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Sonia Pantiss

Sonia is the heart and the artist of the team. She loves art and all that it implies. As Sonia says, good music, a well directed movie, or attending a music or film festival melts people’s heart and make them better. She is great at painting and photography. Working on scrapbooks is her favorite activity.

Glen Campbell released "Ghost of Canvas" and he will start "Glen Campbell Goodbye Tour"

Glen Campbell released "Ghost of Canvas" and he will start "Glen Campbell Goodbye Tour"


On August 30, Glen Campbell, the legendary pop-country singer, released his (intended) farewell (to studio recording) album Ghost of the Canvas.


The album was announced in March 2010, as a companion for Meet Glen Campbell, but only in June 2011 Glen Campbell has revealed his intention to make it a farewell recording.

Ghost of the Canvas includes new melodies written by Paul Westerberg, Robert Pollard, Jakob Dylan and Campbell himself. It also features recording sessions (Dandy Warhols, Billy Corgan and classic surf-guitarist, Dick Dale). A better place (an autobiographical song) opens the album.

He will also start Glen Campbell Goodbye Tour on September 2. He will perform in US, Canada and UK. The tour begins in Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada at the Casino New Brunswick and ends in Silver Springs, Florida at the Twin Oaks Amphitheatre on February 11 2012.


In June 2011 Glen Campbell shared he was diagnosed with Alzheimer‘s disease.


Glen Campbell, 75, has learned about his diagnosis last year, but he had experienced short-term memory loss for a long time.

The singer and his wife, Kimberly, took the decision to declare Glen Campbell’s condition because he wanted to organize farewell events.

“Glen is still an awesome guitar player and singer. But if he flubs a lyric or gets confused on stage, I wouldn’t want people to think, ‘What’s the matter with him? Is he drunk?'” said Kim.

When the diagnosis of senile dementia was confirmed Kim Woolen, 53, was very troubled, then she tried to cope.

“The indicators were there, so I kind of accepted it. You go through a stage of worry then you start trying to educate yourself. The last stages are horrifying. They can forget. They can’t hold their head up. I guess they can forget how to swallow. I try to focus on making each day as happy as we can. We savour every experience with him while we still have him.”

Glen Campbell said he was confident and felt he had found his place in this universe.

“I think where I am at right now in this universe, I wouldn’t want to be anything else than what I am.”

Campbell wants to stay active and he has very good reasons to do this. The progression of Alzheimer’s disease, like progression of early- onset dementia, can be slow down if a person maintains intellectual activities.


Glen Campbell has a 50 years carrier in show business. He launched over 70 albums, 12 went gold, 4 platinum and one double-platinum.


He is renowned for Rhinestone Cowboy, Wichita Lineman, By the Time I Get to Phoenix, Southern Nights, Crying Time (with Ray Charles), Gentle on My Mind.

 Rhinestone Cowboy (written by Larry Weiss), 1975, was used in movie soundtracks and TV shows (including Desperate Housewives), and inspired the 1984 Dolly Parton/Sylvester Stallone movie Rhinestone.

Glen was member of the Wrecking Crew (Los Angeles) studio musicians who worked with artists like Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, the Beach Boys, Dean Martin and hosted The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour (1969-1972) on CBS television.

Meet Glen Campbell (2008) album features contemporary and classic hits by the likes of John Lennon, U2, the Foo Fighters and Green Day.

Campbell has been married four times and has five sons and three daughters. Debbie, 55, Cal, 28, Shannon, 26 and Ashley, 24, are members of Instant People, his roots band.


Early-onset dementia: symptoms and the importance of early diagnosis.

Alzheimer’s progression could be slowed by insulin.


On August 27, AFP announced that Goethe had been voted the greatest

German of all time in a poll of 2,000 people.


The survey was conducted by the Forsa institute for the daily Bild newspaper.

Konrad Adenauer, West Germany’s first chancellor after World War II (1949-1963) was the second choice of the readers, while Albert Einstein was the third.

There were only two living personalities who received votes: Helmut Kohl, longest-serving leader (1982-1998), in fifth place and Helmut Schmidt, Social Democrat leader (1974-1982), in seventh.


Goethe and Schiller monument in Weimar, Germany

Goethe and Schiller monument in Weimar, Germany


August 28 marks Goethe‘s 262th birthday anniversary.


Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832) is best-known for his epistolary novel The Sorrows of Young Werther and his long poem Faust, but he was a polymath, or Homo Universalis (universal man), as he tried and succeeded to cover a lot of fields of culture (philosophy, literature, science).

The Sorrows of Young Werther (1774) was somehow autobiographic novel and belongs to the Sturm und Drang (storm and urge) period in German literature. The novel started Werther-Fieber (Werther Fever) with young men adopting Werther’s dressing style and led to some copycat suicides.

Goethe in someway regretted he had written this novel because he had exposed his youthful love. The Sorrows of Young Werther became almost the only work for which Goethe was known.

Goethe came up with hundreds ideas that later became widespread. He created poetry, essays, criticism, a theory of colours and early work on evolution and linguistics. There is even a mineral goethite (iron oxide), named after him, because of his studies of mineralogy.

His philosophic writings stimulated philosophers, such as Hegel, Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, Jung. Goethe’s poetry inspired Austrian and German composer like Mozart, Mahler, Beethoven. He also influenced French drama and opera.

Fantasia (1940 Disney film) was based on the story from Goethe’s poem Der Zauberlehrling (1797), which is translated The Sorcerer’s Apprentice. Mickey Mouse plays the apprentice. The movie was so popular that Fantasia 2000, a 1999 sequel, followed.


Goethe and Johann Christoph Friedrich von Schiller were leading personalities of Weimar Classicism.


On Augus 27 is the 82th birthday anniversary of Ira Levin, mystery and suspense writer, dramatist and songwriter, awarded with The Grand Masters Award by the Mystery Writers of America in 2003.


Ira Levin‘s work generated a worldwide interest and inspired lots of famous movies. Rosemary’s Baby (the best known novel), A Kiss Before Dying (Edgar Allan Poe Award), The Boys from Brazil, The Stepford Wives, Sliver, Deathtrap (the best known play), This Perfect Day (Prometheus Hall of Fame Award) are among his writings.


Ira Levin became early attracted by mystery and writing.


When he was twelve Ira Levin was fascinated by the magicians of Tannen’s Magic Shop in Times Square and he learned about concealing reality behind illusion. He liked detective stories and had a collection of mystery books. Anagrams played major roles in Rosemarys’s Baby and Son of Rosemary. Ira Levin continued the tradition of  using the transposition of letters (Lon Chaney Jr. in Son of Dracula) and basics of cryptology (Poe in The Gold Bug).

Ira Levin said he had considered being a writer from the time he was fourteen or fifteen years old. “Before that I wanted to be a magazine illustrator – I probably would have painted Gothic scenes.”

He was accused thinking ahead to the movie script while writing. He denied saying he is a playwright at heart.



Ira Levin's "Stepford Wives" entered the common vocabulary

Ira Levin's "Stepford Wives" entered the common vocabulary


Ira Levin‘s first novel, A Kiss Before Dying (1953) won the Edgar Allan Poe Award from the Mystery Writers of America as the year’s best first mystery.


The Underground Gourmet published in 1954 was adapted for TV and appeared on G.E. Theater, hosted by Ronald Reagan.

Rosemary’s Baby (horror, 1967) was a best-seller (over 5 million paperback copies in the U.S.) and it was translated into lots of languages. It became a horror classic and a milestone. It was followed by books and movies about Satan (The Omen, The Exorcist and others). Ira Levin felt somehow responsible for the rise in Christian Fundamentalism, but “I didn’t send back any of the royalty checks,” he said.

Ira Levin read Future Shock (Alvin Toffler, 1970) and was fascinated by its references to domestic robots. The animated figures in the Hall of Presidents at Disneyland also enchanted him. In this way The Stepford Wives (satirical thriller, 1972) emerged. It tells about men’s desires. The way they found to fulfilled them was considered insulting by Women’s Lib Movement. The word Stepford entered the common vocabulary, with meanings from someone who allow his/her role in society to be dictated to someone resembling an automaton, someone conformist, submissive, or unemotional, mechanical.

This Perfect Day (heroic science fiction, 1970) was often compared with Brave New World (Aldous Huxley), and 1984 (George Orwell). Generally, Ira Levin just tells the story without making any judgements regarding the basic state of the human race, but in this novel he talks about absolute control over the human emotions and desires.

Ira Levin saw an article on cloning that included a picture of Adolf Hitler and that was the beginning of The Boys From Brazil (thriller, 1976).

Three of his mystery novels begin with similar facts: Rosemary Woodhouse is sure she would enjoy living at the Bramford (Rosemary’s Baby), Joanna Eberhart thinks she has found the perfect home (The Stepford Wives), Kay Norris is delighted to move into 1300 Madison Ave (Sliver, 1991).

The basic premise of Ira Levin’s Deathtrap (1978) is: How far will someone go to have a hit play? and it was a hit play, it ran for 1,792 consecutive performances.

“Ira Levin makes the fact that we’re going to die okay. That’s one of the things that horror novels in general do.” said Fight Club author Chuck Palahniuk.

Ira Levin died from a heart attack on November 12, 2007.


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Celebrating “the Goddes of country glitz”, Dolly Parton, Cinefamily (Los Angeles) runs an all-night movie fest on Saturday, August 27.


Dolly Parton, the Queen of Country Music

Dolly Parton, the Queen of Country Music

From 9 pm to 5 am, The Silent Movie Theatre’s “Dolly Parton All-Nite 9-To-5’er” event features three of her best movies and lots of surprises.


The programme includes “Nine to Five” (co-starring Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin) “The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas” and “Rhinestone” (co-starring Sylvester Stallone) and clips of  television appearances (including one gem: a clip of Parton singing a duet with Pee Wee Herman).


The party will extend out onto the back patio, with a bar and a fire pit, with a bedazzling station, country music tunes, and a hair station. The guests will have the opportunity to make their favorite Dolly Parton‘s coiffures.

“You get all the fun and spectacle of extreme femininity but with a self-awareness and strength… Underneath all the flash-trash is a magnetic powerhouse, a hardworking and extremely talented artist, and her charm is undeniable — I consider Dolly to be a feminist icon.” Said Suki-Rose Etter of Cinefamily.



Dolly Parton, “The Queen of Country Music”, has created a role model for aspiring young women country artists.

[googlead tip=”lista_mica” aliniat=”stanga”]She is an example of dreams came true, coming from a poor family, her talent, perseverance and hard work brought her wealth.

Singer-songwriter, author, multi-instrumentalist, actress, Dolly is one of the most successful female country artists of all time.

“She showed what could be achieved by challenging the gatekeepers…In the 1940s and 1950s, absolutely no female artists were represented in the top 25 country songs. Then in the 1970s, there were six women represented — one of whom was Dolly Parton. ” said Chet Flippo of Country Music Television.

Dolly Parton’s 1970s country hits include “Jolene”, “I Will Always Love You”, “Love is Like a Butterfly”, “My Eyes Can Only See You”. She won seven Grammy awards, nine Country Music Assn. Awards and seven Academy of Country Music Awards.

“9 to 5″, the theme song of the movie Nine to Five (1980), reached number one on the country charts, and in 1981, reached number one on the pop and the adult-contemporary charts.[googlead tip=”patrat_mic” aliniat=”dreapta”]

“9 to 5” is her debut movie. Parton won two Grammy Awards, a People’s Choice Award for it. Other successful movies are “The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas” “Rhinestone”, “Steel Magnolias.”

“Dolly Parton is one of the most successful crossover artists in country … she decided to take the mainstream by storm with a talk show, an acting career, R&B covers and more — and it worked. Making a big Hollywood movie … was a great way to get out of a cultural ghetto.” said Hadrian Belove of Cinefamily.

Libya News: The rebels take control of Tripoli

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Tripoli: “Operation Mermaid Dawn”

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Condoleezza Rice, the former US Secretary of State, might have a special place in Muammar Gaddafi’s heart.

Muammar Gaddafi might have a crush on Condoleezza Rice

Muammar Gaddafi might have a crush on Condoleezza Rice

Muammar Gaddafi might be in love with Condoleezza Rice

Muammar Gaddafi might be in love with Condoleezza Rice














On August 24 the stronghold of Bab al-Aziziya was captured and a photo-album with Condoleeza Rice’s photos was found inside the compound.


Although it was not confirmed that the album belonged to Gaddafi, the dictator of Libya  has shown more than appreciation for Rice in many ways.


In 2003, when she was George W. Bush’s national security adviser, Gaddafi canceled his weapons program and took responsibility for the 1988 bombing of a plane over Lockerbie, Scotland. That made Bush administration to stop considering him a foreign sponsor of terrorism and the US established full diplomatic relations with Libya in 2006.


“I support my darling black African woman. I admire and am very proud of the way she leans back and gives orders to the Arab leaders… Leezza, Leezza, Leezza… I love her very much.” Gaddafi praised Condoleezza in a 2007 interview for Al Jazeera.


In 2008 Muammar al Gaddafi welcomed Condoleezza Rice at the place where the pictures were discovered. He greeted her by putting his hand against his heart. This is traditional Arab greeting, but it seemed for Gaddafi that act meant more.


Photo album featuring Condoleezza Rice, found in Colonel Gaddafi's residence, Bab Al Aziziya

Photo album featuring Condoleezza Rice, found in Colonel Gaddafi's residence, Bab al-Aziziya

Muammar Gaddafi gave Rice a lot of gifts with total value $212,225 (a diamond ring in a wooden box, and a locket with his picture among others).


[googlead tip=”vertical_mediu” aliniat=”stanga”] Condoleezza Rice will publish a political autobiography, “No Higher Honor: A Memoir of My Years in Washington,” on November 1.


The book will be released in the U.S. and Canada in hardcover, e-book, and audio formats. No Higher Honor will also be issued in the United Kingdom.


Rebels show Condoleezza Rice album found at Gaddafi's compound.

Rebels show Condoleezza Rice album found at Gaddafi's compound.

Crown Publishers says Condoleezza Rice shares her perspective on important issues and she talks about behind-the-scenes maneuvers (terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, world’s relationships with Iran, North Korea, and Libya, the fates of Israel, the Palestinian Authority, and Lebanon, the clashes involving India and Pakistan, Russia and Georgia, and in East Africa).


Rice published another book in October 2010, “Extraordinary, Ordinary People: A Memoir of Family,”, that was a bestseller. Its trade paperback edition of is scheduled to be released in October.


Condoleezza Rice is also an accomplished pianist and has appeared, as herself, on television’s “30 Rock.” She has never married and has no children.

 [youtube dk0ClWBPwmA]

Steve Jobs resigned as Apple’s CEO. Tim Cook is the new CEO.


Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 sales in Europe blocked by Apple


iCloud – a new platform for developers


Steve Jobs, the man who had visions with people loving the iPod (2001), iPhone (2007), iPad (2010), has resigned from Apple CEO, possibly because of an [googlead tip=”vertical_mediu” aliniat=”dreapta”] aggravation caused by pancreatic cancer.


Steve Jobs has been perceived as an technology’s oracle, thus his health and medical condition have been considered strong related with Apple’s stock position. Right after he announced his retirement as CEO, Apple Inc. (AAPL) shares dropped fell 5.4 percent and Walt Disney Co. (DIS) stock fell 1.5 percent.


Steve Jobs was diagnosed with a rare form of pancreatic cancer (pancreatic neuroendocrine tumor) in 2004. Since then he only took three medical leaves from company. He underwent surgery (pancreaticoduodenectomy) intended to cure the malignancy, and a liver transplant in 2009.


Perhaps  Steve Jobs pancreatic cancer forces resignation.

“About a year ago I was diagnosed with cancer. I had a scan at 7:30 in the morning, and it clearly showed a tumor on my pancreas. I didn’t even know what a pancreas was. The doctors told me this was almost certainly a type of cancer that is incurable, and that I should expect to live no longer than three to six months. […]

[googlead tip=”lista_medie” aliniat=”stanga”]I lived with that diagnosis all day.[…] I had a biopsy […] I was sedated, but my wife, who was there, told me that when they viewed the cells under a microscope the doctors started crying because it turned out to be a very rare form of pancreatic cancer that is curable with surgery. I had the surgery and I’m fine now.” Said Steve Jobs (Stanford Commencement speech 2005).


Pancreatic neuroendocrine tumor develops from hormone-producing cells (islet cell) of the pancreas. Around 5% of the pancreatic cancers diagnosed each year are neuroendocrine. It is less aggressive and more curable than other types of pancreatic cancer, but if the cancer metastasizes (spreads into other organs), the survival rate decrease dramatically.


The researchers of Baltimore’s Johns Hopkins University have deciphered the genetic code of neuroendocrine tumors. This open the way for personalized cancer therapy. Also, this year, Food and Drug Administration approved two new drugs for neuroendocrine tumors, sunitinib and everolimus.

Steve Jobs resigned possibly because of an aggravation caused by pancreatic cancer

Steve Jobs resigned possibly because of an aggravation caused by pancreatic cancer


The billionaire with $1 salary a year co-founded Apple with Steve Wozniak and Ronald Wayne in 1976. In 1985 Steve Jobs was head of the Macintosh division and he was fired by John Scully who was Apple CEO.[googlead tip=”patrat_mic” aliniat=”dreapta”]  

Then he founded NeXT Computer, bought Pixar, which would be bought by Disney, making Steve Jobs Disney’s largest single shareholder with (around 7 percent). In 1996 Apple bought NeXT and Jobs returned to the company.

The youth, perseverance, vision, and hard work of the man who “never graduated from college” made Time (1982) to describe him as “the most famous maestro of the micro”. Also, Steve Jobs has been a character played by Noah Wyle in Triumph of the Nerds (1996), Nerds 2.0.1 (1998), Pirates of Silicon Valley (1999).


Viorica Bucur, member of the FIPRESCI (The International Federation of Film Critics), died on Monday, August 22. She had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer two months ago.

Viorica Bucur produced "Cartoon Gala"

Viorica Bucur produced "Cartoon Gala" at the Romanian National Television

[googlead tip=”vertical_mic”]Viorica Bucur was a professor with a PhD at the  Bucharest University of Theatrical and Cinematographic Art (UNATC). As a moderator, producer and scriptwriter, Viorica contributed to lots of popular TV shows.

In 1969, she began to work with the Romanian National Television (the only television in Romania at that time). She created (along with Octavian Sava) the title sequence of “Telecinemateca”, a TV series started in 1968. “Telecinemateca” (TV cinemateque), aired weekley, has featured classical films, with  shorts introductions made by film critics. The title sequence’s soundtrack, an excerpt from “This is my song” by Charlie Chaplin (“A Countess from Hong Kong” theme song), has become very popular and even in present days  lots of  Romanians associate “This is my song” with  “Telecinemateca”.

“A TV series cannot be distinguished without title sequence.” Said Viorica Bucur.

Viorica Bucur become famous with “Gala desenului animat” (“Cartoon Gala”).

[googlead tip=”lista_mica” aliniat=”stanga”]She produced “Cartoon Gala” for 15 years. They say this brought her nicknames like “Cartoon mother” or “Donald’s mother”. “Popeye the Sailor”, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs”, “101 Dalmatians”, “Lady and the Tramp”, “The Jungle Book”, “Bambi”, “Tom and Jerry”, “Heckle and Jeckle”, “Bugs Bunny”, and other animated films enchanted the children.

Viorica Bucur also produced a series of shows dedicated to cinema history and news, such as “Istoria filmului mut”(“Silent Film History”) and “Istoria filmului sonor”(“Sound Film History”), “Premiere cinematografice” (“Cinema Premieres”), “Ecranul” (“The Screen”). In the late years she wrote film reviews.

Viorica Bucur was born on February 15, 1946 in Bucharest, Romania. She wished to be an astronomer, but when she learned that studying astronomy involves studying mathematics, she embraced her other love: cinematography.

“In the high-scool years… I was going to nearby “Mihai Eminescu” cinema … to watch famous movies like “Carmen la de Ronda”, with Sarita Montiel,  “Rocco and His Brothers” directed by Luchino Visconti. I had a revelation: I understood what a Film really means!” Viorica Bucur told to Historia magazine.[googlead tip=”patrat_mic” aliniat=”dreapta”]

Elvis Presley’s 34th commemoration held at Graceland


Jerry Leiber, legendary songwriter of rock’n’roll music, died of cardiopulmonary failure on Monday, August 22, at Cedar Sinai medical Centre in Los Angeles. He was 78.

Jerry Leiber passed quickly and with minimum discomfort, surrounded by his family. He is survived by his three sons, Jed, Oliver, and Jake, and his two granddaughters, Chloe and Daphne. You can honor his memory by committing your life to excellence and joy. Of course, Jerry would never have said anything like that. He would have said:

‘Let’s break out the booze, and have a ball…’

That works, too. L’chaim, Unca Jer.” Wrote Peter Stoller on Leiber & Stoller’s website.

Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller have been writing songs for almost sixty years. They created classics in various genres, Rhythm & Blues, Pop, Jazz, Cabaret, and they could said they had contributed to the birth of Rock&Roll.

Jerry Leiber was born on April 25, 1933, in Baltimore, Maryland and he met Mike Stoller in 1950.

“Hound Dog”, “Jailhouse Rock”, “Stand By Me”, “Spanish Harlem”, “Yakety-Yak”, “Young Blood”, “On Broadway”, “Poison Ivy”, “Stand By Me”, “Love Potion No. 9”, ” Love Me”,  “King Creole”, “There Goes My Baby”, “Charlie Brown” are some of their most known songs.

Jerry and Mike were teenagers back then, they shared a passion for blues and wrote songs for amusement. Jerry Leiber was writing mostly the lyrics and Mike Stoller was composing the music.

“Jerry was an idea machine. For every situation, Jerry had 20 ideas.” Mike Stoller said in their autobiography “Hound Dog” (2009).

Their songs were recorded by Jimmy Witherspoon, Little Esther, Little Willie Littlefield, Charles Brown,  Ray Charles, the Drifters, Coasters and the Robins. In 1953 Willie Mae “Big Mama” Thornton recorded “Hound Dog” and the Atlantic Records became interested in them.

Mike Stoller, Elvis Presley and Jerry Leiber studying "Jailhouse Rock" song sheet

Mike Stoller, Elvis Presley and Jerry Leiber studying "Jailhouse Rock" song sheet


Elvis Presley made “Hound Dog” a huge hit in 1956, but Jerry Leiber was upset because Elvis had change the lyrics.

“The song is not about a dog; it’s about a man, a freeloading gigolo. Elvis’ version makes no sense to me, and, even more irritatingly, it is not the song that Mike and I wrote. Of course, the fact that it sold more than seven million copies took the sting out of what seemed to be a capricious changes of lyrics.” Said Jerry Leiber in their memoir “Hound Dog”.

In 1959 the Coasters’ “Poison Ivy” went to number 1 on the R&B chart and number 7 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

“Pure and simple, ‘Poison Ivy’ is a metaphor for a sexually transmitted disease – or the clap – hardly a topic for a song that hit the Top Ten in the Spring of 1959.” “But the more we wrote, the less we understood why the public bought what it bought.” Jerry Leiber said.

In 1964 the Beatles became popular in US and the music trends changed, however in 1972 their Stealers Wheel’s “Stuck In The Middle With You” was a hit.

“Is That All There Is?” won Grammy award in 1969 and same did the cast album of “Smokey Joe’s Café”, a 1995 Broadway musical. They were inducted into Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1985.

American Idol, reality television singing competition, dedicated an evening to Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller’s music on May 11, 2011.


Nick Ashford (Nickolas Ashford), famous songwriter of Motown, died on Monday, August 22, in a New York hospital.

[googlead tip=”lista_mare”]Ashford has been suffering from throat cancer for years and was undergoing radiation therapy. His wife, Valerie Simpson and their daughters were with him when he died on Monday afternoon, said Liz Rosenberg, publicist and friend of Nick Ashford.

Nick Ashford and Valerie Simpson were inducted into the “Songwriters Hall of Fame” in 2002.

Nick Ashford and Valerie Simpson

Nick Ashford and Valerie Simpson

The duo, performers and songwriters, had a great contribution on setting the golden standard for R&B duets. [googlead tip=”vertical_mare” aliniat=”dreapta”]

They broke out as R&B stars in the late ’70s and ’80s, with hits like Don’t Cost You Nothing, It Seems to Hang On, Found a Cure, Street Corner and their signature song, Solid.

Nick and Valerie recorded eight albums with Warner Bros., (four of them went gold), five with Capitol and two independently. Been Found, recorded in 1996, was created along with Maya Angelo, poet.

In 1966 they started to work with Motown. Nick Ashford and Valerie Simpson wrote or produced most of the songs of Motown’s Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell, including Ain’t No Mountain High Enough, You’re All I Need to Get By, Your Precious Love. They also wrote hits for Chuck Jackson, The Shirelles, Maxine Brown and the Fifth Dimension.

Let’s Go Get Stoned, Ray Charles’ 1966 number one R&B hit, was written by Nick Ashford and Valerie together with Josie Jo Armstead.

They wrote and produced Diana Ross’ solo hits, including Diana’s first solo Reach Out and Touch (Somebody’s Hand) and I’m Every Woman for Chaka Khan (Whitney Houston recorded it later).

In the recent years they performed occasionally. In 2001 they sang, with various artists, We are a family, a song by Bernard Edwards and Nile Rodgers re-recorded as a benefit record for the September 11 attacks. Also they often hosted events at Sugar Bar.  Bruce Willis, Michael Douglas, Steve Wonder, Whoopi Goldberg, David Rockefeller Jr., and many others attended their New York restaurant. [googlead tip=”patrat_mediu” aliniat=”centrat”]

Nick Ashford was born on May 4, 1942, in Fairfield, South Carolina, New York, and he wished to be a dancer. In 1963 he met Valerie at Harlem’s White Rock Baptist Church and they married in 1974. They have two children, Nicole (born in 1975) and Asia (born in 1987).

In the link below you can find pictures of Nick Ashford and Valerie Simpson children:

Nick Ashford and Valerie Simpson Photo Album

Nick Ashford and Valerie Simpson performing Found a Cure (the album Stay Free went gold):

Virgin Mobile Freefest 2011


The first festival held in two different places over one weekend, V Festival 2011, started in England on Saturday, August 20, and it will close on Sunday, August 21.

Rihanna is singing at V Festival 2011 (Photo shows Rihanna during Loud Tour)

Rihanna is singing at V Festival 2011 (Photo shows Rihanna during Loud Tour)

The V Festival is an annual rock music event held at two parks simultaneously, Hylands Park in Chelmsford and Weston Park in South Staffordshire. Musicians sing at one location on Saturday and then swap on Sunday. It is a predominantly rock music festival, but other musical genres are accepted, pop has become common in the last years.

This year many genres (rock, pop, rap, R&B) are blending in entertaining and exciting performances.

Eminen, Rihanna, Artic Monkeys, Plan B, The Script, Manic Street Preachers, Kaiser Chiefs, LostProphets at “Virgin Media” stage.

“Music” venue features Pendulum, Primal Scream, The Courteeners, The Wobats, N-Dubz, Dizzie Rascal, Razorlight, Tinie Tempah, Jessie J, Example.

Calvin Harris, Mark Ronson & The Business Intl, The Wanted, Big Audio Dynamite, Hurts, The Saturdays, Chase and Status, GlasVegas, Kathy B, Professor Green, whiz Kalifa at “The Arena” stage.

The “Undercover” venue presents Jaguar Skills, Wolf Gang, The Pierces, Goldie Lookin Chain, The Airborne Toxic Event.

For fans who could not come to V Festival 2011, the official website is streaming live the event to introduce them into the atmosphere.

Weston Park is one of the sites of V Festival 2011

Weston Park is one of the sites of V Festival 2011

Although the copyright might impede this kind of strategies, it seems that they are beginning to spread, making the events more popular. We mentioned classical music events that was broadcasted on the internet, or that are going to be aired online partially (George Enescu Festival 2011).

The “V” means the Virgin Group, the event being sponsored by Virgin Media and broadcasted on 4 Music and Channel 4.

“V Festival has being going strong as one of the UK’s leading music festivals since 1996. The first festival to take place across two different sites over one weekend, Virgin’s very own brand of rock ‘n’ roll festivities in a field now reaches across the whole wide world.” Virgin Festivals said.

Virgin Festival Canada (from late June to late August) and Virgin Mobile FreeFest in September at Merriweather Post Pavilion (Jimi Hendrix sang  here) in Columbia, Maryland, along with V Festival 2011 are parts of Virgin Festivals.


West Memphis Three released after 18 years


Paradise Lost filmmakers, Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky witnessed when Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin, and Jessie Misskelly were freed from prison and filmed the ending for their third documentary about West Memphis Three.[googlead tip=”patrat_mediu” aliniat=”stanga”]


Paradise Lost tells the West Memphis Three story

Paradise Lost tells the West Memphis Three story

On Friday, August 19, in Jonesboro, Arkansas, Judge David Laser decided to give West Memphis Three ten year suspended sentences, considering the eighteen years already served.

“To see our work culminate in the righting of this tragic miscarriage of justice is more than a filmmaker could ask for,” said Joe Berlinger.

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Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills” was an award winning documentary in 1996. It raises doubts upon lots of details of the case against Baldwin, Echols and Misskelly. On the Satanism panic of the late 80s and early 90s town’s eccentrical figures were found guilty of murdering three little boys in West Memphis, Arkansas in 1993, despite the fact there were little physical evidence. Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky carried forward their investigation and in 2000 “Paradise Lost 2: Revelations” was aired.

Along with “Paradise Lost” directors other celebrities has shown their support during the time, Eddie Vedder from  Pearl Jam and Johnny Depp were among the first.

Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills

The “Paradise Lost” series express the doubts regarding the validity of the West Memphis Three verdicts. In the same time they were not declared not guilty. In an Alford Plea, a defendant declare onself innocent and simultaneously accepts the ability of the prosecutor to prove the charges with present evidence. In the same time one plead innocent and admit the guilt. This might lead to the new trials.

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The directors were already working on “Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory,” but with the recent change their third documentary has got a new ending.

“Eighteen years and three films ago, we started this journey to document the terrible murders of three innocent boys and the subsequent circus that followed the arrests and convictions of Baldwin, Echols and Misskelly. To see our work culminate in the righting of this tragic miscarriage of justice is more than a filmmaker could ask for.” Joe Berlinger said in an HBO statement.”

“Today, we, along with HBO, are humbled to be a part of this remarkable outcome” said Bruce Sinofsky.

“Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory” will recapitulate the entire story; from the arrests in 1993 to their release. Paradise Lost 3 will be presented at the Toronto International Film Festival in September 2012 and will be broadcasted on HBO in January 2012.



George Enescu Festival 2011 online


George Enescu Festival 2011: Magic Exists and starts tomorrow


George Enescu International Competition 2011


Celebrating George Enescu’s 130th birthday anniversary, an important classical music festival in Europe, George Enescu Festival 2011, will take place in Bucharest, Romania, from September 1, until September 25.

Its 20th edition will also include performances held in Cluj-Napoca (central-western Romania), Sibiu (central Romania) and Timisoara (western Romania).

A large number of world’s leading orchestras and conductors will be present at this biennial event along with great names in Romanian music and nation’s emerging composers. The legacy of the great Romanian composer, George Enescu, is the core of the festival since it was founded in 1958.

Along with Enescu’s compositions, works by Shostakovich, Constantin Silvestri, Dinu Lipatti, Glazunov, Mahler, Bruckner, Liszt, Mozart, Dvořák, Prokofiev, Walton, Rachmaninov, Tchaikovsky, Beethoven, Mahler, Wagner, Vivaldi, Chopin, Bach, Schumann, Brahms, Prokofiev will be interpreted.

Prestigious world’s orchestras, conductors and soloists will perform at George Enescu Festival 2011.

Romanian Athenaeum is the main venue of George Enescu Festival 2011

Romanian Athenaeum is the main venue of George Enescu Festival 2011

The Residentie Orkest and Christian Badea, the London Symphony Orchestra with Nicola Benedetti, the Mariinsky Orchestra and Valery Gergiev with the Academic Choir of the Romanian National Radio Society, the Staatskapelle Berlin and Daniel Barenboim, Franz Welser-Möst and the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, Vasily Petrenko and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra with Midori, Vadim Repin and the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra with Zubin Mehta and Yefim Bronfman, the Orchestra Sinfonica dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia and Antonio Pappano, the Orchestra National de France and Danielle Gatti with Hélène Grimaud, Denis Matsuev and Han-Na Chiang will perform during “Great Orchestras of the World” series.

“We have a very strong programme, which includes many fascinating contemporary works this year. This is a significant feature of what we are doing to develop our audience for new and existing compositions. The exciting thing is that foreign as well as Romanian artists are bringing their perspectives and ideas to new Romanian music. The Festival will also explore symphonic music from countries not usually associated with it, such as Tunisia, India, Japan and Palestine, in our new ‘World Music’ series.” said Mihai Constantinescu, the Festival’s Manager.

George Enescu Festival 2011 will also have another new series “Music of the 21st Century”.

Fourteen concerts from scores for chamber choir and string quartet to compositions for live instruments and electronic sounds will be played. A recital of new pieces from Iancu Dumitrescu’s Hyperion Ensemble (complete with music by Ana-Maria Avram and Dumitrescu himself) and performances of Guillaume Connesson’s Concerto for cello and orchestra and Cornel Ţăranu’s Remembranza (In memoriam George Enescu).

“In addition to its 21st-century strand, the Festival intends to unite young Romanian composers with their international colleagues for a day of workshops.“ said Constantinescu.

The Academy of Saint Martin in the Fields, the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, the Venice Baroque Orchestra, Il Complesso Barocco and the Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra, Boris Berezovsky, Ian Bostridge, the Fine Arts Quartet, Angelika Kirchschlager, Gidon Kremer, Murray Perahia, Yundi and Christian Zacharias will be also present.

The concert performed by Residentie Orkest of Hague in the opening of George Enescu Festival 2011 will be broadcasted on the Internet on September 1.

The George Enescu International Competition for piano and violin and the Award Gala will also be available for live watching on www.tvr.ro/festivalenescu/

The Independent mentioned the George Enescu Festival 2011, along with Verbier Festival, Bayreuth Festival, Festival D’Aix-en-Provence and Festival de Saint-Denis as important cultural events made more popular through the live streaming technology.

George Enescu appeared as conductor with Philadelphia Orchestra, New York Philharmonic and others American orchestras, he also conducted Orchestre Symphonique de Paris. Yehudi Menuhin was among his pupils.

He was a  composer, violinist, pianist, conductor and teacher. He was born in 19 August 1881 in Liveni, Romania and died on May 4, 1955 in Paris, France, where he is known as Georges Enesco.

Romanian Rhapsody No. 1 in A Major, Concert Overture on a theme in Romanian folk character in A Major,  Oedipe opera are some of his compositions that will be rendered at George Enescu Festival 2011.


Ordering Zelboraf


On Wednesday, August 17, the Food and Drug Administration approved Zelboraf, a drug for BRAF V600E mutation-positive metastatic melanoma. Along with skin cancer drug, FDA approved Companion Diagnostic, a mutation diagnostic test.

“Today’s approval of Zelboraf and the (companion) test is a great example of how companion diagnostics can be developed and used to ensure patients are exposed to highly effective, more personalized therapies in a safe manner,” said Alberto Gutierrez, head of the FDA’s Office of In Vitro Diagnostic Device Evaluation and Safety.

Zelboraf may help metastatic melanoma patient to live longer

Zelboraf may help metastatic melanoma patient to live longer

Zelboraf and its Companion Diagnostic are co-developed by Roche (Genentech unit) and Plexxikon, Daiichi Sankyo Group member. Roche and Daiichii will promote this medicine in United States. Zelboraf will be available within two weeks and will be distributed through specialty pharmacies (mail-order pharmacies).

Zelboraf (vemurafenib) is a targeted medicine for inoperable or metastatic melanoma BRAF V600E mutation-positive.

“As the first personalized medicine approved for the treatment of patients with BRAFV600E mutation-positive melanoma, Zelboraf represents a significant new treatment option for these patients suffering from inoperable or metastatic melanoma. We are grateful for the clinical trial participants, clinical investigators, collaborators and dedicated employees, who have all contributed to this important advancement in cancer treatment,” said K. Peter Hirth, Ph.D., chief executive officer of Plexxikon.

The cobas 4800 BRAF V600 Mutation Test identifies tumors that carry the BRAF V600E mutation. In this way the doctors will know what person with inoperable or metastatic melanoma can be treated with Zelboraf. This personalized drug has no known beneficial effect on other skin cancers, thus it is important to have a diagnostic test before taking Zelboraf pills.

“The cobas BRAF Mutation Test has improved sensitivity, accuracy and speed compared to other commonly used, unapproved detection methods,” said Paul Brown, head of Roche Molecular Systems.

Studies have shown that Zelboraf increases the survival rate in patients with BRAF V600E mutation-positive melanoma.

According to the American Cancer Society, melanoma, a type of skin cancer, is one of the deadliest cancers, with a five-year survival rate of 15 percent for people with advanced melanoma. It is estimated that BRAF mutations appear in about half of all cases of melanoma and may lead to uncontrolled cell growth.

More information about ongoing Zelboraf studies is available at www.roche-trials.com or www.clinicaltrialsregister.eu (in the EU) or www.clinicaltrials.gov (in the US).

Zelboraf might have side effects. The patients should talk to their doctors about their conditions prior the medication and carefully observe the changes that might appear during the treatment.

“Patients should call their doctor for medical advice about any side effects. Patients or their caregivers are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or at www.fda.gov/medwatch. They may also report side effects to Genentech at 1-888-835-2555.

Patients should read the Zelboraf full Prescribing Information and Medication Guide for additional important safety information at www.zelboraf.com.”

In March, the FDA approved Bristol-Myers Squibb’s Yervoy (ipilimumab), an intravenous medicine for patient with advanced melanoma. Roche and Bristol have agreed to collaborate in order to find out if these two medicines are safe and effective if taken together. Roche submitted drug applications for Zelboraf in the EU, Switzerland, Australia, New Zealand, Brazil, India, Mexico and Canada.

Adcetris: the new treatment for Hodgkin lymphoma patients

AstraZeneca received the EU approval for AXANUM.

Telomere progressive shortening characterizes familial breast cancer.

 Potential breakthrough in cancer research: a new treatment for leukemia had amazing results.

Prostate cancer: a new treatment option from Swedish Lund University researchers.

Hereditary cancer: future methods of diagnosis and treatment

American Express celebrates Abbey Road Studios 80th anniversary with “Symphony at The Park” this weekend.

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Chiswick Orange Tree Garden will host the Symphony at the Park for Abbey Road Studios anniversary

Chiswick Orange Tree Garden will host the Symphony at the Park for Abbey Road Studios anniversary

Two singularly themed symphonic concerts will honour and will emphasize the chronicle of the famous Abbey Road Studios. West London’s Chiswick House and Gardens with its idyllic surroundings hosts these majestic performances. New and classic rock, pop and epic film scores will be performed.

[googlead tip=”lista_mica” aliniat=”stanga”]Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (eighty-six pieces), Crouch End Festival Chorus (forty singers) and guest instrumentalists will play modern songs and film scores. The Beatles, Oasis, Pink Floyd’s songs will be performed along with scores from Star Wars, Harry Potter. The concert premiere of Disney’s Peter Pan sequel “Return to Neverland” will be also interpreted. All of these are the Abbey Road Studios outstanding eighty years legacy.

On Saturday, August 20, The Beatles, Elbow, Elgar, The Hollies, Kate Bush, Oasis, Pink Floyd, Queen, Radiohead’s anthems symphonic versions will be played.

On Sunday August 21 programme consists in film orchestral arrangements recorded at Abbey Road. Richard Strauss’ symphonic poem Also sprach Zarathustra used in “2001: A Space Odyssey”, John Williams’ compositions for “Star Wars”, “Raiders of the Lost Ark” and for “Harry Potter”, Danny Elfman’s musical creation for “Batman” will charme the attendees.

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Also another iconic film scores will be played for the audience: Howard Shore’s music for “The Lord of the Rings”, James Horner’s “Braveheart”, Jerry Goldsmith score for “Star Trek: The Motion Picture”.

The visitors who will come to see these concerts at the historic Chiswick House and Gardens are invited to bring their own picnic and rug. Also they can upgrade to a VIP Package.

Abbey Road Studios

Abbey Road Studios, 3 Abbey Road, St John's Wood, City of Westminster, London


Gramophone Company founded Abbey Road Studios in November 1931, later on British music company EMI Records Limited became its owner.

In the 1960s Badfinger,The Beatles, Pink Floyd’s innovative recording techniques has been hosted by these famous studios.


In 2010 the studios received historic site status from the British government.


Jerry Leiber, Elvis Presley’s hits lyricist, has died


[googlead tip=”vertical_mic” aliniat=”drapta”] The previous week (from August 9 through August 16) was “Elvis Week” 2011, anevent that commemorates Elvis Presley’s death on August 16, 1977, at 42.[googlead tip=”lista_mica” aliniat=”dreapta”]

This annual celebration has begun in 1982 when Graceland estate has been opened to visitors. Since then hundreds thousands of persons have travelled there.

Thousands of people went to Memphis on Monday to attend a midnight candlelight vigil, the keystone of “Elvis Week”, at Graceland.

About 20,000 fans from all over the world (including England, Germany, Japan) flocked together at Elvis Presley‘s home. They processed through the familiy cemetery. At the meditation garden, they kneeled, or quietly sang, they left flowers or others tributes on the King’s graveyard. “The Twelfth of Never” (by Johnny Mathis), was the theme song for this year, signifying the unceasing love for the King of Rock and Roll.

Kevin Kern read a message from Lisa Marie Presley, Elvis Presley‘s daughter:

“Dear Friends, thank you so much for being here and continuing to honor the legacy of my father. Your ongoing love and support mean very much to me and my family. My father always said he had the best fans in the world, and he was right. The fact that you are here to celebrate his life 34 years after his passing is a testament to that. I hope you’ve enjoyed our new exhibits at Graceland and I look forward to being involved personally with a very special exhibit called ‘Elvis Through His Daughter’s Eyes’ opening in the Spring of next year. Before we know it, it will be Elvis Week 2012, which as you all know as the 35th anniversary will be special time. I look forward to being there with you, my mother and entire family.

Thank you all and I’ll see you next August.”

Fifty five years passed since the first two Elvis Presley‘s albums were released.[googlead tip=”patrat_mic” aliniat=”dreapta”]

Elvis Presley

Elvis Presley in Las Vegas 1971

The music producer Ernst Jorgensen launched a five-CD RCA/Legacy box set “Young Man With the Big Beat” on Monday at Graceland to celebrate the King’s breakout year. The CDs feature interviews, remastered rare live recordings, unpublished live songs, recording-session outtakes.

In 1956 Elvis Presley’s “That’s All Right, Mama”  (1946 blues number, Arthur Crudup’s “That’s All Right”, turned later into a professional platter) set the teen-agers on fire. “Heartbreak Hotel “, “Blue Suede Shoes”, “I Forgot to Remember to Forget” were some of the song which Elvis interpretation made to reach the top of audience.”Bossa Nova Baby” hit the top in 1963.

“In the Ghetto”, issued in 1969, reached number three on the pop chart. Another hit singles were “Suspicious Minds”, “Don’t Cry Daddy”, “Kentucky Rain”.

In 1970, “The Wonder of You” was released and it was a number one in UK and on top in US.

Unfortunately,  in his late years Elvis has suffered from glaucoma, high blood pressure, liver damage, and an enlarged colon, a possibly caused, and aggravated by barbiturates and Demerol addiction.

On August 16, 1977 he was found unconscious on his bathroom floor. Elvis Presley was officially pronounced dead at 3:30 pm at Baptist Memorial Hospital.


Argentina and Romania received the best prizes of Locarno Film Festival 2011


"Abrir puertas y ventanas" won the Golden Leopard at Locarno Film Festival 2011

"Abrir puertas y ventanas" won the Golden Leopard at Locarno Film Festival 2011

“Abrir puertas y ventanas” (Back to Stay) by Milagros Mumenthaler, co-production Argentina/Switzerland won Golden Leopard, FIPRESCI (International Federation of Film Critics) prize, while María Canale took the Best Actress award.[googlead tip=”lista_medie” aliniat=”stanga”]

“Abrir puertas y ventanas”  (To open doors and windows) is about three sisters who are trying to find their life paths. After their parents have died Marina (María Canale), Sofia (Martina Juncadella) and Violeta Tauss (Ailín Salas) have been raised by their grandmother. The grandmother has died too and the three of them have to look for other ways of living, without a parent figure.
Milagros has two sisters herself and she tells the story in an empathic way.
“What a great experience.” Said Milagros Mumenthaler on stage at the Piazza Grande when she received the prize.

Adrian Sitaru's "Best intentions" won two prizes at Locarno Film Festival  2011

Adrian Sitaru's "Best intentions" won two prizes at Locarno Film Festival 2011

Adrian Sitaru won the Best Director Leopard for the film “Din dragoste cu cele mai bune intenţii” (Best Intentions), Romania/Hungary co-production, and Bogdan Dumitrache received the Best Actor award.
Alex (Bogdan Dumitrache) is an young man who has emotional issues.  When his mother (Nataşa Raab) suffers a stroke and she is hospitalized, he comes to the hospital and look after her. He tries to follow everyone’s advice and lives under the impression that anything could hurt his mother. Alex makes mistakes driven by love and by the best intentions, as the title says: “Din dragoste cu cele mai bune intenţii.”[googlead tip=”vertical_mic”]
Adrian Sitaru already won another prize at Locarno festival, the Leopards of Tomorrow in 2007, for his short film “Valuri” (Waves).
“I had a great experience here four years ago I said when I accepted my prize that I’d be back for a larger version of the award and here I am,” said Adrian Sitaru on the stage at Piazza Grande.

[googlead tip=”vertical_mediu” aliniat=”dreapta”] Portuguese film producer, Paulo Branco, the jury president, said they had created a special jury prize for the first time ever in Locarno for Shinji Aoyama‘s outstanding career and his film “Tokyo Koen. ” (An young amateur photographer in Tokyo accepts an unusual assignment and his life begins to change).

From August 3 through August 13 Locarno Film Festival 2011 displayed around 200 films and 60 short movies with around 40 world premieres.

The blockbuster “Cowboys & Aliens” had 7,600 viewers on the Piazza Grande’s big screen while only 2,200 people attended american thriller flick “Red State. ”

Other festival prizes went to “Nana” by Valerie Massadian, France ( Best First Work), “L’estate di Giacomo”  by Alessandro Comodin, Italy/France/Belgium (George Foundation Prize) “Rauschgift” (Addicted) by Peter Baranowski, Germany (Best International Short Film), “L’Ambassadeur & Moi” (The Ambassador & Me) by Jan Czarlewski (Best Swiss Short Film).“Monsieur Lazhar” by Philippe Falardeau, Canada, took Public’s Prize UBS and Variety Piazza Grande Award. Like Adrian Sitaru did four years ago, Jan Czarlewski promised to return aiming for a good prize.

Locarno Film Festival 2011 closed with “Et si on vivait tous ensemble”(And If We All Lived Together) by Stephane Robelin, France. The movie is about some old friends. They try to avoid going to a retirement house and decide to move in together. The film features Jane Fonda and Geraldine Chaplin, Charlie Chaplin’s daughter.

Locarno Film Festival 2011 had other prizes too, you can find the full list here.


Hélène Rochas, the French elegance icon, died at 84.


“After 30, you get the face you deserve.” Said Hélène Rochas paraphrasing George Orwell and Coco Chanel.[googlead tip=”lista_mica” aliniat=”dreapta”]

Hélène Rochas

Hélène Rochas said the clothing had to match your age


Madame, as she was called,  was determined to age with grace, to accept ageing process as natural. There was no sense in hiding, or fighting, those could do even worse.

I’m against the idea of dressing young – that shows fear. When you see a woman with long, loose hair, a slender silhouette, and she turns and you see she no longer has the face for it.”  She said in 1977 to W magazine.

 Hélène loved natural beauty and belived that everyone could find her or his own style, “create a personal atmosphere, one to refine yourself in”.[googlead tip=”vertical_mic” aliniat=”dreapta”]

I don’t like creams…. In the summer, it’s fruit, like crushed grapes, to nourish my face.” (1987 W magazine).

 Hélène Rochas had a strong will and she ignored the global obsession on rejuvenation. “It’s so boring” she said about exercising. She refused to underwent a facelift. “I’d rather keep myself the way I am.
Young women are never elegant.“(People magazine 1980)

When it came for the social interaction:

A dinner for six has to be for very close friends,” (W magazine 1981)

Her perfect menu: eggs en cocotte with truffles, lamb with baby vegetables, salad and cheese and about  her chef’s sorbets: “They’re not heavy, because we use only fruit and sugar, never milk”.

About motherhood Hélène admitted her career was an impediment: “I was not a good mother.” (People magazine 1980)
She an Marcel had two children: François and Sophie.

 Hélène Rochas kept the traditional French conception on the woman. Like in a lot of  cultures, woman was perceived as a tender, needing protection person.

“I work, but I don’t want to get taken for a women’s libber,” (People magazine 1980)
Women should have a fragile air, even if they are not.” (W magazine 1984)

Madame Rochas 2nd edition, The first was signed by Hélène Rochas herself

Madame Rochas second edition. The first was signed by Hélène Rochas herself.

Madame was highly appreciated for her work, for her intuition and her cleverness.[googlead tip=”vertical_mediu” aliniat=”dreapta”]

“She is our nose, our intuition, our mirror,” said Jacques Pecqueraux Rochas’ president in 1980, when they asked her to come back to Rochas and she accepted.

“She was the spirit of Rochas and she will put them back on top” said Oscar de la Renta.

However, Hélène Rochas elegantly declared that she was Marcel Rochas’ creation and he was her mentor even after he died.
She was taking acting lessons when she met  Marcel on a Paris Métro in 1942. He was a designer and he suggested her to be his model.

I was very vexed because he didn’t think I was old or elegant enough to model his dresses.” she said and added with a smile: “I was a good student.”(People magazine 1980).

In 1960 Guy Robert created “Madame Rochas”. Perfume’s bottle was replica of an 18th century one that Hélène discovered in a Parisian antique dealer. The “Parfum de toilette” (Pdt) was signed by Hélène Rochas herself. The perfume has aldehydes, bergamot, lemon and neroli at the top, flowery notes in the middle and woody tones at the base. Its second edition appeared in 1989.

[googlead tip=”patrat_mic” aliniat=”dreapta”]After almost three months from Charla Nash face transplant Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH), Boston, released a picture of her new visage on Thursday, August 11.


While the postoperative swellings and bruises vanished, Charla, who was photographed in the hospital bed looks  spectacularly different. She has a new nose, new lips, new palate and new skin. Charla is now able to eat solid food. She can breathe through her nose and even she can smell and taste the food.

Charla Nash face transplant three views

Charla Nash face transplant three views before and after attack and after the transplant








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Dr. Bohdan Pomahac, director of the BWH Plastic Surgery Transplantation Program, is satisfied with recovery progress. He led the team that gave Charla a new appearance. Over  thirty physicians, plastic surgery doctors, orthopedists, anesthesiologists and nurses contributed to the full face transplant procedure which was performed on May this year.

In 2009 Charla Nash suffered terrible injuries after Sandra Herold’s 200-pound (91 kg) pet chimpanzee, Travis, attacked her. It ripped her lips, nose and eyes and it tore her hands making her defaced and blind.

Since then, Charla covered her disfigured face with a hat and a veil, but she unveiled on a November 2009 episode of “Oprah”. She could not eat any but liquid food, she was not able to breathe through her nose, she could not smell or taste food.

Charla Nash face transplant replaced her entire facial area (nose, lips, facial skin, muscles, and nerves) and it took over twenty hours. She underwent face and double hand transplant at the same time. After the surgery she developed kidney failure and pneumonia and that affected blood circulation to the hands. The hands became septic and they had to be removed.

Charla and her family expressed their gratitude  for the medical team, for anonymous female donor and her family, they also thanked the doctors at the Stamford Hospital in Connecticut, where she was treated after the attack, and at the Cleveland Clinic, where she was admitted for the long rehabilitation program.

Charla Nash face transplant is the third full face transplantation performed by plastic surgery doctors from BWH and it is also the third operation of this kind in US.

 [googlead tip=”lista_mica” aliniat=”stanga”]

The first world full face transplantation was done in Spain in 2010 and it is the second time when face and double hand transplant were done simultaneously. The first one was in France in 2009, but the patient died in 2010.

Photos credits from left to right: Courtesy of the Nash family, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, by Lightchaser Photography

You can enjoy an online unique experience with Perseid meteor shower NASA web chat tonight!


Perseid meteor shower NASA web chat tonight

Perseids performed a splendid show in 2009. Let's enjoy Perseid meteor shower NASA web chat tonight too!

This meteor shower peaks annualy on August 12 approximately and it brings forth about 60 meteors per hour ore more. An observer could spot up to 100 meteors per hour on the peak night when there is no moonlight. This year the Moon is full at that moment and makes shooting stars harder to see.[googlead tip=”lista_mica” aliniat=”stanga”]

“The Perseids are considered the best meteor shower of the year by many, but with the full moon washing out all but the brightest meteors, rates will probably only be 20-30 per hour at most — weather permitting. ” Says NASA.

This year the Perseid meteor shower will reach a peak for overnight (Friday, August 12 into the early morning Saturday, August 13) and the space agency is broadcasting a live web chat.
This wonderful sky show is more visible from the northern hemisphere because of the Perseids radiant which doesn’t go up above the horizon.

[googlead tip=”vertical_mic”]Perseid meteor shower NASA web chat tonight begins at 11 p.m. EDT ( 03:00 UTC  GMT) and lasts until 5 a.m. EDT Saturday. Astronomer from the Marshall Space Flight Center Bill Cooke and his colleagues, Danielle Moser and Rhiannon Blaauw, will be online.

A light-activated  camera at the NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama turn on each evening. On a dark background you can see at night stars or white points.
Hearing the sounds (whistles, blips, pings) of passing through meteors it is possible, even before the camera activates.

“The meteors themselves don’t make sounds, but they ionize the air around them as they burn up. These ionized air molecules reflect radio waves back to our antenna.” Says NASA.


[googlead tip=”vertical_mic”]On the Perseid meteor shower NASA web chat tonight you can ask question about Perseid and talk to the astronomers.


The Perseids is a prolific meteor shower associated with the comet Swift-Tuttle, they seem to radiate from constellation Perseus. The name derives from Perseides, sons of Perseus and Andromeda in Greek mythology.
While the Earth passes through the comet’s debris, pieces of ice and dust (over one thounsand years old) burn up in the Earth’s atmosphere.

Photo credit: fruitbit/flickr.com

Sydney Fashion Festival 2011: Myer’s Big is Beautiful controversial show.


Hélène Rochas, the French elegance icon, died at 84.


A New Beginning is the theme of San Francisco Fashion Week 2011, that is taking  place this week from Monday through Sunday.[googlead tip=”lista_medie” aliniat=”stanga”]


Bay Area is hosting San Francisco Fashion Week 2011

Bay Area is hosting San Francisco Fashion Week 2011

The San Francisco Fashion and Merchandising Alliance (SFFAMA) tried to redesign the show with an adequate theme,  centered on emphasizing the city’s strongest attributes: beauty, intelligent technology and textile fabrication.

There are a lot of events going on, started with Apple Workshops and Fashion Exhibit, 5 Claude Lane.
Small technology seminars took place at the Apple Store, technicians and fashion industry professionals’ speechees covered a large field concerning technical applications.
Social media workshop on  Public Relations, fashion-focused event creation and marketing in fashion, were held at Pigment Cosmetics.

At Fashion Blogger Connect & Mini-Trunk Show  Alison Messenger, Amy Gilmer, Mira Torres-Montalvo, and Molly Covert  spoke and interacted with visitors.

San Francisco Fashion Week 2011 continues with Fashion Exhibit and Installation with Art, 5 Claude Lane Gallery and runway shows  will be presented in the next three days at Madrone Studios.[googlead tip=”patrat_mediu” aliniat=”stanga”]


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Emerging Designers Fashion Show on Friday will feature new local talents: Amanda Everest, Faatui Toele  for Lucky Lu Clothing, Avni Trivedi for Avni Fashions, and Jennifer Ly.

Ready to Wear (Prêt-à-Porter) Fashion Show on Saturday will present many kind of designers’ visions, among them: Wen Guo’s Boditecture (dresses which can be wear in a lots of ways), Alyssa Casares’  Alyssa Bird, the men’s underclothing line, Victor’s Promise.

Couture/Avant Garde Fashion Show on Sunday will close San Francisco Fashion week 2011. This runway will display futuristic conception of  Camelia Skikos (Academy of Art University Fashion School professor), Violetta Vieux‘s creation, KenChen men’s and women’s clothing designs, Jackee Princeau‘s leather robots, Aya Yoruha & Diane O‘ designs.

Excerpt from SFFAMA Press release on San Francisco Fashion Week 2011:

San Francisco Fashion and Merchants Alliances, Inc. (SFFAMA) and Wix.com are pleased to announce San Francisco Fashion Week 2011 August 8-14, 2011. San Francisco Fashion Week ™ 2011 will highlight the convergence of fashion and technology unique to the San Francisco fashion industry while showcasing emerging designers and student collections. […]
In utilizing social media and fashion-focused event production, San Francisco Fashion And Merchants Alliance, Inc. is the leading organization acting as a catalyst for fashion and technology locally. With the burgeoning indie fashion scene, SFFAMA is leading the San Francisco fashion industry toward reinventing itself as the next fashion capital and  signifies this years theme of A New Beginning. […]

Iggy Pop at Peninsula/Félsziget Festival 2011 in Romania.


The Prodigy at Sziget Festival 2011.


Woodstock Poland 2011 News.


Polish Woodstock 2011 news Update.


SonneMondSterne 2011 electronic music festival Germany.


[googlead tip=”vertical_mic”]One of the ten best major festival in Europe (in 2010), Sziget Festival 2011 started on Monday, August 8 and it lasts seven days.

Fifty-two stages and meeting places with artists from forty-one countries are presenting a great variety of genres on Óbudai-sziget (Óbudai-island) of Budapest.

Sziget Festival 2011

Sziget Festival 2011 Magyar Rádió Szimfonik Live

Hungarian musicians and the Symphonic Orchestra of the Hungarian Radio, Boban Markovic Orchestra, Roots & Routes – Art’N’Go, The Klezmatics, Leningrad  played on Day 0. Seven times Grammy awarded Prince also sang on August 9. Prince was too on the 2010 European Festival Awards’ shortlists as best headliner.

Omen, Within Temption, Terry Poison, Les Hurlements d’Leo, Soerii & Poolek, Rise Against, The Bloody Beetroots Death Crew 77, Empire of The Sun, Interpol, Ojos de Brujo, Igor Do’urden vs. Coyote, Pulp, Dorian Concept, Marc Houle, Philipp Straub and other singers performed on Day 1.

The Chemical Brothers, Judas Priest, De Jeugd van Tegenwoordig, Andro Sikztah Stereokillaz, Gotan Project, The Prodigy, Thirty Seconds To Mars, Above& Beyond, Goran Bregovic Wedding And Funeral Band, Baskerville, Sonata Arctica, Cheikh Lô, and many other musicians are schedueled for the next four days.

Sziget Festival 2011 is a multicultural event, about half of festival goers are from outside the Hungary.

[googlead tip=”vertical_mic”]Visitors from France, United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, Holland, Spain, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Bulgaria, Austria, Finland have attended since the festival has begun (1993).

Sziget Festival 2011 Camping Site

Sziget Festival 2011 Camping Site

The festival offers a lot of attractions: sports, games, children programmes, reading places, workshops, classical and alternative theater, operas, movies, dance. Agora, Fidelio Octopus Multi-Arts Site, Hello Wood, Ability Park, European Meeting Point, Giant Street Theather, Roma Tent are some of its interesting venues.

In the Ability Park people can learn about day-to-day lives of persons who have disabilities. For example, these exercises are suggested:

Interactivity differently: Try to find Sziget on an online map by not using your hands to move the mouse or send an email to a friend while you can only hear what you’re writing.[googlead tip=”lista_mare” aliniat=”stanga”]

Sziget Festival 2011

Sziget Festival 2011

Sziget Festival 2011 will gather around 400,000 people during this week, it  is estimated. The organizers are aware of the importance of environmental protection and they try to keep the island clean and to make the concert goers more conscious regarding this matter.




Photos credit: Sziget/Somay Márk képei                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

Gavin DeGraw resumes tour 15 days after was beaten and hit by car




[googlead tip=”lista_medie” aliniat=”stanga”]Early Monday morning Gavin DeGraw, musician, was admitted at Bellevue Hospital, New York. He was beaten by a group of men and he was hit by a cab.

TMZ was the first website that reported this awful incident and mentioned that DeGraw was under observation at the hospital. According to New York Post,  on Sunday night Gavin went out for a drink, then left his friends around four o’clock in the morning. Police said several people  assaulted him on the street. They cut his face and broke his nose, then run away. DeGraw rose up and as he was walking, a cab struck him causing him mild injuries. It did not seem to be a robbery, NY Post sources said. It could be an argument that started the fight, said others (CBS New York). Anyway there were no arrests until now.

 Still no further  information could be found regarding Gavin’s  current status.[googlead tip=”vertical_mic” aliniat=”dreapta”]
Apparentely the wounds were not severe. On Gavin DeGraw‘s official website the schedule is the same. He had planned to sing in Saratoga Springs, NY  at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center, as part of his summer tour, Tuesday night, August 9.

Also a news posted on August 8, 2011, 1:19 pm says:

“Want to hang out with Gavin this Wednesday, August 10, at 5:30pm EST? Then head on over to LiveStream at that appointed day and time for a one-of-a-kind LIVE webcast, featuring performances and casual banter from Gavin. […]”

However, probably he will have to cancel his agreements.

Gavin DeGraw‘s “Chariot” went platinum.

Gavin DeGraw with Students at The Art Institute of Portland

Gavin DeGraw with Students at The Art Institute of Portland

[googlead tip=”patrat_mic” aliniat=”stanga”]  The  singer-songwriter is also famous for his songs “In Love with a Girl”, “Follow Through” ,”I Don’t Want to Be”. The last mentioned song is featured as the theme song for One Tree Hill, the TV drama.

This summer he performed as opening star for  Maroon 5 and Train, star rockers. On May 2011 he launched “Not Over You” single and another album, “Sweeter”,  is scheduled to be released on  September this year.

Gavin DeGraw and his brother Joey own a venue in Manhattan’s Lower East Side. That bar was opened because they wanted a meeting place for friends, musicians, good music-lovers.



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This was the longest music weekend in Thuringia ever, SonneMondSterne 2011 electronic music festival will be held in Germany from August, 12 to August, 14.  

SonneMondSterne 2011

SonneMondSterne 2009 attracted 100,000 people. Will SonneMondSterne 2011 beat this number?

In the Saalburg-Ebersdorf of the Free State of Thuringia (Freistaat Thüringen) on Saalburg Beach the fans will listen to the music, will watch their favorite shows, will dance, will play volleyball and will have fun in the water, on the sand and in many other ways.

Partybus was organized for the neighbors, the concert-goers from The Netherlands, Belgium, France or Luxemburg.

Sonne Mond Sterne (meaning sun, moon, star) is  as a metaphor for festival program that is rolling night and day. This event is also called SMS.X5.
Hide And Seek – From Here To Now is official SonneMondSterne 2011 X5 Anthem.  

The Sonne Mond Sterne Festival (SMS) is a large open-air festival of electronic music which has been held in Germany since 1997. In the first year the festival was free and about two thousand five hundred people attended it.  Since then the event grew and in 2009 it had about one hundred thousand festival-goers. Usually, the main themes are rock and pop, and some of the biggest stars in electronic music are invited.

This year the SMS. X5  festival will have a number of venues: SMS. X5 main stage, SMS. X5 main circus, SMS. X5 second stage, clubtents (Dusted Decks/City of  Music,  Muna,  Cocoon,  Bass’n’Drums), beech bar Bar 25 and SMS. Boat.

SonneMondSterne 2011 will have a lot of live shows performed by various artists.

MR. OIZO, The Bloody Beetroots, Shameboy, Fritz Kalkbrenner, Oliver Koletzki & Fran, Die Vögel, Anthony Rother, Extrawelt, Juno6, The Earth,Pentatones, Mathilde Hutfeld, Colt, Dapayk, Format:B, Johannes Heil, Jacek Sienkiwicz, SIS, Kadebostan, Norris Terrify, BSTee, Jack Hose, Andy Kohlmann, Cannibal Cooking Club.  

Sziget Festival 2011 Hungary.


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SonneMondSterne 2011 electronic music festival Germany.

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Polish Woodstock 2011 (Przystanek Woodstock) attracted around six hundred and fifty thousand people, according to officials. It seems that the previous number was below the real interest arised by this festival.

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Polish Woodstock 2011

Polish Woodstock 2011

The biggest audience was at The Prodigy concert. During the Gentleman & The Evolution’s show a great number of fans began to gather and all of them waited for the main star. Exceptionally, the stage has to be fenced in as The Prodigy requested. Jerzy Owsiak, festival creator,  objected to this. He said that putting bariers beetwen public and artists came in conflict with the values of Woodstock festival, but eventually he complied. The hits  “Breathe”, “Poison”, “Firestarter” and “Smack My Bitch Up”  were sung. The group went to the stage protected by bodyguards, played and left.

Łąki Łan Apteka performed after The Prodigy a special surprise concert and recorded a live DVD. Jerzy Owsiak said he was glad that she was the star who sang at the end of  Polish Woodstock 2011.

Airbourne performed a great show and were cheered by the public. Enej and Arka Noego, two Golden Spinning winners, were also enthusiasticly applauded. Dog Eat Dog’s singer John Connor played wearing a T-shirt of Poland national men’s ice hockey team and he also showed an Woodstock special T-shirt. Large audience danced, sang and listened to the hits “Who’s the king” ,  “No Fronts”.

On Saturday, August, 6, Przystanek Republika concert was performed by Grzegorza Ciechowskiego an his guests: Titus (Acid Drinkers), Kasia Kowalska, Ania Dąbrowska, Tomek Makowiecki, Glaca (Sweet Noise), Maciej Silski, Lipa (Lipali, Illusion), Kobra (Kobranocka).

 Przystanek Woodstock  (polish for “Woodstock Bus Stop”) was inspired by and named after the Woodstock Festival, that was held in August 1969, over 40 years ago.
Polish Woodstock 2011  edition was quite peaceful, there were some troubles regarding landing transport, but besides these, the concert-goers were delighted. 


The light can make you more visible, but in the same time could help you become invisible sharks seem to found out how this trick works.[googlead tip=”vertical_mare” aliniat=”dreapta”]

A recent study has shown that splendid lantern shark, besides glowing in the darkness of the deep waters, can create through light effects a “cloak of invisibility” wich helps it to avoid predators.

Also, this study gathered provings that the cylindrical-shaped sharks’ habitat is extended around the Okinawa Islands of Japan,in addition to the East China Sea, and the vicinity of southern Japan waters.

Julien Claes, Jerome Mallefet and Keiichi Sato caught three specimens of the splendid lantern shark and they kept them in conditons similar to their natural environment.

The observations they made upon the sharks pointed out that each of them had nine separated bright light emitting areas (photophores). The part on the belly, together with some other areas, are responsible for invisibility effect. More luminous zones are located on the shark’s pectoral fins, flanks, tail and sexual organs, probably involved in schooling and sexual communication.
The researchers think the process is controlled by nerves and hormones in the first way,   secondly the pigments are moving in the cells to accomplish the final effect.

Invisible sharks

Invisible sharks: velvet belly shark shares a lot of features with splendid lantern shark.


Invisible sharks do really exist as a result of a natural phenomenon called bioluminescence.

There are a number of bioluminiscent animals, they use bioluminescence to lure, to repell, to camouflage, to illuminate and even to communicate,  but not all of them can become invisible. How splendid lantern shark produce its shield is explained by Julien  Claes who said to Discovery News:

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“The photophores replace the down-welling light from the sun, which is absorbed by the shark’s body.The silhouette of the shark therefore disappears when seen from below.”

It is like someone puts a powerfull light into your eyes, I would say. You can see the light, but everything else becomes invisible, such as invisible sharks.

It is interesting to mention that another small dogfish shark, cookiecutter shark, can be only partially visible in order to attract prey.

Julien  Claes is a scientist of the Catholic University of Louvain’s Marine Biology Lab. During the recent years he and his fellows colleagues have also studied the velvet belly lantern shark, another small dogfish which also has this feature (invisibility).

Picture credit: Wikipedia.

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