May 4, 2014
May the Force be with you
Star Wars Day is an unofficial holiday in May created by fans to honor the Star Warsfranchise created by George Lucas. Observance of the holiday spread quickly due toInternet, social media, and grassroots celebrations.
May 4 is considered a holiday by Star Wars fans to celebrate the franchise’s films series, books and culture. The date was chosen as “May the 4th” due to its sounding similar to the series’ phrase “May the Force be with you” in which fans commonly say “May the fourth be with you”.
The reference was first used on May 4, 1979, the day Margaret Thatcher took office as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. Thatcher’s political party, the Conservatives, placed a congratulatory advertisement in The London Evening News that stated “May the Fourth Be with You, Maggie. Congratulations.”This reading of the line has also been recorded in the UK Parliament‘sHansard.
In 2011, the first organized celebration of Star Wars Day took place in Toronto, Ontario, Canada at the Toronto Underground Cinema. Produced by Sean Ward and Alice Quinn, festivities included an Original Trilogy Trivia Game Show; a costume contest with celebrity judges; and the web’s best tribute films, mash-ups, parodies, and remixes on the big screen. The second annual edition took place on Friday, May 4, 2012.
Fans (even government officials have celebrated Star Wars in a variety of ways in social media and on television.
Revenge of the Fifth
Star Wars Day became so popular that the following day was jokingly called “Revenge of the Fifth,” a play on the “Star Wars” movie title Revenge of the Sith. On this day, fans let their “evil sides” come out by celebrating the Sith Lords and villains from the Star Wars series.
(source, thank you http://en.wikipedia.org)
May 2, 2014
A song Michael Jackson recorded 31 years ago is out, the first single from the upcoming Xscape album.
Jackson wrote, recorded and produced “Love Never Felt So Good” with Paul Anka in 1983, but it has been “contemporized” by Anka and Jackson estate co-executor John McClain, according to an Epic Records news release.
The song has “a magic combination of the new and the original production that retains the track’s analog, early 80s feel, while also sounding right at home with the disco-soul inflected music of today,” the label said.
The track debuted during the iHeartRadio Music Awards on Thursday night. Online music services, including iTunes, have it for downloading starting early Friday morning, Epic said.
Jackson and Anka worked on the song at about the same time they wrote and recorded “This Is It,” which eventually became the theme song to a documentary based on Jackson’s preparations for a tour that never happened because of his death.
Jackson died at age 50 on June 25, 2009, while preparing for his “This Is It” comeback tour.
Eight previously unheard Michael Jackson songs, originally recorded between 1983 and 1999, will be released on the new album May 13, Epic Records announced in March.
Epic Chairman L.A. Reid chose several producers with the “gravitas, depth and range to creatively engage with Jackson’s work” to update the recordings for release, Epic said.
Timbaland is the lead producer, with contributions from Rodney Jerkins, Stargate, Jerome “J-Roc” Harmon and McClain, the release said.
Sony’s Columbia Epic Records — Jackson’s record label for three decades — signed a longterm deal with Jackson’s estate to posthumously release music from the large archives of his recordings.
Reid “was granted unlimited access to the treasures representing four decades of material on which Jackson had completed his vocals,” the announcement said.
“New” music is not always met with a warm reception from fans and the Jackson family. Some questioned the authenticity of the vocalson a 2010 album, although the estate and the record company said sound experts verified Jackson’s voice.
(source, thank you http://www.cnn.com/)
April 27, 2014
Pope Francis declared his two predecessors John XXIII and John Paul II saints on Sunday before hundreds of thousands of people in St. Peter’s Square, an unprecedented ceremony made even more historic by the presence of retired Pope Benedict XVI.
Never before has a reigning and retired pope celebrated Mass together in public, much less at an event honoring two of their most famous predecessors.
Benedict’s presence was a reflection of the balancing act that Francis envisioned when he decided to canonize John and John Paul together, showing the unity of the Catholic Church by honoring popes beloved to conservatives and progressives alike.
Francis took a deep breath and paused for a moment before reciting the saint-making formula in Latin, as if moved by the history he was about to make.
He said that after deliberating, consulting and praying for divine assistance “we declare and define Blessed John XXIII and John Paul II be saints and we enroll them among the saints, decreeing that they are to be venerated as such by the whole church.”
Applause broke out from a crowd that stretched from St. Peter’s to the Tiber River and beyond.
Benedict was sitting off to the side of the altar with other cardinals. He had arrived in the square on his own to cheers and applause, wearing white vestments and white bishops’ miter. He stood to greet Italy’s president and later Francis when he arrived, and sang along during the hymns that followed the canonization rite.
Italy’s interior ministry predicted 1 million people would watch the Mass from the square, the streets surrounding it and nearby piazzas where giant TV screens were set up to accommodate the crowds eager to follow along.
By the time the ceremony began, Via della Conciliazione, the main boulevard leading from the square, nearby streets and the bridges across the Tiber were packed.
Polish pilgrims carrying the red and white flags of John Paul’s beloved homeland had been among the first to push into the square well before sunrise, as the human chains of neon-vested civil protection workers trying to maintain order finally gave up and let them in.
“Four popes in one ceremony is a fantastic thing to see and to be at, because it is history being written in our sight,” marveled one of the visiting Poles, David Halfar. “It is wonderful to be a part in this and to live all of this.”
Most of those who arrived first at St. Peter’s had camped out overnight nearby on air mattresses and sleeping pads. Others hadn’t slept at all and took part in the all-night prayer vigils hosted at a dozen churches in downtown Rome.
By mid-morning, the scene in the square was quiet and subdued — perhaps due to the chilly gray skies and cumulative lack of sleep — unlike the rollicking party atmosphere of John Paul’s May 2011 beatification when bands of young people sang and danced in the hours before the Mass.
Benedict had promised to remain “hidden from the world” after resigning last year, but Francis has coaxed him out of retirement and urged him to take part in the public life of the church.
In a dress rehearsal of sorts, Benedict attended the February ceremony in which Francis installed 19 new cardinals. But celebrating Mass together with Francis was something else entirely, a first for the 2,000-year-old institution and a reflection of Francis’ desire to show the continuity in the papacy, despite different personalities, priorities and politics.
Pope John XIII, who reigned from 1958-1963, is a hero to liberal Catholics for having convened the Second Vatican Council. The meetings brought the church into the modern era by allowing Mass to be celebrated in local languages rather than Latin and by encouraging greater dialogue with people of other faiths, particularly Jews.
During his quarter-century papacy from 1978-2005, John Paul II helped topple communism through his support of Poland’s Solidarity movement. His globe-trotting papacy and launch of the wildly popular World Youth Days invigorated a new generation of Catholics, while his defense of core church teaching heartened conservatives after the turbulent 1960s.
“John Paul was our pope,” said Therese Andjoua, a 49-year-old nurse who traveled from Libreville, Gabon, with some 300 other pilgrims to attend. She sported a traditional African dress bearing the images of the two new saints.
“In 1982 he came to Gabon and when he arrived he kissed the ground and told us to ‘Get up, go forward and be not afraid,'” she recalled as she rested against a pallet of water bottles. “When we heard he was going to be canonized, we got up.”
Kings, queens, presidents and prime ministers from more than 90 countries attended. Some 20 Jewish leaders from the U.S., Israel, Italy, Francis’ native Argentina and Poland were also taking part, in a clear sign of their appreciation for the great strides made in Catholic-Jewish relations under John, John Paul — and their successors celebrating their sainthood.
(source, thank you http://www.usatoday.com/)
April 22, 2014
Earth Day is an annual event, celebrated on April 22, on which events are held worldwide to demonstrate support for environmental protection. It was first celebrated in 1970, and is now coordinated globally by the Earth Day Network, and celebrated in more than 192 countries each year.
In 1969 at a UNESCO Conference in San Francisco, peace activist John McConnell proposed a day to honor the Earth and the concept of peace, to first be celebrated on March 21, 1970, the first day of spring in the northern hemisphere. This day of nature’s equipoise was later sanctioned in a Proclamation written by McConnell and signed by Secretary General U Thantat the United Nations. A month later a separate Earth Day was founded by United States Senator Gaylord Nelson as an environmental teach-in first held on April 22, 1970. Nelson was later awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom Award in recognition of his work.While this April 22 Earth Day was focused on the United States, an organization launched by Denis Hayes, who was the original national coordinator in 1970, took it international in 1990 and organized events in 141 nations. Numerous communities celebrate Earth Week, an entire week of activities focused on environmental issues.