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The Guardian Unlimited has posted a piece about NASA intending to beam a Beatles song into space next week. The song is ‘Across the Universe’ and is 40 years old. The Guardian asked for alternatives that might have been more apt, instructive or just fun. Suggestions included the title of this post by The Carpenters, Starman by David Bowie , The Planets Suite (though someone thought that too parochial!), Beathoven’s Ode to Joy, or even Britney’s Toxic (played at the end of the Earth – that’s for the Dr Who fans;-). My favourite suggestion would be Spem in Allium by Thomas Tallis – quite an astonishingly complex piece of choral music. It was written in the 16th century and has 40 different vocal parts. Go on give it a listen here.
I didn’t have tickets for the reunion concert at the O2 arena last night but would have loved to have gone. Having seen some of the video footage and the reporting it seems they were as good as they ever were. They were one of the best bands I ever saw live and I saw them twice in one week along with Wishbone Ash . I don’t think my ears stopped ringing for a week. At the end of one of the concerts, I ran onto the stage and the late John Bonham handed me his drumsticks – and I still have them. As they so succinctly put it – been a long time. Nostalgia’s great isn’t it?
Today is the 40th birthday of Radio 1, 2, 3 and 4. Radio 1 was launched as a new station after the Marine Broadcasting Offences Act had successfully made the supplying of or advertising on pirate radio stations illegal. As a schoolgirl I and all my friends had listened to Radio Caroline North which was broadcast from a ship off the Isle of Man in the North Sea. I can still remember collecting empty bags of Ross frozen peas to send in for ‘Caroline Cash Casino’. I have no idea how it worked but it certainly caught our imaginations. When the stations were banned we were furious and were not enthused with the idea that the fusty old BBC could even begin to compete with the pirates. Six weeks later and radio one began; I can still remember the jingle and the frequency – 247 mw.
The BBC had of course been providing radio broadcasts since the 1920′s but this saw a complete revamp for the corporation. What was the Light programme became Radio 2, The Third programme became Radio 3 and the Home Service became Radio 4. The Today programme on Radio 4 weekday mornings is in fact celebrating its 50th birthday on the 28th October this year and are asking for contributions from people born on that day.
The Bob Dylan website has a fantastic piece of viral marketing. Using the cue card scene (which the writers of Love Actually stole) from Don’t look Back, you can send your own message to friends. I’m told you can embed it in your facebook page but the technology is getting the better of me so I can’t seem to do it but you can see my message – here.
My final seventh wonder is a marvellous construction which carries the Leeds to Carlisle railway line north. The portion of the line between Settle and Carlisle was in danger of being closed in the 1980s and a vociferous campaign was lauched to keep it open. It is probably the most scenic route in the country and the viaduct is a highlight of the route thorough part of the Yorkshire Dales.
A pal an I travelled on a ‘music train’ last year where there were live bands and beer for sale along the route.
Spectacular scenery and worth a visit – bearing in mind, the weather is frequently not this good!
I know I’ve mentioned Jaiku before and it is very interesting this weekend. I’m getting posts from both Glastonbury and someone on a motivational weekend which culminated in walking on hot coals last night. I’ll explain – again – Jaiku is like Twitter and you can link them together, a sort of micro-blog. You post messages up to the site and you can only use 140 characters. So there are posts such as ‘Mud thin enough to swim in’ followed by ‘Fratellis brilliant’ from Glastonbury and ‘Yay – managed the firewalk fine’ from the Tony Robbins event. You can either look at every post (impossible) or you just limit your viewing to people you know. Go along and sign up – its free.
Well it’s that time of year again and astonishingly the weather has turned nasty. What is it about the Glastonbury festival that attractc rain. Two years ago the storm knocked out the power supply and even the good old BBC couldn’t transmit for about half an hour. It has come a long way from the Pilton Pop Festival in 1970 – in fact it is totally mainstream now. Even the Today programme from BBC Radio four is covering it as well as the usual wall to wall coverage from Radio 1. Jo Whiley is arranging a ‘wedding‘ for a lucky couple in the Lost Vagueness tent. The hen night is to be arranged by Mika – I’d go for that. In fact a pal and I applied but I don’t think two middle aged women were quite in their ideal demographic. Anyway, hope it all goes well and there isn’t too much mud.
April 25th was Africa Malaria Day and good old George Dubbya did a dance with the Kankouran West African Dance Company. I am making no comparisons with the late Boris Yeltsin!
The picture is courtesy of Getty Images. It seems that corporations and countries worldwide are starting to work together to improve the treatment and prevention of Malaria.
Malaria is a real and everyday threat to people living in Sub-Saharan Africa. Prophylactic drugs are expensive – it cost me over £70 for just over three week’s worth of Malarone. The newly developed ACT‘s (Artemisinin-based combination Therapies) treatment is equally as expensive. The RollBackMalaria partnership is providing a global approach to fighting malaria. In Tanga there is a great deal of development within the hospital grounds funded by the Gates foundation for reasearch into Malaria.