What’s happening in Edinburgh on the week of the 22nd April 2013.
Record Store Day took place this weekend, and saw musicians, artists and the record-buying public come together to celebrate the unique scene. Set up in 2007 it was established to promote independent music shops by selling exclusive vinyl recordings to fans.
Our reporter, Shiv Das, spoke to Avalanche Records, in Edinburgh, discussing how the weekend went.
Edinburgh is home to five independant record stores-
1.Avalanche, 5 Grassmarket, Edinburgh
2. VoxBox, 21 St Stephen Street, Stockbridge, Edinburgh
3. Elvis Shakespeare, 347 Leith Walk, Edinburgh
4.Underground Solushn, 9 Cockburn Street, Edinburgh
5.Vinyl Villains, 5 Elm Row, Edinburgh
The Edinburgh International Festival has today announced it has appointed a new artistic director. Fergus Linehan, the former director of the Sydney International Festival as well as fomer Head of Music at the Sydney Opera House, will take over the role in October. He succeeds Jonathan Mills, who has been in charge at the festival for seven years.
Mills will step down after the 2014 festival, but Mr Linehan will work part-time as director designate from 1st May this year. He will step up to the role full-time from October 2014, which will mean 2015 will mark his first festival as director. He will remain in charge at the EIF until at least 2019.
Under Mr Linehan the annual turnover of the Sydney International Festival almost doubled, rising from $12m to $20m between 2004 and 2009, thanks to a rise in ticket sales, funding, and sponsorship.
Speaking of the appointment, Linehan said “I am delighted and deeply honoured to have been appointed as the next director of the Edinburgh international festival. I look forward to safeguarding the founding principles of the festival in ways which are engaging and relevant to all.
“Successful festivals respond to both place and provenance to create a unique identity and this is particularly true of Edinburgh, the pre-eminent festival city. It is with this in mind that I will begin the exciting work of developing my plans and ideas for 2015 and for future festivals”
Mills had previously faced criticism over his festival programmes, which some critics claimed were lacking in homegrown talent.
Edinburgh’s Lord Provost Donald Wilson also welcomed the appointment, saying “Fergus brings new skills, intellectual rigour and a highly successful track record to the Festival and the city.
“Having previously lived in Edinburgh and worked with companies visiting the city he is familiar with what the city can offer its residents as well as visitors and artists from around the world. I look forward to welcoming him back to Edinburgh and Scotland’s creative and vibrant cultural life.”
Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs Fiona Hyslop, added ‘The Edinburgh International Festival has a worldwide reputation for excellence and innovation. In bringing together exceptionally talented artists from nations across the globe, it helps to celebrate and promote Scotland’s rich culture and heritage on the world stage and strengthen our links with other countries. I welcome Fergus Linehan’s appointment as Director and wish him every success in the role.’
The Edinburgh College of Art is getting ready for this year’s fashion show which will take place later this week.
This year’s runway show will feature designs from students graduating in Fashion, Performance Costume and Textiles. The Edinburgh College of Art Fashion Show is Scotland’s leading fashion event and one of the capital’s cultural highlights.
This week’s event promises to be bigger and better than ever before, with 20 collections featuring a diverse range of designs inspired by lost Peruvian tribes, 1990s kids TV shows, the sleek shapes of luxury yachts, and the power of the colour blue.
The Fashion Show will take place on Thursday 25th April and Friday 26th April, in the University of Edinburgh’s McEwan Hall. There will be one Schools performance and five public performances.
For anyone interested in attending the Fashion Show, there are still tickets available online for £15.
Peter Jackson’s highly anticipated trilogy ‘The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey’ will hit cinemas worldwide this weekend.
It has been highly awaited and people in Edinburgh have also jumped in on the excitement, with local showings sold out. The film will serve as a prequel to the highly successful ‘Lord of The Rings’ Trilogy and will feature a lot of familiar faces from them including: Sir Ian McKellen, Andy Serkins, Cate Blanchet, Elijah Wood and Orlando Bloom.
The Scottish presence is apparent in the world of middle earth. Edinburgh born actor Ken Stott starts in the film as a Dwarf Balin, one of Bilbo Baggins closest friend. Comedian Billy Connolly has been cast at Dain Ironfoot, a great dwarf warrior and will appear in the second and third instalments. ‘Lord of the Rings’ veteran, Glasgow bred, Billy Boyd attended the London premiere last night – he appeared as Pippin in the Lord of the Rings trilogy.
Local Edinburgh cinema The Cameo hosted a ‘Lord of the Rings’ film marathon on the 9th of December 2012 to celebrate the release of ‘The Hobbit’. The audience was encouraged to dress up and the event was deemed a great success by management. ‘The Hobbit’ will be the first 3D film to be shown at The Cameo. Kenny Gold, duty manager of The Cameo, “There has been a lot of build up. We couldn’t have picked a better film than ‘The Hobbit’ for our first 3D showing.”
‘The Hobbit’ is set in the all too familiar Middle-Earth and it follows the adventures of Bilbo Baggins, played by Martin Freeman, and 13 dwarves on their quest to take back the Lonely Mountain from the reign of the dragon, Smaug – who will be voiced by Freeman’s ‘Sherlock’ co-star Benedict Cumberbatch.
The Guardian comments that the movies ‘offers an enormous amount of fun, energy and a bold sense of purpose’. Peter Jackson is once again trying to give movie goers a unique and innovative experience. ‘The Hobbit’ is shot in High Frame Rate (HFR): 48 frames a second instead of the usual 24. This gives the movie a higher definition and with the help of 3D makes the 169 minutes of spookiness more realistic.
Fan interviewed by Shiv Das about ‘The Hobbit:’
The Hobbit premiered last night in London, gathering a remarkable group of celebrities, including the Duke of Cambridge. Sanaa Siddiqui, who was at the front of the crowd at last night, comments on the atmosphere of the event: “The whole of Leicester Square was packed to the brim with fans. The area was stunningly decorated to look like the Shire. I met all of my favourite actors, it was such an amazing day.”
Audio Interview: final hobbit vopxox shiv das
A recent study by the Scottish Artists Union reports three quarters of visual artists are living on an income of less than £5000 a year.
The SAU, which is lobbying and campaigning on behalf of visual artists working in Scotland states that the present figures are a worrying depiction of their earnings.
Only 5% of artist taking part in the survey are earning more than £15000 after tax and expenses.
Simon Hynd, a successful film director from Edinburgh, is now working for the BBC but says that the first years after graduation are the hardest: “When I started out, I was definitely in that category. For the first three years at least I was earning less than £15000 a year.”
Jonny Wilson, an unemployed film writer from Edinburgh, belongs to the same category and claims that being an artist is often a question of class.
“I fall into that category as I’ve only earned about 5000 this year. I have had some contact with BBC executives and people like that. They all seem to have come from privately educated backgrounds and have the means to fund themselves while chasing their dreams. Those from the lower socio-economic scale just can’t afford to do that. They have the reality of having to pay their bills and that eats into your energy and your ability to create.”
The recent report by SAU also states that most visual artists have never applied for a public funding or received a grant.
Mr Wilson’s observations are backed up by SAU’s report saying that 47% were forced to get a part-time job in order to keep their heads above water. Mr Hynd remembers being in the same situation: “That’s something that I did as well. I was working in retail while I pursued my dream.”
However, Mr Hynd was in the lucky but unusual position to get financial support from his family: “I was in a fortunate position because I have a wife who has a regular job so she was able to support me to an extent. She took a bit of the pressure off. Other artists definitely don’t always have that luxury.”
1. Street Party
The renowned Edinburgh street party is something that should not be missed. Join 80,000 partygoer’s dance into the New Year with music from top DJs and musical entertainment such as The Maccabees, Reverend and the Makers and The OK Social Club. Celebrate at midnight with the extravagant firework display.
Tickets are £15 available at http://www.edinburghshogmanay.org/
Music ★★★★ Food ★ Venue ★★★ Family Friendly ★★
2. Concert in the Gardens
The music event of the evening proves to be as big as it ever has. Scottish musicians dominate this year with legends Simple Minds, Dundee-based boys The View and Edinburgh four piece Bwani Junction rocking into 2013. Enclosed tickets are sold out and the Garden tickets are soon to follow.
Garden tickets are £37.50 available at http://www.edinburghshogmanay.org/
Music ★★★★★ Food ★ Venue ★★★ Family Friendly ★★
3. The Loony Dook
Maybe the craziest Hogmanay tradition of them all! Join the ‘loony’s’ plunge into the River Forth on the 1st of January 2013. The Dooker’s parade kicks off the event and then it’s into the water. What a better way to kick off the New Year!
Register at http://www.theloonydook.co.uk/Register.html
Music - Food – Venue ★★ Family Friendly ★★
4. Propaganda New Years Eve Party Animal
Celebrate 2013 with the UK’s biggest club night, Propaganda. The HMV Picture House will be home to student friendly club night. This event is for the mainstream indie music fans, but chart music is also played. Curfew is 5am. Definitely the perfect place for those who want to dance all night long.
Tickets are £7.25 available at http://www.ticketweb.co.uk/
Music ★★★★ Food – Venue ★★★ Family Friendly –
5. The Keilidh
Fancy learning some traditional Scottish dance moves? If so, then head to the outdoor ceilidh event in the Princes Street Gardens. With a food village and outdoor bar, your every party need is catered to while you master your ceilidh technique. Last years event was a total sell out; so don’t miss out this time.
Tickets are £37 available at http://www.edinburghshogmanay.org/
Music ★★★★ Food ★★ Venue ★★ Family Friendly ★★
6. St Giles Candlelit Concerts
If you want to celebrate Hogmanay somewhere that is warmer that Princes Street, then maybe this event is for you. Michael Harris with the St Giles Cathedral Choir directs this year. Parts 1 and 3 of J.S.Bach’s Christmas Oratorio and Vivaldi’s Magnificat will be featured. The Candlelit Cathedral provides an exquisite atmosphere.
Tickets are £16 available at http://www.edinburghshogmanay.org/
Music ★★★ Food – Venue ★★★★ Family Friendly ★★★
7. Vegas! The Grand Hogmanay Ball
Can’t afford a trip to America to celebrate 2013? Well, Edinburgh’s own Voodoo Rooms will turn into Las Vegas for one night on the 31st of December 2012. This sophisticated event features music from Cow Cow Boogie, a swinging six-piece from Edinburgh. Burlesque dancers and showgirls will provide entertainment as well as blackjack tables.
Tickets are £25 available at http://www.ticketweb.co.uk/
Music ★★★ Food ★★ Venue ★★★★ Family Friendly –
8. Baby Loves Hogmanay Disco
Electric Circus plays home to the perfect event if you have a baby that loves to dance. Music is played at a baby-friendly volume and Club DJ’s provide the tunes. The disco is family friendly as there is a chill out zone, catering and even a bar for mum and dad.
Tickets are £8 available at http://www.babylovesdisco.co.uk/
Music ★★★ Food ★ Venue ★★ Family Friendly ★★★★★
9. Your Lucky Day Festival
Head to the National Museum of Scotland for some culture on New Years day. Your Lucky Day festival is for all the family and provides dance, music and theatre. There will also be chance to see the Lady Luck art instillation by Walker and Bromwich.
All events are Free.
Music ★★ Food ★★ Venue ★★★★ Family Friendly ★★★★★
10. El Barrio NYE Party
The Latin bar and club will provide a New Years Eve Fiesta. Their aim is to bring the Latin spirit to Edinburgh by providing Latin music, dancing, drink and flair. This night will not disappoint avid Latin music lovers.
Tickets are £10 available on the door
Music ★★★ Food – Venue ★★★ Family Friendly –
The Golden Globe Nominations were released today with Lincoln, Les Miserables and Argo tipped to be big winners. The results will be delivered on the 13th of January 2013 by comedians Amy Poehler and Tina Fey.
The Golden Globes are seen as major indicators in the race for the Oscars and are actively campaigned for by Hollywood studio bosses. Awards prognosticator website Gold Derby currently place Les Miserables as the film most likely to win the Best Picture Oscar.
A large British contingent will be present amongst the acting nominations with top British acting talent represented by Daniel Day-Lewis, Helen Mirren, Rachel Weiz, Emily Blunt, Judi Dench and Ewan McGregor. Day-Lewis is heavily tipped to take home the globe thanks to his critically lauded portrayal of Abraham Lincoln.
BEST PICTURE: DRAMA
- “Django Unchained”
- “Life of Pi”
- “Zero Dark Thirty”
BEST PICTURE: COMEDY OR MUSICAL
- “Best Exotic Marigold Hotel”
- “Les Miserables”
- “Moonrise Kingdom”
- “Salmon Fishing in the Yemen”
- “Silver Linings Playbook”
- Ben Affleck
- Kathryn Bigelow
- Ang Li
- Steven Spielberg
- Quentin Tarantino
BEST ACTOR: DRAMA
- Daniel Day-Lewis
- Richard Gere
- John Hawkes
- Joaquin Phoenix
- Denzel Washington
BEST ACTRESS: DRAMA
- Jessica Chastain
- Marion Cotillard
- Helen Mirren
- Naomi Watts
- Richard Weisz
BEST ACTRESS: COMEDY OR MUSICAL
- Emily Blunt
- Judi Dench
- Jennifer Lawrence
- Maggie Smith
- Meryl Streep
BEST ACTOR: COMEDY OR MUSICAL
- Jack Black
- Bradley Cooper
- Hugh Jackman
- Ewan McGregor
- Bill Murray
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
- Amy Adams
- Sally Field
- Anne Hathaway
- Helen Hunt
- Nicole Kidman
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
- Alan Arkin
- Leonardo DiCaprio
- Philip Seymour Hoffman
- Tommy Lee Jones
- Christoph Waltz
BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
- “A Royal Affair”
- “The Intouchables”
- “Rust and Bone”
- “Zero Dark Thirty”
- “Django Unchained”
- “Silver Linings Playbook”
BEST ORIGINAL SCORE
- “Anna Karenina”
- Cloud Atlas”
- “Life of Pi”
BEST ANIMATED FEATURE FILM
- “Hotel Transylvania”
- “Rise of the Guardians”
BEST ORIGINAL SONG
- “For You” from Act of Valour
- “Not Running Anymore” from Stand Up Guys
- “Safe and Sound” from The Hunger Games
- “Skyfall” from Skyfall
- “Suddenly” from Les Miserable
More than 1 million votes were cast and the results are in for the best books in Goodreads 4th Annual Awards.
J.K. Rowling’s book ‘The Casual Vacancy’ won in the ‘Fiction’ category with 11,525 votes. The Edinburgh author got mostly positive reviews for her first book following the Harry Potter series. The Guardian referreds to it as ‘a solid, traditional and determinedly unadventurous English novel’. It tells the story of the English town of Pagford, whose inner turmoils comes to the surface after councilman Barry Fairbrother dies and the community has to elect a new member in his place. It deals with issues relating to drugs, self-harm, and sex. It’s a drastic turn away from the warmth of Harry Potter.
The media hype around J.K.Rowling’s first book for adults has boosted sales. “We had a really steady flow of sales. We were lucky enough to get some signed copies, and they just disappeared before we could get a proper look at them ourselves” says Cat Anderson, a bookseller at The Edinburgh Bookshop in Bruntsfield. She also comments on the content: “It was quite hitting in terms of the social comments she is making, but I personally wouldn’t have put it in my top books list.”
In the Young Adult category, John Green’s ‘The Fault in Our Stars’ won a convincing victory with 37,438 votes. The story revolves around Hazel, who after being diagnosed with stage IV thyroid cancer at 13, was prepared to die until a medical miracle gave her a new chance at life. She later meets with Augustus at a cancer support group for kids. Their romantic relationship helps her get a new perspective on sickness and health and their influence on her identity and legacy. Ms. Anderson comments that: “Everyone who’s read it has been blow away by it. John Green is a beautiful writer.”
2012 has been a big year for Queen Elizabeth II, the top book in Goodread’s Biography category being Sally Bedell Smith’s ‘Elizabeth the Queen: The Life of a Modern Monarch’. There has been a sea of books talking about the Queen’s life “The focus on her being a modern monarch is what has given Sally Bedell Smith’s edge over the others”, says Ms. Anderson
Here is a list of some of the winners and runner ups of the GoodReads Choice Awards 2012.
‘The Casual Vacancy’ J.K. Rowling – 11,525 votes
“Where We Belong” Emily Giffin – 7,841 votes
“Home Front” Kristin Hannah – 6,072 votes
“Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking” Susan Cain – 7,532 votes
“Behind the Beautiful Forevers” Katherine Boo – 5,356 votes
“The Power of Habit” Charles Duhigg – 3,300 votes
“The Fault in Our Stars” John Green – 37,438
“Easy” Tammara Webber – 8,890 votes
“Slammed” Colleen Hoover – 6,495 votes
History and Biography
“Elizabeth the Queen: The Life of a Modern Monarch” Sally Bedell Smith – 6,507 votes
“Drift” Rachel Maddow – 4,313 votes
“Killing Kennedy” Bill O’Reilly – 4,280 votes
“The Wind Through the Keyhole” Stephen King – 8,226 votes
“The Woman Who Died a Lot” Jasper Fforde – 5,221 votes
“The First Confessor” Terry Goodkind – 4,510 votes
What books would make it in your ‘Best of 2012’ list? Do you agree with the choices of voters at Goodreads?
The Black Keys had the Glasgow crowd bouncing, dancing and singing at the tops of their voices at the SECC on Saturday. The two-piece band, whose hits include Lonely Boy, Gold On the Ceiling, Howling for You and Sinister Kid, stunned the audience with their atmospheric blues.
The night began with the supporting act, The Maccabees who are renown for their live performances and they did not disappoint. Front man, Orlando Weeks, has such a unique voice that could almost be described as hypnotic. The South London band was so in-sync with each other, their live performance was absolutely flawless. They delighted fans with a forty-five minute set including Feel to Follow, X-Ray, Love you Better and Pelican. As far as warm up acts go, they certainly had the crowd fired up in anticipation for the headline act.
Shouting “Let’s get this going!” Dan Auerbach tore into Howling for You alongside drummer Patrick Carney.
The tone was set for the evening and the audience sang, clapped, chanted, and crowd surfed throughout the show. The atmosphere was so electric, we could have even revived a dodo.
There was a momentary pause in the rocky proceedings as Auerbach was illuminated by a beam of light during the first two verses of Little Black Submarines. The almost haunting solo piece soon broke into The Black Key’s distinctive sound focused heavily on the electric guitar.
It was not only the sublime rocky sounds of The Black Keys which impressed fans, but the overall production was a visual spectacle. Live images were projected onto screens surrounding the stage, giving the concert an edge and an alternative outlook.
The last song was, of course, the anthem, Lonely Boy. The venue erupted after the first few, distinctive chords were played out from Auerbach’s guitar and the fans can only be described as wild.
However, like all respectable shows, there was an encore and it was a shame for those who rushed out to catch the train home because they missed an absolute treat. After clapping and stamping our feet, we were awarded with two more songs from The Black Keys and quite possibly the biggest disco ball the SECC has ever seen.
The Black Keys were set-up to be amazing to see live but they exceeded all high expectations and were truly first-class. If you want to be entertained with good, honest music played back-to-back then go and see this band!
A “little April foolery” is a protest staged all over Edinburgh by local artists on the first of April. The protest is aimed at the controversial legislation, which will come into action on the first of the month. Many hundreds of artists are set to make the city centre their big stage as they fight against the country-wide legislation which will establish rules requiring that every artist has a license before they can stage free events.
Nearly 1500 people are expected to attend this event, either as performers or spectators.
Edinburgh Napier News interviewed Jen McGregor, the founder of the “A Little April Foolery” campaign.
“A little April Foolery” is a very different take on this popular day of pranks. Here are some interesting theories and facts suggesting how April Fool’s day may have originated and how it can be celebrated:
One theory shows April Fool’s Day dates back to the 12th Century Arabia.
A different theory says April Fool’s started with the introduction of the Gregorian calendar. Before, people celebrated the new year on the first of April. Hence, people still celebrating on that day were “April Fools”
Here in Scotland we originally call this day “hunting the gowk” (the cuckoo), and if you are tricked, you are an ”April gowk”. We love this basic celebration of Schadenfreude that much that we gave it a second day, called “Taily Day”. This day is solely devoted to pranks involving the backside of the body. The “butt” of these jokes may often have a “kick me” sign placed on their back.
In France it is immensely popular to prank someone using a dead fish. Throwing at or even slapping someone with it, putting it in someone’s bag, there are no limits. Just remember to shout “Poisson d’Avril!” (April Fish!) and hilarity ensues.
In Poland the day has a similar theme to France. The Polish love to prank people by pouring water on them.
Depending on where you live in England, you may also be called a “gobby” or a “noodle” if you find yourself on the receiving end of the prank.
Tickets to this year’s Edinburgh International Festival went on sale on Saturday 24th March from the Hub at Castlehill. From today, the public can also purchase them from five new venues across the city.
The Edinburgh Playhouse, Festival Theatre, The Queen’s Hall, Royal Lyceum Theatre and the Usher Hall have joined the list of venues where members of the public can go to buy tickets for this year’s Festival, which will take place from 9th August to 2nd September.
It hasn’t taken long for ticket buyers to make use of the new box office locations in order to purchase tickets. According to a spokesperson for the Usher Hall, 5 people have already visited this morning within one hour of doors opening.
With tickets currently being sold from a variety of venues across the city, potential Festival goers are advised to be quick and buy their tickets in advance, in order to avoid future disappointments.
For more details on how to buy the tickets, click here.
GAME, Britain’s biggest video game retailer, has gone into administration today.
The retailer counts around 1.300 stores distributed between the UK and mainland Europe, 5.100 employees in the UK and Ireland, of which 385 are employed at its headquarters in Basingstoke, Hampshire.
In Edinburgh, Gamestation on Princes Street, the flagship store of the company, had already been closed in late 2011.
However, as the retailers are refusing to release any comments, it’s understood that the GAME stores in St. James Shopping centre and Ocean Terminal are still open as usual.
Meanwhile, it has already been reported that about half of the 600 UK shops have been closed during the day, and it’s unclear whether the rest will stay in business.
The company’s website is currently no longer accessible, and it names MJA Jervis and SD Maddison as the appointed Joint Administrators.
Mike Jervis has commented: “Despite these challenges, we believe that there is room for a specialist game retailer in the territories in which it operates, including its biggest one, the UK.
“As a result, we are hopeful that a going concern sale of the business is achievable”.
GAME, which was founded in 1991 as Rhino Group, had already been rumoured to be in troubled waters as their credit worthiness came under scrutiny just a few days ago.
As a consequence, three main suppliers, Nintendo, EA and Capcom, blocked the distribution of their most recent releases to the retailer.
The overall performance of the company in the last few months has been abysmal, with a £18 million loss for the year to 31 January being blamed on high fixed costs and an ambitious international expansion.
This Saturday, Edinburgh will go dark.
In conjunction with the World Wildlife Fund’s Earth Hour 2012, Edinburgh will join hundreds of cities from all over the world by switching off lights and electricity, and going dark, for an hour.
Earth Hour is scheduled on the last Saturday of every March, closely coinciding with the equinox, and will happen this Saturday, March 31st at 8:30 pm.
Earth Hour began in 2007 in Sydney, Australia, and since then has spread massively across the globe. In 2011, more than 5,200 cities and towns in 135 countries worldwide switched off their lights for Earth Hour, according to the WWF website.
Their website also stated “We’re delighted that all 32 local authorities in Scotland are participating again this year – promoting the event, arranging switch offs and organizing events.”
There will be a great number of monuments in Scotland that will join in going dark, including the Edinburgh Castle, the Scottish Parliament, Urqhuart Castle, and Scott Monument are just a few that will celebrate Earth Hour.
According to Mandy Carter of WWF Scotland, local authorities are working to promote Earth Hour to local communities, some by having switch off events and fundraisers. But they are using the trickle down affect to help spread the word.
Here in Edinburgh, the City Council has launched an Earth Hour photography competition that is running from 5th March to 13th April with the theme, ‘ What we’re doing about climate change’ to help promote Earth Hour.
Hollywood director James Cameron has become the first person to solo dive to the deepest point in the ocean. The Marian Trench, which is located in the western pacific ocean close to Guam, is an astonishing 7 miles (11km) deep.
In 1960 the first and last successful endeavor to reach the bottom of the Marian Trench was made by US Navy Lt Don Walsh and oceanographer Jacques Piccard. Cameron though holds the record for being the first person to reach sea ground alone.
He spent several hours on the Pacific Ocean sea floor, collecting samples for scientific research and taking photographs and moving images.
After his return Cameron tweeded: “Hitting bottom never felt so good”
The specially designed sub, the Deepsea Challenger was made in Australia, weighs 11 tonnes and is more than 23feet long.
Cameron said about the expedition: “Most importantly, though, is the significance of pushing the boundaries of where humans can go, what they can see and how they can interpret it.”
National Geographics supported the expedition and its executive vice president of the Mission program Terry Garcia is proud of the program: ”In 2012 we are still exploring largely unknown places — as National Geographic has been doing for nearly 125 years. I’m delighted to say that the golden age of exploration and discovery continues.”
James Cameron always had a passion for deep waters. He has made more than 70 deep submersible dives, including a total of 33 to the wrack of the Titanic. Since Cameron is still a film director at heart it is not surprising that the Deepsea Challenge will become a 3-D film which will subsequently be broadcast on the National Geographic Channel.
A ‘battle to the death’ is set to take place in Edinburgh tomorrow night.
The Voodoo Rooms will for the second time host Literary Death Match (LDM), an event originally created by Todd Zuniga, an LA-based writer and journalist and the founding editor of Opium Magazine.
The contest pits four authors against one another, as each reads a short extract of their work. Two finalists are chosen by a panel of judges, which have in the past included Christopher Brookmyre, Jon Ronson and D.J Taylor.
The winner is then decided by a more esoteric contest, as audience members are encouraged to take part in bizarre book-related games. A recent LDM in Boston on March 8th featured a round of “Pin the Moustache on Hemingway” – audience members were handed the moustaches of various famous authors, such as Arthur Conan Doyle and James Joyce, and then blindfolded, before attempting to attach the moustaches to Hemingway’s upper lip.
Deciding contests have also included a Spelling Bee Finale (held in Norwich earlier this month) and a Neil Gaiman Cupcake Chucking Contest in Minneapolis – St. Paul. Whichever author the winning audience members represent is then crowned champion, and awarded “literary immortality”.
LDM has been described by the Guardian as “witty, iconoclastic and unfettered from the constraints of the traditional, and largely corporate, publishing agenda.” Earlier this year, Zuniga was named one of 2012′s “Faces to Watch” in the LA Times, with his style described as an “unlikely combination of Vegas showman and book geek.”
The event has taken place all around the British Isles and has travelled to 39 cities across the world, taking in Helsinki, New York and Beijing. LDM has also featured at several festivals, including the Free Fringe and the Latitude Festival.
This is the fourth time that LDM has come to Edinburgh, with the first visit taking place in August 2010. Previously the contest has been held in The Banshee Labyrinth and at the Edinburgh Book Festival last August.
Iain McPherson, General Manager of the Voodoo Rooms, described the venue as being “very excited” to host the event again.
Staff and students at Jewel and Esk College have launched a new record label, Feast Records. Utilizing the college’s impressive array of recording equipment the label is aimed at promoting “new young musical talent in Scotland”.
An event will be held to celebrate the new label on the 30th of March at Edinburgh’s Electric. The launch will be ticketed at £5 on the door and will feature young Edinburgh bands such as Maydays, The Nature Boys and Fridgemaster. Feast’s upcoming website will also feature gig and album reviews, studio sessions and up and coming bands.
This record label comes as the latest in a line of recent small independent labels to be launched in the capital such as Song by Toad, Offbeat, Alextronic and Pure Synthesis.
Feast records can be found here on facebook.
Jewel and Esk College website can be found here.
The final film in the British fantasy film franchise took the top prize at the Empire Film Awards 2012 in London last night.
Along with Best Film, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 scooped the award for Best Director, for David Yates. Accepting the award he commented, “It’s a real treat to get this from people who love movies,” referencing the fact that the awards are decided entirely by the public.
Harry Potter was not the only British film to emerge victorious, with Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy winning the awards for Best British Film, Best Thriller, and Best Actor, which went to self-proclaimed ‘veteran’ actor Gary Oldman. Oldman, who received his first Oscar nomination this year after 32 years in the industry, commented that he was delighted to be receiving an award voted for by movie-goers, “This is a very special award, because it isn’t political. There’s no agenda, it’s just movie fans and I will cherish this.”
Best Actress went to Olivia Colman for her harrowing portrayal of a battered house-wife in Paddy Consedine’s Tyrannosaur. “Although it doesn’t seem it, it was the most enjoyable experience I’ve ever had on set,” said Colman on accepting her award.
Another British film, The Inbetweeners, beat out raunchy comedy Bridesmaids to win the Best Comedy prize.
Listen to Katrina Conaglen and Kirsten Waller’s discussion of the awards in an Edinburgh Napier News podcast extra:
A rare automaton of a black man smoking a cigarette will be sold at auction by Lyon & Turnbull this week. Valued at around £1500, the piece is made by famous Frenchman Vichy and dates from the period 1860 to 1910, known as “The Golden Age of Automata”.
Sourced from a private collection near Dundee, the Black Smoker has mechanical movement to the eyes, mouth and neck. Douglas Girton from Lyon& Turnbull spoke of how the figure’s unusual qualities have sparked an interest among buyers internationally;
“It’s the most viewed item on our online auction. Our customers are excited by the fact that it’s a bit different and quirky, buyers are definitely very curious about our Black smoker!”
The success of the Hollywood Blockbuster “Hugo”, directed by Martin Scorsese, which featured automatons or mechanical robots, has undoubtedly added to the interest of the piece.
Originally used as a promotional piece in the window of a tobacconist, the antique figure remains in excellent condition with the clockwork mechanism in full working order.
The high price tag attached to this once forgotten family heirloom is down to its renowned manufacturers, as Lee Young, automaton specialist pointed out;
- “This is very collectible item, especially as it dates from the period between 1860 and 1910 when many small family based companies of Automata makers thrived in Paris. From their workshops they exported thousands of clockwork automata and mechanical singing birds around the world. It is these French automata that are collected today, although now rare and expensive they attract collectors worldwide.”
Gustave Vichy was born in 1839 to a Parisian watch and clock maker who, along with his wife, set up the Vichy Company in 1862 with the aim of building and selling clocks, mechanical objects and toys. In 1866, Gustave took over the company and dedicated his time to developing automata while his wife, a seamstress, dressed the figures. The Vichy Company became part of a group of family businesses that thrived in Paris between 1860 and 1910 and known as the “Golden Age of Automata”. Gustave had great success producing advertising automata and one of his models won the Grand Prix at the Great Exhibition of 1900, the only award given to automata or mechanical toys. His son Henry gradually took control of the firm, incorporating Lioret phonograph mechanisms into some automaton models, which were advertised as being able to sing, speak and play musical instruments.
The black smoker goes on sale on the 28th March 2012 at 11.00am at Lyon & Turnbull, 33 Broughton Place, Edinburgh EH1 3RR.
Tickets for the Edinburgh International Festival will go on sale tomorrow, 24 March 2012.
The festival, which will run from the 9th of August to the 2nd of September, will showcase talents from 47 nations in performances of theatre, opera, dance and music.
4 million people will flock to Scotland’s capital city to watch 40, 000 performances by more than 25, 000 artists. This year will be the 65th anniversary of the Edinburgh festival and the programme will enshrine the values of the Olympic games and global identity.
Prices for the festival start at £6 and discounts will be made available closer to start of the festival. Students and children under 18 will be able to buy half price tickets on selected performances from the 24th of March.
The popular finale, the Festival Fireworks Concert, is expected to sell out quickly, as well as tickets for the opening concert Delius’s A Mass of Life.
Tickets can be bought from Hub Tickets http://www.hubtickets.co.uk/ from Saturday as well as from the Edinburgh Playhouse, Festival Theatre, The Queen’s Hall, Royal Lyceum Theatre, and the Usher Hall, from Monday the 26th of March.
A few days after Cineworld announced the removal of all booking fees for its filmgoers nationwide; people seem to be happier than ever with this decision and most of them claim this will positively affect their attendance in the future.
Cineworld is the first big cinema chain to remove all booking fees and offer a further 10% discount on tickets bought online. This pioneering decision has clearly put the chain in an advantageous position in relation to its main rivals.
Most of the general public are satisfied with the news and they hope this measure will encourage other companies to do the same. Some of the comments are:
“Hopefully Odeon will follow suite. If not, then my £7 will go to Cineworld”
“Why can’t all companies just calculate their prices to incorporate all costs? Booking fees for gigs should be next. We shouldn’t be charged any extra fees when there is plenty of profit within the ticket price. And if there isn’t, then they just aren’t pricing it properly”
“I think this is a great initiative. Besides, it will surely help to keep the queues down a bit”
Despite it already dropped fees in Scotland last year as part of a trial period, the chain was still charging a card handling fee of 70p per ticket, up to a maximum of £4.20 per booking at most of its cinemas in England and Wales.
Cineworld recently took the decision to axe all such charges for customers as a result of a research which showed that over three quarters (77%) of all cinemagoers would feel encouraged to book online if the booking fees were removed. Besides, more than 4 in 5 customers (86%) stated had said that discounted tickets would encourage them to pre-book. In effect, it has worked.
Most of our interviewees have stated that they will choose Cineworld as priority next time they wish to watch a film. To be eligible for the online discount, customers simply need to sign up to mycineworld. For more details, click here.
Monty Python’s Spamalot, a hit Broadway musical is opening at the Edinburgh Playhouse tonight. Written by Eric Idel and John du Prez, this production of the “rip-off” of Monty Python will run for six-days.
The production stars former Doctor Who Star Bonnie Langford and this UK tour will run in Edinburgh for 6 days. In celebration of the musical, a giant spam tin is making appearances around the city centre, visiting Edinburgh Castle, the National Gallery and Parliament.
Spamalot tells the story of King Arthur and his knights of the round table à la Monty Python. Featuring the 1975 film’s killer rabbits, foul-mouthed Frenchmen alongside Broadway staples like chorus girls, the show was immensely popular in the US, winning the TONY award for best musical in 2005.
The show begins at 7:30 Monday-Saturday (matinees at 2:30). Tickets can be purchased on The Playhouse’s website for between £15.50 and £39.50.
As part of the events, the town will try to break the world record for people running in kilts. All participants should run an 8 km route beside the Tay.
Kilt runners will be invited to raise funds for two nominated charities – ABF The Soldiers Charity and PKAVS that supports vulnerable people in Perth and Kinross.
Charles Dunphie, from ABF The Soldiers Charity, said: “We’re hoping to see loads of different tartans out on the day.”
A parade of 1 000 pipers from 400 bands will also take place on 2 June.
Perth will hold one of the largest civic celebrations of the Jubilee in Scotland and it hopes to be granted city status.
The Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society has started selling tickets to this year’s event through their own website.
The security breach occurred in April last year, and Sony announced that as many as 70 million PlayStation Network users’ details may have been stolen. The theft of the Michael Jackson tracks came shortly afterwards, but was not revealed until now.
Sony will not confirm which or how many tracks were taken. The music company paid Jackson’s estate £158million for the rights to his remaining songs, some of which it released in the album Michael in December 2010.
It has not been established whether or not tracks from other artists have been affected by this hack. Two British men are due to stand trial for computer misuse in January 2013.