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brian news

JULY 2009

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**Wed 08 Jul 09**
ROCKIN' BACK TO THE 1850s

Brin May with Mazz Murray
Brian May with Mazz Murray,  who plays Killer Queen in We Will Rock You
(reprinted by kind permission of Liz Thomson)

BOOKBRUNCH
9 July 2000

An outing hosted by John Nicoll, MD of Frances Lincoln, to celebrate a fascinating book by astrophysicist Brian May, perhaps best known as the co-founder of Queen. May's Hendrix-inspired take on the National Anthem at the Buckingham Palace Garden party-cum-concert to mark the other Queen's Golden Jubilee probably had Prince Philip turned down the volume on his hearing aid.

The performance of Ben Elton's long-running Queen musical, We Will Rock You, could scarcely have been further removed from the book, co-written with photo-historian Elena Vidal and promising to be "the perfect antidote to the stress of life in the 21st century". A Village Lost and Found collects stereoscopic photographs taken in the 1850s by one Thomas Richard Williams. The Village in question is on the Oxfordshire-Berkshire border and is, apparently, still recognisable from the photos, which portray a long-gone life, "far from the train's whistle". The photos, and stereography, have obsessed May for more than three decades, and he has worked with Vidal to track them down; she has written a number of articles on the subject. To view them, a stereoscope is required (in the 1960s, one came free with Weetabix), and the guitarist has designed a focusing stereoscope which will fit neatly into the slipcase of the book. Backstage, booksellers were invited to look through the cardboard prototype and see how magnificently detailed the pictures are in 3D. "The polypropelene version is being produced as we speak," May advised.

Refreshingly down-to-earth, May spoke with evangelical fervour on the subject to a party that included Jane Price, Lois Nutt, and Kar Dunlop of Waterstone's, Sarah Prendiville of Amazon, and Hilary Foakes of Good Books Direct. Something of a polymath, he recently returned to astrophysics and completed the PhD he had abandoned in pursuit of music. He is now a visiting researcher at Imperial College and the author, with his friend Patrick Moore, of Bang! The Complete History of the Universe. He also runs the bespoke guitar-making business that he began with his father, who designed his first guitar - which he said has never been beaten, particularly in regard to its tremelo effects.

He told BookBrunch that his dad had spent years asking when he was going to give up the music nonsense. "When Queen played Madison Square Garden, I flew him to New York, put him up at the Ritz and told him to order whatever he fancied from room service. I think that's when he got it."

Incidentally, Elena Vidal is from Spain - though from San Sebastian, not from Barcelona, the inspiration for one of the great Queen songs, on which the late Freddie Mercury duetted with Spanish soprano Montserrat Caballe for the Barcelona Olympics.

Liz Thomson

Editor's Note: Event took place 7th July.

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**Mon 06 Jul 09**
PETA CAMPAIGN: PLEDGE TO BE VEG FOR 30 DAYS!!

PETA (People for the Ethnic Tretment of Animals) have lanched a new campaign as encouragement to vegetarian for a month.  See PETA website.

Maybe it's a good option for those who don't know where to start. And they certainly found the way to recruit men into vegetarianism..., here

© brianmay.com


**Mon 06 Jul 09**
BBC COUNTRYFILE POLLS

SEE BRIAN'S SOAPBOX COMMENT

Please visit www.bbccountryfile.com/polls

where you can cast your vote on a number of important issues.  Particularly we would ask for support for the decision not to cull badgers and also against fox hunting q - the hunters are storming this one.

Thank you.

(with thanks for the alert to Judi Hewitt and Penny Little)

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**Wed 01 Jul 09**
HELP STOP ANIMALS SUFFERING IN SNARES

SEE BRIAN'S SOAPBOX COMMENT

SNARE AWARE WEEK
29 June - 5th July

Srare Aware Week Poster

How many more pets must die in agony before snaring is banned"?
There are only five countries within the EU that legally use snares. The UK is one of them.
Contact us to find out how you can help.
T. 01483 524 250 | E. iinfo@league.org.uk
www.league.org.uk

It’s a crucial time for our campaign against snaring. Next Monday marks the start of Snare Aware Week where we intend to highlight how thousands of animals suffer a slow and painful death every day by getting trapped in snares.

The truth is simple. Snares are cruel, indiscriminate killers, catching foxes, otters, badgers, and even pet cats and dogs. Imagine the suffering the animal experiences as the snare slowly asphyxiates it, stopping the blood supply and cutting deep into the skin. The more the animal struggles, the tighter the snare gets.

We need to use next week as an opportunity to raise as much awareness as possible about this needless and horrific suffering of innocent animals and to call for a complete ban on snares. To do this we really need you support. You can help in a couple of ways:

Please download our snaring poster and display it wherever you can. Good places would be local vets, pet shops, park information boards, train stations and anywhere else public that will grant permission. If you can’t get out and about or are too busy then even in your living room window would help.

You can also make a difference by contacting your MP and asking them to sign Early Day Motion 1473 calling for a ban on snares (if you haven’t already done so). The EDM has so far received 127 signatures, which is real progress. I hope that with your support this number can rise even further and we can reach our target of 200 signatures. This would put us in one of the top EDMs of the year and will really increase our chances of getting snaring debated in parliament.

If you are unable to help us with our awareness raising activities at this time, that’s absolutely fine, we appreciate your support whenever you can give it. However a donation towards the campaign is quick and simple and would also make a difference. Whether you give a single donation or want to set up a regular gift your money will make our campaign go even further.

Please support our campaign and make Snare Aware Week a resounding success. It is only with your help that we can stop snaring in the UK.

Yours sincerely,Katy Roberts
Shooting Campaigner

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