Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Superman Celebrates 75th Birthday

This week sees the seventy fifth celebration of the 1st arrival of Superman.

June 1938 saw the very first copy of ‘Action Comics’, which contained the actual initial appearance of the individual that will inspire lot of people worldwide. It is, to all intents and purposes, the birth of that superhero tale.

The individual was an immediate winner, inspiring not just the entire genre of superhero fiction, but also radio drama, movie serials and reams of products.

Superman creators Jerry Siegel (writer) and Joe Shuster (artist) had worked for years, first to generate the individual and to sell him to a publisher.

In 1932, the duo made a fanzine called ‘Science Fiction’ which enclosed the tale ‘Reign #of the# Supermen’, featuring a infamous, all-powerful being. Later that same year, this embryonic ‘Superman’ was re-tooled into the greater heroic version we know today.

The thought for the new Superman apparently came to Siegel one restless nighttime, during which he wrote the complete story that would ultimately show in ‘Action Comics’ opening issue. The following day, Shuster made the character’s iconic appearance and a noticeably hero was born.

In 1933, following a series of rejections, a depressed Shuster actually set fire to this early version of the story. All that survived was the cover art, a picture which has ever since become iconic.

Editor Sheldon Mayer was the 1st person to take a gamble on Superman, giving the colourful hero a canopy look on the first issue of Action Comics. This subject, in mint condition, can today reach fees as high as $2Million.

Superman has remained well-liked in comic book series like ‘Superman’ and ‘Action Comics’ as well as numerous spin off series starring his supporting characters like Superboy, Supergirl, Lois Lane and Jimmy Olsen.

He has also drawn crowds with hit movies like Richard Donner’s 1978 ‘Superman’ film and also the 2006 movie ‘Superman Returns’. The character can also be a TV mainstay, being depicted in profitable series for example ‘Lois & Clark’ and ‘Smallville’ as well as numerous children’s cartoons.

Superman’s seventy fifth anniversary will see DC Entertainment unveiling a brief Superman-themed logo celebrating this momentous anniversary.

The particular event will also be commemorated by an innovative new Superman comics series entitled ‘Superman: Unchained’ created by the creative team of Scott Snyder (writer), Jim Lee (artist) and Scott Williams (inks).

Elsewhere, the modern Superman movie ‘Man of Steel’, starring Henry Cavill, will open in theatres from Friday 14th June, making sure the occasion is well and truly celebrated.


Tuesday, 25 June 2013

What iphone Apps are most excellent for Teaching Children?

Tablet pc’s tend to be immense teaching tools, as I have mentioned at great extent in supplementary online posts. So, having recognized that, what apps are the best for educating the basic subjects and encouraging literacy and numeracy in small ones?

For £1.99 is ‘Herd Absurd’, that is an app that mixes and matches characters as well as their attributes, of this app, said,

“Herd Absurd! is a characterful take on those children’s books where you flip sections of the page to put different heads, bodies and legs of characters together. Here, it’s animals that your kids will be mixing and matching, with suitably cheeky animations making them smile along the way”.

Herd Absurd is best played along with your son or daughter, like a book or a game (of which it is a combination). Also available for £1.99, ‘The Land of Me’ is an additional enjoyable game that doubles as a education experience; this one introduces children to ‘Shape, Size and Colour’ (as the subtitle suggests). The Guardian said of this one that,

“British startup Made In Me has been exploring interactive children’s fiction with its The Land of Me apps, scooping a BAFTA nomination in the process. This latest example focuses on, yes, shapes, sizes and colours as kids create monsters, animals and vehicles”.

Somewhat less costly at £1.49 and in addition, a small bit more literate is the app ‘Five Little Monkeys Play Hide and Seek’. This one is more of a digital book, but with interactive essentials. Exactly the same guys who made the Dr. Seuss apps build this one. According to the Guardian’s Top thirty list,

“It’s a digital version of a book starring five cheeky monkeys trying to get out of bedtime by playing games. Expect rhyming text, lots of chances to practise counting, and a mixture of voice narration and word highlighting to help young readers”.

For our associates across the pond, ‘Ansel & Clair: Paul Revere’s Ride’ is a kid-friendly app that teaches Us history in amusing, engaging, bitesize chunks. According to Teach, the designers are ones to keep an eye on.

“Cognitive Kid is one of those companies that will go down in history as being one of the first to develop outstanding learning content, where discovery is the model & play is the focus, where students love it as much as the teachers and every school considers it a must have! Let us share some feedback from the students during round one. When kids were asked to respond why they thought it was a good way to learn, the responses were plain and simple. “Because it teaches important history stuff in a fun to play way.” Or, the let me get right to the point comment, “Made boring history fun.””

Teach Thought also highlights ‘Eye Paint Animals’ as being an app which is fun, educational and highly innovative. Within ths app, the child’s mind is on the fore, but you can find educational elements as well. Of the developers, Curious Hat, Teach Thought said that,

“They strive to design tools for children that encourage discovery play and foster creativity, they succeed spectacularly. Curious Hat has taken the iOS user experience to a whole n’other level.  Luca states, “Our apps are not games, they are discovery tools aimed at energizing kids to play, create, invent, explore and learn in enjoyable ways without the limitations of set parameters.””

So there you go, a nice list of inexpensive, teaching apps for iOS. I hope this helps.

Monday, 24 June 2013

Sony Unveils PS4, ‘Slapping Face’ of Microsoft

Japanese tech giants Sony have announced the fourth instalment of the hugely popular Playstation series.

The games device, that was officially exposed at this year’s E3 Trade event in Los Angeles, California, has been hotly anticipated.

Although many of the console’s features and upgrades were announced in February, Sony had kept potential consumers guessing on some essential information, including the general design of the Playstation 4.

Andrew House, President and Group CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment, said the Playstation 4 represents, in some ways, a totally new Playstation.

Perhaps the reports that has many people talking may be the announcement the PS4 will critically undercut its nearest rival, Microsoft’s Xbox One, on cost. Mr. House announced the Playstation 4 would be sold at US $399 (£349) upon release, whilst, at the same exhibition, Microsoft had earlier revealed how the Xbox One would be US $499 (£429).

One more important announcement came when it was revealed that Sony would not be introducing any limitations on second hand games. In truth, the Playstation 4 won’t even require players to regularly validate their consoles via the Net to be able to continue play.

Conversely, Microsoft has added more limitations regarding who a player can buy second-hand titles from. The company has even gone as far as to require Xbox One gamers to connect to the net once every day in order to use their console.

In response to Sony, there is approximately one hundred forty Playstation 4 video games currently in progress, with one hundred roughly expected to go for sale within the Playstation 4′s 1st year of issue. Industry insiders have speculated that Sony are trying to reach out to indie developers, mainly those that feel stifled by Microsoft.

Drawing a huge cheer from the spectators, Jack Tretton, boss of SEA stated, “PS4 won’t impose any new limitations for your use of Playstation 4 game discs,”

BBC correspondent Dave Lee reported that, “If console battles were decided by the frequency and volume of whoops and cheers from highly strung gaming fanatics, then Sony has won it hands down”.

The present Sony console, the PS3, outsold Microsoft’s Xbox 360 by a good margin, but was consequently outsold by Nintendo’s Wii. It is thought that Sony are attempting to rectify this with the release of the Playstation 4.

Sony’s announcement is seen by some like a calculated strike against Microsoft, with’s UK Editor-in-Chief Alex Simmons recounting it as a extremely public slap across Microsoft’s face.

Sony declined to offer a release date for the new machine, but tenaciously hinted the Playstation 4 ought to arrive around Christmas time.

Sunday, 23 June 2013

Are glowing trees the solution to our energy concerns

Fans of James Cameron’s ‘Avatar’ will like this one. Essentially, a group of scientists have absolutely introduced that they’d like to give the world glowing vegetation! (Yes, you read that right). The projected technology could, one day, offer us bioluminescent plants as an alternative to streetlights. The scientists’ eventual goal is to bring about plants so bright that you could study by them in otherwise entire darkness.

The concept is to work with a form of genetic engineering (particularly: Synthetic Biology, where scientists synthesize the required genes instead of simply splicing them in) in order to create a strain of plant that can glow, visibly, during the dark.

Nonetheless, for all the considerable talk about replacing streetlamps, getting a potted plant to grow whatsoever, is job one.

Obviously, we have seen ‘glowing’ insects and vegetation before, in reality, glowing zebra fish are a man-made innovation that are available in many pet shops. In those periods, a fluorescent jellyfish protein is spliced into the animal’s DNA, with the effect of making the creature glow, but only when exposed to ultraviolet light.

Why we would like it:

Man, glowing plants.

When can we anticipate it?

As I said, it has been completed already. A couple of years ago, a new team of scientists made a glowing tobacco plant by infusing it among genes from a type of light-emitting bacterium that lives within the ocean. The difficulty was, that the light emitted from the plant was not very vivid. In fact, it was barely noticeable.

Nevertheless, it’s not all doom and darkness (groan!). This could be the type of tale that has for sale magazines and garners internet hits, so anticipate it to collect a great deal of coverage. Where there’s coverage, there may be money and where there is cash, there is usually rapid expansion. So far, the crowd responsible for dreaming up this idea has garnered a lot more than $250,000 on US website ‘’, so things are categorically moving onward.

The possibility for glowing flower displays, bouquets of brilliant flowers, light-emitting roses for bistros and so on will make sure that enough people are donating to this idea, with much more planning to secure the eventual harvest itself.

…And that’s before we even get the green implications of an power-efficient light supply. The science fiction writer in me can’t help, but picture this like a bold first step into a biotechnological expectations, where everything, including your computer, is self-sustaining. In the end, what may be the Human brain if not the final biological PC?

Anyway, I do not know about the ‘Treetlamps’ (I really wish they do not get labeled that), but we could expect the essential technology to emerge fairly soon, I think. This new method certainly has the potential to realize its objectives, nevertheless it’s tough to suggest accurately whilst (or if) that might be. For now, I’d give it 10 years, at least.

Cool Factor: 4/5

The environmental functions alone are genuinely staggering. Additionally, the sights we could be treated to would be simply amazing. The list of purposes for tech like that is as long as your arm and also the subject matter is both fascinating and worth discussing at events. Bring over the glowing trees, I say!

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

A conception of that tablet, how can we be at this juncture at the moment

In early 70′s, comics legend Jack Kirby produced a densely woven science fiction mythology series entitled ‘New Gods’. One of the series’ most unforgettable creations was that of a ‘Mother Box’, a fancy gadget that the characters carried around with them. The Mother Box was responsible for as numerous mundane tasks as it had been fantastical ones, it could calculate unachievable reams of data, heal the sick and supply information as and when required.

Now, a tablet might not cure the sick, but other than that, I’d say that Mr. Kirby was quite ahead of the curve on that specific call. A good tablet pc within your back pocket might be a substitute for almost everything.

Rather then stubbornly listing everything a tablet can do, it would be far simpler to cobble together the things a tablet can not do.

Contemporary technology regularly borrows its innovations from the realm of fantasy. The Mother Box, or pc tablet, is probably the best model of this. A pc tablet is a slice of the future, and everyone who purchases one knows it.

We live in a relentlessly bright age. Gleaming spires touch the sky, reaching previously not possible heights, computer products map the complete geometry of our planet and contact across the world has never been simpler. The pc tablet is yet one more brilliant, shining example of restive Human invention, the kind that were science fiction only a few short decades ago.

Saturday, 15 June 2013

Legendary musician Ray Manzarek, dies at 74

Ray Manzarek, the influential keyboard player well recognized for his handiwork with iconic Us rock band ‘The Doors’, has passed away at 74.

Ray manzarek was in Rosenheim, Germany, being treated for bile duct cancer.

Manzarek’s life reads sort of a rock n roll fairy story, with the many pieces falling into place at precisely the correct time.

Ray manzarek had taken piano coaching since his childhood in Chicago, Illinois, but he also had a passion for movies. It had been this eagerness that led adolescent Ray manzarek to enrol in UCLA (University of California) and go to Los Angeles in 1962.

At first, Ray performed in the group called ‘Rick & The Ravens’ together with his brothers Rick and Jim. The group had been moderately successful, releasing three singles.

Whilst studying at UCLA, Ray manzarek met impending Doors singer/poet Jim Morrison and the two planned to create a group jointly in ’65. He also met his future partner, Dorothy Fujikawa, at UCLA. The pair were hitched in ’67.

Manzarek and Morrison teamed up with guitarist Robby Krieger and drummer John Densmore, forming ‘The Doors’ (they took the name from your book by Alduous Huxley).

Because of the deficit of a bass player, the multi-talented Manzarek regularly played the bass notes on his piano.

One year after creating, The Doors released their debut album on Elektra records; it was, obviously, a triumph.

The Doors went on to record quite a few more records, taking an iconic position inside the archives of Rock n Roll and inspiring a generation. The group has ever since sold over one hundred million albums worldwide.

In 1971, lead singer Jim Morrison died in unexplained circumstances in Paris, France. The band lasting for 2 more successful albums and tours, before disbanding in ’73.

Following the group’s break up, Manzarek went on to become a producer as well as a Grammy-nominated solo performer in his own right, as well as playing and recording with really high-profile Doors followers as ‘Echo & The Bunnymen’ and Iggy Pop.

In 2002, following a handful of of sporadic reunion events, Manzarek and Robby Krieger joined up with ‘The Cult’ musician Ian Astbury to create ‘The Doors of the 21st Century’. The band, although a highly successful live show, also suffered from controversy, due to a court case from ex-Doors drummer Densmore.

Furthermore, Manzarek’s autobiography ‘Light My Fire’ made him a bestselling writer upon its release in 1998.

He died together with his wife Dorothy and his brothers at his bedside.


Saturday, 1 June 2013

School musical spared by Roots drummer Questlove

Musician Ahmir Khalib Thompson, also called Questlove, has decided to help fund the twelve-monthly musical at his school, the Philadelphia High School for Innovative and The stage Arts (CAPA), it is now revealed this week.

Questlove, who plays drums for the Grammy-award winning Hip Hop pop group ‘The Roots’ (the band presently occupying the spot as the house group for United states chat TV show ‘Late Night with Jimmy Fallon’), can also be a greatly asked for record producer, music journalist and DJ.

The 42-year-old drummer heard that his school was being forced to cancel their 2013 musical due to funding cuts and opted to ensure that next year’s show would not suffer the identical destiny.

Thompson it appears that called the school’s principal, Johnny C. Whaley, JR and chose a “sizeable donation” to ensure that the performance would go to the fore next year.

Due to Questlove’s openhandedness and also the efforts of other donors (like local lawyers Charles Peruto and Abe Kasbo) the school’s annual musical tradition is predicted to resume in 2014.

Whaley told KYW Newsradio that Thompson has “reached out to our school before and given us supplies”, he went on to say that “you have to know when we’re a very close-knit association, when our alumni see things changing, when they have the fiscal ability to aid, they reach out to us.”

The yearly event, that’s an important showcase both for CAPA as an institution and for young talent within the Philadelphia area, costs about $65,000 (approximately £42,000) to provide, but is not a part of CAPA’s annual budget. “There’s a certain standard of superiority we have,” says Whaley of the cost, “We don’t give in when it relates to production”

The earlier show was funded by The Home and School Society, following a contribution from The William Penn Foundation.

CAPA is noted for the fostering of creative talent and several of the school’s graduates have gone to flourishing careers in arts and entertainment. Notable alumni include record-breaking RnB vocal group ‘Boyz II Men’, author and ‘Scrubs’ co-producer Angela Nissel and former James Brown and Sting bassist Christian McBride as well as many more.

Questlove met and befriended MC and fellow ‘Roots’ cofounder Tariq Trotter (better referred to as ‘Black Thought’) whilst both were students at CAPA.