Back in Black. The band’s next album, For Those About to Rock We Salute You, was their first album to reach number one in the United States. AC/DC declined in popularity soon after drummer Phil Rudd was fired in 1983 and was replaced by future Dio drummer Simon Wright, though the band resurged in the early 1990s with the release of The Razors Edge. Phil Rudd returned in 1994 (after Chris Slade, who was with the band from 1989–1994, was asked to leave in favour of him) and contributed to the band’s 1995 album Ballbreaker.Since then, the band’s line-up has remained the same. Stiff Upper Lip was released in 2000 and was well received by critics, and the band’s latest studio album, Black Ice, was released on 20 October 2008. It was their biggest hit on the charts since For Those About to Rock, reaching No.1 on all the charts eventually.

As of 2010, AC/DC had sold more than 200 million albums worldwide, including 71 million albums in the United States alone. Back in Black has sold an estimated 49 million units worldwide, making it the third highest-selling album by any artist, and the second highest-selling album by any band, behind Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of The Moon and Michael Jackson’s Thriller. The album has sold 22 million units in the U.S. alone, where it is the fifth-highest-selling album of all-time. AC/DC ranked fourth on VH1′s list of the “100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock” and were named the seventh “Greatest Heavy Metal Band of All Time” by MTV. In 2004, AC/DC were ranked number 72 in the Rolling Stone list of the “100 Greatest Artists of All Time”. In 2010, AC/DC were ranked number 23 in the VH1 list of the “100 Greatest Artists of All Time.

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Lord of the Rings

Amazon recently acquired the television rights to J.R.R Tolkien’s epic fantasy Lord of the Rings and have announced plans to make a television series based on events inMiddle Earth, with a multiple season commitment. The events featured in The television series will take place before the events featured in the 2001 feature film “The Fellowship of the Ring,” which kicked off the trilogy The Two Towers and Return of the King, all three directed by Peter Jackson. This could also include potential for a spin-off series as well. Amazon Studios will be collaborating on the series with the Tolkien Estate, Trust, HarperCollins and New Line Cinema. Amazon also produces “The Man in the High Castle,” an alternative history drama based on the Philip K. Dick novel. A cast for the Lord of the Rings TV series has not yet been announced.

 

The Fix by David Baldacci

IMG_4859Having read The Target, The Hit, The Innocent, The Guilty, Memory Man, No Man’s Land and The Last Mile, I would like to read The Fix by David Baldacci. This exciting police thriller features Detective Amos Decker a special agent, who suffered a head injury that resulted in giving him the gift of a remarkable memory, Which has enabled him to solve many crimes, which have baffled everyone else.

The novel concerns a chap named Walter Dabney, a family man. A loving husband and the father of four grown daughters , who has built a life many would be proud of. Then while Standing outside the FBI Headquarters in Washington, D C, Dabney shoots school teacher Anne Berkshire execution style, in cold blood, on a crowded pavement, before turning the gun on himself. One of the many witnesses is Amos Decker; a man who forgets nothing and sees what most miss. However Even with Decker’s extraordinary powers of observation and deduction, the seemingly senseless and random killing appears baffling.  Decker and his team can find absolutely no connection between the shooter – a family man with a successful consulting business – and his victim, a schoolteacher. Nor is there a hint of any possible motive for the attack.

Decker finds himself thrust into the investigation to determine what drove this seemingly loving family man to pull the trigger, so Decker and the team delve into the lives of Dabney and Berkshire to find a connection that doesn’t seem to exist. Then he meets Harper Brown. An agent of the Defense Intelligence Agency, she orders Decker to back off the case. The murder is part of an open DIA investigation, one so classified that Decker and his team aren’t cleared for it. Decker discovers that the Defense Intelligence Agency believes that Critical information may have been leaked to a hostile government – or, worse, an international terrorist group – and an attack may be imminent so now solving the murder has become a matter of urgent national security. Decker is a bit of a maverick and has never been one to follow the rules, especially with the stakes so high. Forced into an uneasy alliance with Agent Brown, Decker remains laser focused on only one goal: solving the case before it’s too late…

The Family Lawyer by James Patterson

The family Lawyer by James Patterson
The Family Lawyer by James Patterson features a Skilled Criminal Defence Attourney named Mathew Hovenes who finds his life thrown into chaos and starts living a parents worst nightmare after, his young daughter is accused of bullying another girl to the point of suicide. However something is not quite right with the evidence, so Matthew decides to investigate further.

Night Sniper by James Patterson and Christopher Charles
Exciting fast paced police thriller featuring Detective Inspector Cheryl Mabern who is one of the New York Police Departments most brilliant Detectives. She is called to investigate a calculating killer who is commiting seemingly random murders as she investigates further she finds herself having to confront her darkest fears.

The Good Sister by James Patterson and Rachel Howzell Hall
This novel features Dani Lawrence who finds herself facing something of a personal dillemma when her beloved sisters no-good philandering cheating husband, who she never liked, is found dead. She must decide whether to cooperate with an investigation which could end up with her sister being sent to prison or obstruct it by any means necessary, justifying it by saying he was asking for trouble and got what he deserved, even though by obstructing justice she risks finding herself in jail

ABBA

Swedish singer Anni-Frid Lyngstad was bjorn 15th November 1945. She found fame as a member of Swedish pop group ABBA. Formed in Stockholm in 1972, ABBA comprised of Agnetha Fältskog, Bjenny Andersson, Björn Ulvaeus and Anni-Frid Lyngstad. ABBA being an acronym of the first letters of the bjand members’. They became one of the most commercially successful acts in the history of pop music, topping the charts worldwide from 1972 to 1982. They are also known for winning the 1974 Eurovision Song Contest with the song “Waterloo”, giving Sweden its first victory in the history of the contest and being the most successful group ever to take part in the contest.ABBA have sold over 370 million records worldwide and still sells millions of records a year, which makes them one of the best-selling music artists of all time. ABBA were the first pop group to come from a non-English-speaking country that enjoyed consistent success in the charts of English-speaking countries, including the UK, Ireland, the U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa.

The group also enjoyed significant success in Latin American markets, and recorded a collection of their hit songs in Spanish. During the band’s active years, Fältskog and Ulvaeus were a married couple, as were Lyngstad and Andersson, although both couples later divorced. At the height of their popularity, both relationships were suffering strain which ultimately resulted in the collapse of the Ulvaeus-Fältskog marriage in 1979 and the Andersson-Lyngstad marriage in 1981. These relationship changes were reflected in the group’s music, with later compositions including more introspective lyrics.

After ABBA broke up in late 1982, Andersson and Ulvaeus achieved success writing music for the stage while Lyngstad and Fältskog pursued solo careers with mixed success. ABBA’s music declined in popularity until several films, notably Muriel’s Wedding, Mamma Mia and The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, revived interest in the group, spawning several tribute bjands. In 1999, ABBA’s music was adapted into the successful musical Mamma Mia! that toured worldwide. A film of the same name released in 2008 became the highest-grossing film in the United Kingdom that year. The group was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on 15 March 2010

J.G. Ballard

English novelist and short story writer James Graham “J. G.” Ballard was born 15 November 1930. 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.

Based on Ballard’s boyhood in the Shanghai International Settlement and internment by the Japanese Imperial Army during the Second World War, Empire of the Sun 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 safer place for him, however the food supply runs short 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 Awarhds (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, from which he died in London on 19th April 2009, however In 2008, The Times included Ballard on its list of “The 50 greatest British writers since 1945

H.R.H Prince Charles

His Royal Highness Charles, Prince of Wales (Charles Philip Arthur George, was born 14 November 1948. He is the eldest child and heir apparent of Queen Elzabeth II. Known alternatively in Scotland as Duke of Rothesay and in South West England as Duke of Cornwall, he is the longest-serving heir apparent in British history, having held the position since 1952.He iS also the oldest heir to the throne since 1714. He is the first grandchild of King George VI andQueen Elizabeth and was Baptised in the palace’s Music Room on 15 December 1948. The prince’s godparents were: the King (his maternal grandfather); the King of Norway (his cousin), Queen Mary (his maternal great-grandmother);Princess Margaret (his maternal aunt); Prince George of Greece and Denmark (his paternal great-uncle, theDowager Marchioness of Milford Haven (his paternal great-grandmother); the Lady Brabourne (his cousin); and the Hon David Bowes-Lyon (his maternal great-uncle’

When Charles was aged three his mother’s accession as Queen Elizabeth II made him heir apparent. As the sovereign’s eldest son, he automatically took the titles Duke of Cornwall, Duke of Rothesay, Earl of Carrick, Baron of Renfrew, Lord of the Isles and Prince and Great Steward of Scotland, in addition to being a prince of the United Kingdom. Charles attended his mother’s coronation at Westminster Abbey on 2 June 1953. A governess, Catherine Peebles, was appointed and undertook his education between the ages of five and eight. In 1955 Buckingham Palace announced that Charles would attend school rather than have a private tutor. Charles was created Prince of Wales and Earl of Chester on 26 July 1958. Though his investiture was not conducted until 1 July 1969 in a televised ceremony held at Caernarfon Castle.The following year he took his seat in the House of Lords and became the first member of the Royal Family since King George I to attend a British Cabinet meeting, having been invited by Prime Minister James Callaghan. Charles first attended Hill House School in west London, Charles then attended two of his father’s former schools, Cheam Preparatory School in Berkshire, England,and Gordonstoun Schools, which his father, Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, had attended as a child.

He reportedly despised his time at the latter school, which he described as “Colditz in kilts”. He spent two terms in 1966 at the Timbertop campus of Geelong Grammar School in Victoria, Australia, during which time he visited Papua New Guinea on a school trip with his history tutor, Michael Collins Persse. Upon his return to Gordonstoun, Charles emulated his father in becoming Head Boy. He left in 1967, with six GCE O-levels, and two A Levels in history and French at grades B and C respectively Charles proceeded straight from secondary school into university, as opposed to joining theBritish Armed Forces. In October 1967, the Prince was admitted to Trinity College, Cambridge University, where he readanthropology, archaeology, and history. During his second year, Charles attended the University College of Wales in Aberystwyth, studying Welsh history and language for a term. He graduated from Cambridge with a 2:2 Bachelor of Arts on 23 June 1970, the first heir apparent to earn a university degree.] On 2 August 1975, he was subsequently awarded a Master of Arts degree from Cambridge, per the university’s tradition. After earning a bachelor of arts degree from Trinity College, Cambridge, Charles served in the Royal Navy from 1971 to 1976 After requesting and receiving Royal Air Force training during his second year at Cambridge, on 8 March 1971, he flew himself to the Royal Air Force College Cranwell to train as a jet pilot. Following the passing-out parade that September, he embarked on a naval career, enrolling in a six-week course at the Royal Naval College Dartmouth and then serving on the guided missile destroyer HMS Norfolk (1971–1972) and the frigates HMS Minerva (1972–1973) and HMS Jupiter (1974). He also qualified as a helicopter pilot at RNAS Yeovilton in 1974, just prior to joining 845 Naval Air Squadron, operating from HMS Hermes.[29] On 9 February 1976, he took command of the coastal minehunterHMS Bronington for his last ten months serving actively in the navy. He learned to fly on a Chipmunk basic pilot trainer, a BAC Jet Provost jet trainer, and a Beagle Basset multi-engine trainer; he then regularly flew the Hawker Siddeley Andover, Westland Wessex and BAe 146 aircraft

Charles also began to take on more public duties, founding The Prince’s Trust in 1976. & expressed an interest in serving as Governor-General of Australia. After founding The Prince’s Trust in 1976, Charles has established sixteen more charitable organisations, and now serves as president of all of those Together, these form a loose alliance called The Prince’s Charities, which describes itself as “the largest multi-cause charitable enterprise in the United Kingdom, raising over £100million annually … [and is] active across a broad range of areas including education and young people, environmental sustainability, the built environment, responsible business and enterprise and international. The Prince’s Charities Canada was established in a similar fashion to its namesake in the UK. Charles is also patron of over 350 other charities and organisations, and carries out duties related to these throughout the Commonwealth realms; for example, he uses his tours of Canada as a way to help draw attention to youth, the disabled, the environment, the arts, medicine, the elderly, heritage conservation, and education. In Canada, Charles has supported humanitarian projects, for example taking part, along with his two sons, in the ceremonies marking the 1998 International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. In 2013, Charles donated an unspecified sum of money to the British Red Cross Syria Crisis appeal and DEC Syria appeal, which is run by 14 U.K charities to help victims of Syria’s ongoing humanitarian crisis.Charles was one of the first world leaders to express strong concerns about the human rights record of Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceauşescu, initiating objections in the international arena, and subsequently supported the FARA Foundation a charity for Romanian orphans and abandoned children. .

The Prince of Wales has openly expressed his views on architecture and urban planning, asserting that he “care[s] deeply about issues such as the environment, architecture, inner-city renewal, and the quality of life and his interests encompass a range of humanitarian and social issuesTwo of his charities (The Prince’s Regeneration Trust and The Prince’s Foundation for Building Community) promote his views, on archetechture and the environment. He has long championed organic farming and sought to raise world awareness of the dangers facing the natural environment, such asclimate change. As an environmentalist, he has received numerous awards and recognition from environmental groups around the world. His 2010 book,Harmony: A New Way of Looking at Our World, won the Nautilus Book Award. He has been outspoken on the role of architecture in society and the conservation of historic buildings, and produced a book on the subject called A Vision of Britain: A Personal View of Architecture in 1989. He has also promoted herbal and other alternative medical treatment. Charles helped establish a national trust for the built environment in Canada after lamenting, in 1996, the unbridled destruction of many of the country’s historic urban cores.

He offered his assistance to the Department of Canadian Heritage in creating a trust modelled on Britain’s National Trust, a plan that was implemented with the passage of the 2007 Canadian federal budget. In 1999, the Prince agreed to the use of his title for the Prince of Wales Prize for Municipal Heritage Leadership, awarded by the Heritage Canada Foundation to municipal governments that have shown sustained commitment to the conservation of historic places. While visiting the United States and surveying the damage caused by Hurricane Katrina, Charles received the National Building Museum’s Vincent Scully Prize in 2005, for his efforts in regard to architecture; he donated $25,000 of the prize money towards restoring storm-damaged communities.From 1997, the Prince of Wales has visited Romania to view and highlight the destruction of Orthodox monasteries and Transylvanian Saxon villages during the Communist rule ofNicolae Ceauşescu.] Charles is patron of the Mihai Eminescu Trust, a Romanian conservation and regeneration organisation and has purchased a house in Romania. Charles also has “a deep understanding of Islamic art andarchitecture”, and has been involved in the construction of a building and garden at the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies that combine Islamic and Oxford architectural styles. In 2010, The Prince’s Foundation for the Built Environment decided to help reconstruct and redesign buildings in Port-au-Prince, Haiti after the capital was destroyed by the 2010 Haiti earthquake

In 1980, he wrote a children’s book titled The Old Man of Lochnagar.The book was later adapted into an animation short film, a musical stage play and a ballet. In 1981, he married Lady Diana Spencer and they had two sons, Prince William, Duke of Cambridge (born 1982), and Prince Harry of Wales (born 1984). In 1996, the couple divorced, following well-publicised extra-marital affairs. The following year, the Princess of Wales died in a car crash. In 2005, he married Camilla Parker Bowles in a civil ceremony followed by a televised blessing service. Camilla uses the title Duchess of Cornwall.

On 16 June 2012, the Queen awarded the Prince of Wales honorary five-star rank in all three branches of the British Armed Forces, “to acknowledge his support in her role as Commander-in-Chief.” He became a field marshal, an admiral of the fleet and amarshal of the Royal Air Force.He has held substantive ranks in the armed forces of a number of countries since he was made a flight lieutenant in the Royal Air Force in 1972. Since 2009, Charles holds the second-highest ranks in all three branches of the Canadian Forces. Charles’s first honorary appointment in the armed forces was as Colonel-in-Chief of the Royal Regiment of Wales in 1969; since then, the Prince has also been installed as Colonel-in-Chief, Colonel, Honorary Air Commodore, Air Commodore-in-Chief, Deputy Colonel-in-Chief, Royal Honorary Colonel, Royal Colonel, and Honorary Commodore of at least 32 military formations throughout the Commonwealth, including the Royal Gurkha Rifles, which is the only foreign regiment in the British army.He has been inducted into seven orders and received eight decorations from the Commonwealth realms, and has been the recipient of 20 different honours from foreign states, as well as nine honorary degrees from universities in the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand

As Prince of Wales, Charles undertakes official duties on behalf of his mother and theCommonwealth realms. He officiates atinvestitures and attends the funerals of foreign dignitaries. At the funeral of Pope John Paul II, Charles unintentionally caused controversy when he shook hands with Robert Mugabe, the President of Zimbabwe, who had been seated next to him. Charles’s office subsequently released a statement saying: “The Prince of Wales was caught by surprise and not in a position to avoid shaking Mr. Mugabe’s hand. The Prince finds the current Zimbabwean regime abhorrent. He has supported the Zimbabwe Defence and Aid Fund which works with those being oppressed by the regime. The Prince also recently met Pius Ncube, the Archbishop of Bulawayo, an outspoken critic of the government.”Both Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall travel abroad on behalf of the United Kingdom. The Prince has been regarded as an effective advocate of the country, with his visit to the Republic of Ireland, where he delivered a personally researched and written speech on Anglo-Irish affairs that was warmly received by Irish politicians and the media, being cited as an example. Prince Charles makes regular tours of Wales, fulfilling a week of engagements in the principality each summer, and attending important national occasions, such as opening the Senedd.

In 2000, Charles revived the tradition of the Prince of Wales having an official harpist, in order to foster Welsh talent at playing the harp, the national instrument of Wales. He and the Duchess of Cornwall also spend one week each year in Scotland, where the Prince is patron of several Scottish organisations. His service to the Canadian Armed Forces permits him to be informed of troop activities, and allows him to visit these troops while in Canada or overseas, taking part in ceremonial occasions. For instance, in 2001, the Prince placed a specially commissioned wreath, made from vegetation taken from French battlefields, at the Canadian Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and in 1981 he became the patron of the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum.In 2010, he represented the Queen at the opening ceremony of the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi, India.He attends official events in the United Kingdom in support of Commonwealth countries, such as the Christchurch earthquake memorial service at Westminster Abbey in 2011 On 16 November 2011, he attended a special service at Westminster Abbey celebrating the 400th anniversary of the King James Bible in the presence of the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall attended the enthronement of the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby at Canterbury Cathedral on 21 March 2013.[144] In May 2013, Buckingham Palace announced that the Prince of Wales will represent the Queen for the first time at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting 2013, which will take place at Colombo, Sri Lanka from 15 to 17 November 2013.The six Trustees of the Royal Collection Trust meet three times a year under his chairmanship.

From his youth the Prince had been avid player of competitive polo until 1992, breaking his arm in 1990, and becoming briefly unconscious after a fall in 2001. He then played for charity until 2005.Charles also frequently took part in fox hunting, before the sport was banned in the United Kingdom in 2005. The Prince has been a keen salmon angler since youth and, frequently fishes the River Dee in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, Charles is a supporter of Burnley Football Club.The Prince is also President or Patron of more than 20 performing arts organisations, including the Royal College of Music, the Royal Opera, the English Chamber Orchestra, the Philharmonia Orchestra, Welsh National Opera, and the Purcell School. As an undergraduate at Cambridge he played cello, and has sung with the Bach Choir twice. He is a fan of Canadian singer-songwriterLeonard Cohen He founded The Prince’s Foundation for Children and The Arts in 2002, to help more children experience the arts first-hand. He is President of the Royal Shakespeare Company and attends performances in Stratford-Upon-Avon, supports fundraising events and attends the company’s annual general meeting. He enjoys comedy, and is interested in illusionism, becoming a member o The Magic Circle after passing his audition in 1975 by performing the “cups and balls” effect

A keen and accomplished painter, Charles has exhibited and sold a number of his works, and published books on the subject. In 2001, 20 lithographs of his watercolour paintings illustrating his country estates were exhibited at the Florence International Biennale of Contemporary . He was awarded the 2011 Montblanc de la Culture Arts Patronage Award by the Montblanc Cultural Foundation for his support and commitment to the arts, Upon moving into Highgrove House, he developed an interest in organic farming, and launched his own organic brand, Duchy Originals. The Prince of Wales also became involved with farming and various industries within it, regularly meeting with farmers to discuss their trade. In 2004, he founded the Mutton Renaissance Campaign, which aims to support British sheep farmers and make mutton more attractive to Britons. In 2007 he received the 10th annual Global Environmental Citizen Award from the Harvard Medical School’s Center for Health and the Global Environment, In 2007, Charles launched The Prince’s May Day Network, which encourages businesses to take action on climate change. He also articulated the need to protect fisheries and the Amazon rain forest, and to make low-carbon emissions affordable and competitive.In 2011, Charles received the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds Medal for his engagement with the environment, such as theconservation of rainforests and continues his work to this day