Monday, October 21, 2013
A violin which was played in the final minutes of the Titanic sinking has been sold for US$1.5 million. The violin, discovered in an attic in Yorkshire, has been the subject of arguments over its authenticity. However, the Titanic specialist auctioneers Henry Aldridge and Son have said research, tests and provenance have proved it to be the genuine article. The violin, in a leather case initialled W.H.H. was sold at public auction in Devizes in Wiltshire. It initially had a reserve price of only US$350,000. The initials W.H.H. were those of Wallace Hartley, who has become a legendary figure in Titanic lore as the man who led his fellow musicians in a rendition of "Nearer My God To Thee" as the ship was slowly sinking. Hartley and his seven fellow band members were amongst the 1500 people who died after the Titanic was hit by an iceberg in 1912. His violin, in its case, was apparently strapped to his body when it was recovered from the icy Atlantic waters.
Posted by lurod at 2:36 AM
Friday, June 28, 2013
The lifetime achievements of late baseball legend Roberto Clemente has been honoured by a Hispanic-owned US food brand by unveiling a life-size bronze statue of him at his namesake park in New York on Thursday. According to an official of Roberto Clemente State Park, the 3,000 pound bronze likeness, commissioned and donated by Goya Foods, is the city's first statue erected in tribute to a person of Puerto Rican heritage, the New York Daily News reports. The statue, cast by sculptor Maritza Hernandez, captures Clemente thanking fans after his 3,000th hit, the report further said. At the unveiling of the statue, president of Goya Foods Bob Unanue said that Clemente will always be remembered and they hope that his spirit of giving will encourage and inspire others to do the same. Expressing their honour to receive the statue, park director Frances Rodriguez further said that the significance is great because Clemente was a true humanitarian, who truly cared about other people. The dedication of the statue takes place 40 years after Clemente became a member of the Hall of Fame, the same year the riverside park, originally called Harlem River Park, that now bears his name, was built. Stating that the statue is a great way for the children playing in the park to find out about Clemente, the legend's son Roberto Clemente Jr said that after seeing the statue, people will learn not only about Clemente the player, but also the human being behind that facade. The report further said that Clemente, who played for the Pittsburgh Pirates, became the first Latin-American inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame and the first to play in a World Series game, and finished his career with his 3,000th hit in his final regular season at-bat in 1972. The star, who was known as much for his humanitarian efforts in the off-season as for his work in right field, tragically died at the age of 38 in a airplane crash in 1972, while he was on his way to Nicaragua to ensure that aid was being properly delivered to earthquake victims. Clemente was posthumously awarded a Congressional medal of honor for his work, the report added.
Posted by lurod at 9:31 AM
Friday, June 7, 2013
As male superb lyrebirds sing, they often move their bodies to the music in a choreographed way, adding evidence from human cultures around the world that music and dance are deeply intertwined activities. "Like humans, male superb lyrebirds have different dance movements to go with different songs," Anastasia Dalziell of Australian National University, said. "Just as we 'waltz' to waltz music but 'salsa' to salsa music, so lyrebirds step sideways with their tail spread out like a veil to one song-which sounds like a 1980s video-arcade game-while they jump and flap their wings with their tail in a mohawk position while singing a quiet 'plinkety-plinkety-plinkety'," she said. The lyrebirds' dance movements are a voluntary embellishment to their singing; in other words, they can and do sing without dancing. As much as people love to dance, the activity is even more crucial for the birds. Before they can mate, males must impress females with their dancing skills. They put a lot of work into their dances, with years of practice before they reach maturity. In the breeding season, female lyrebirds will visit several different males to watch their song-and-dance routines. Exactly what those females are looking for is still anyone's guess. The findings are published in the Cell Press journal Current Biology.
Posted by lurod at 4:24 PM
Thursday, June 6, 2013
Beginning in July, Odin Mobile will offer comprehensive cell phone service for the visually impaired, including innovative accessible handsets, rate plans for every budget, as well as a unique customer service experience designed to address the needs of its customers. This unique experience will include sending user guides to each of its customers via email in Word and HTML formats and providing customer support that is expert in the accessibility features of its phones. "Everyone should be able to experience all of the wonderful things that go along with mobile technology, and we're thrilled to see Odin Mobile stepping up in this way to help make sure that they can," said Doug Chartier, senior vice president of MVNO, partner brands and national accounts for T-Mobile US, Inc. Odin Mobile will offer a range of accessible handsets, including the RAY, an innovative mobile device developed by Project RAY Ltd, featuring a unique user interface built from the ground up for eye-free operation. This unique device offers users a range of capabilities, such as calling and SMS, contact list services, calendar, GPS, advanced WEB remote assistance, voice recorder, emergency services and more. In addition, the RAY is a fantastic device for accessing audio books, newspapers and magazines with one single user interface across all services and applications for unprecedented simplicity and ease of use. "The RAY is an amazing device that fills an important need in the blind community. It offers the visually impaired the benefits of a smart device through a unique user interface that makes it easy to use by the tech savvy and reluctant adopters of advanced technology alike" said Robert Felgar, general manager of Odin Mobile. "We are extremely excited to collaborate with project RAY to improve the lives of the visually impaired." Odin Mobile will also offer great mobile phones for those persons who are visually impaired and simply want to make calls and text message. These mobile phones, manufactured by Emporia, will be extremely easy to use and have numerous accessibility features, including buttons and functions that "speak" and a high contrast display. To further improve the lives of its customers, Odin Mobile will donate two percent of its voice and text revenue to organizations dedicated to serving the needs of the visually impaired. For additional information about Odin Mobile, please visit www.odinmobile.com.
Posted by lurod at 2:16 AM
Tuesday, April 30, 2013
Michael Jackson was driven to an early death because concert promoters were desperate for him to make them money, according to the Jackson family lawyer. Launching a 40 billion-dollar lawsuit by the Jackson family, lawyer Brian Panish said bosses at AEG were so keen to get the star to perform that "they didn't care who got lost in the wash". The family claim AEG ignored the pop legend's drug addiction and pressured him to sign up for a run of shows at London's O2 Arena, the Sun reported. Panish said AEG chiefs are the only people to claim they did not know about the King of Pop's addiction to prescription drugs. The lawyer - acting for Jackson's mum Katherine, 82, and kids Prince, Paris and Blanket - showed jurors emails between key AEG bosses. In March 2009 - before a press conference where Jacko announced his O2 shows - AEG Live boss Randy Phillips wrote to the former chief of AEG's parent company, Tim Leiweke, claiming the singer was drunk and refusing to address fans. Panish said that the singer's behaviour was just one of several warning signs that AEG ignored. Panish said AEG was under pressure from rival gig giant Live Nation and ruthless bosses were ready to exploit Jackson to catch their competitor. Jackson's family accuse AEG of failing to properly probe Murray - and say his 100,000 pounds-a-month wage demands should have been a warning. However, AEG's lawyer Marvin Putman claimed that the firm could not have known Jackson was on Propofol, a powerful anaesthetic usually only used in hospital. He said AEG had no access to private information between Jackson and his doctors. He branded the star an addict and said the company should not be held responsible for his death.
Posted by lurod at 12:48 PM
Monday, April 29, 2013
For those tired of music charts dictated by 13-year-old girls and Justin Bieber, there may be a solution in the form of a new app. Herne Bay resident Anthony Gardiner has developed 25mostplayed.com, a new website dedicated to creating custom music charts based on what interests each listener, Stuff.co.nz reported. It could signal the end of the top 20 music chart replacing it with playlists selected by users based on a selected age-range, location, interest or genre. The 33-year-old started developing the site last year as a means of discovering what people were listening to as opposed to buying. "I've always found people's 25 most-played playlist on iTunes a really interesting insight into their personality, so whenever I meet a new person I always look at what their 25 most-played are," he said. Initially the site was designed just for that purpose but he soon discovered that by blending the demographic data provided by each user with their music listening habits filters could be put in place which would allow others to create custom playlists and discover new music. The app is still in stage one of its development but Gardiner hopes that as it grows he will be able to have the most definitive answer to the question of what the most popular song of all time is. Both Apple and Facebook have shown interest in the app, he said.
Posted by lurod at 3:55 PM
Saturday, April 27, 2013
Michael Jackson's sister, La Toya, has claimed that the late singer is haunting his childhood home in Encino, California. The 56-year-old believes that Jackson's spirit is looking over his three kids Prince, Paris and Blanket, who live there with his mum Katherine. She told the Sun that the pop-star can be heard tap dancing in the mansion. "You don't see anything but you feel a presence," the former Celebrity Big Brother star said. Toya has also been using a psychic to speak to her late brother, who died of an overdose in 2009 aged 50. She said that Michael wants to tell her something, which she is keen to know.
Posted by lurod at 1:23 PM