brian news

SEPTEMBER 2014

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REMINDERS - 2014:
22-28 Sep - Starmus Tenerife and premiere of "51 Degrees" movie with music by Brian May and concert with Rick Wakeman and more. BOOK
20 October - Publication date "A Poor Man's Picture Gallery" - PRE-ORDER


Oct-Nov - Brian May/Denis Pellerin Book Talks 2014 - SEE HERE
Oct - Publication "Brian May's Red Special" - PRE-ORDER
Oct - April 2015 Nov - Stereoscopic Cards Exhibition Tate Gallery


**Fri 19 Sep 14**
ANNOUNCING: NEW RED SPECIAL WEBSITE

We have just launched a new site www.theredspecial.com to support the upcoming book – Brian May’s Red Special.

Here's a taster...

Red Special Book site

Click HERE to access

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**Thu 18 Sep 14**
QUEEN MACHINE: GUITARIST MAGAZINE ON BRIAN MAY'S RED SPECIAL
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Check out the front cover of the new issue of Guitarist Magazine, Issue 386, October 2014:

Queen Machine - Under the hood of Brian May's Red Special
Internals revealed
8-page gallery
Tech secrets
New biography

Guitarist Magaizine front cover

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**Wed 17 Sep 14*
PRESS RELEASE: BRIAN MAY'S RED SPECIAL BOOK
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Brian May Red Special Book

BRIAN MAY’S RED SPECIAL

THE STORY OF THE HOME-MADE GUITAR THAT ROCKED QUEEN AND THE WORLD

BRIAN MAY WITH SIMON BRADLEY

Published in hardback, Carlton, 1st October 2014

A celebration of the iconic guitar that Brian May built with his father and has treasured and played all over the world for the last 50 years

Pre-order now on Amazon.co.uk

“This book about my home-made guitar has been waiting in the wings for a very long time…. Why the name ‘Red Special’? It goes back a long way. In the early days, she was always just ‘The Guitar’, and I think it was Jock, one of my first guitar techs, who, in a moment of what one might call over-familiarity, likened his burden of taking care of it to taking care of a spouse, referring to my treasure as the ‘Old Lady’. The appellation had an appeal, and kind of took root for a while. But, to me, this very personal instrument, with her humble beginnings in the minds and hands of my Dad and me, was worthy of a bit more respect than that. I remembered that at the time we finished the top coat of varnish, my Dad had wanted to christen her as the Brian May Special, and I had poo-pooed the idea; now I realised that it wasn’t so uncool to give her a proper name. So one day in a radio interview, when someone asked me what I called the guitar, the words Red Special just tumbled out before I’d had time to think. And from then on, that was her name. There are now a few thousand Red Special replicas in the world, but my first love still keeps some of her mystery. She is, after all, a one-off!” Brian May

Brian May and his father Harold started to hand-build an electric guitar in 1963 – a project that would take over a year to complete. Brian dreamed of a guitar that would outperform any of the existing commercially-made electric guitars; his father had the technical knowledge and skills to help make the dream come true. The book describes in detail the creative lengths father and son went to in order to construct the guitar. They were incredibly resourceful, using any materials they could get their hands on; the neck of the guitar was constructed from wood from an 18th-century fireplace mantel that a friend of the family was about to throw away and each of the position inlays was hand shaped from a mother-of-pearl button. Previously unseen original sketches, diagrams and notes accompany the text.

For the last 50 years The Red Special has been the guitar that Brian played on every Queen album, in all of Queen's live shows around the world and on the most special of occasions, including his legendary appearance on the roof of Buckingham, Live Aid and the closing ceremony of the London 2012 Olympics. In the book Brian talks about these incredible moments he shared with The Red Special and the world.

The book contains fascinating, previously unseen photographs of The Red Special in every stage of its creation as well as shots of Brian in action on stage and behind the scenes with his treasured guitar. It is fitting that the world’s greatest guitarist has a signature guitar as unique as The Red Special, with its own story that fills a book!

About the authors

Although best known to the world as the lead guitarist of supergroup Queen, Brian May has a PhD in astrophysics and is an expert in 3D photography. He co-wrote Bang! The Complete History of the Universe with Chris Lintott and Patrick Moore, A Village Lost and Found with Elena Vidal and Diableries: Stereoscopic Adventures in Hell with Denis Pellerin and Paula Fleming.

Simon Bradley has been a guitar journalist since 1996 and he has written hundreds of articles and interviews on all aspects of the instrument, for many magazines and websites including Guitarist, Total Guitar, What Guitar? Classic Rock, Metal Hammer, Future Music, MusicRadar.com, Brianmay.com, and many more.

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**Wed 17 Sep 14**
QUEEN STAR BRIAN MAY ROCKS IN TO CAMP BADGER
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WESTERN DAILY PRESS
17 September 2014

Brian May, Camp Badger

Brian May of Save Me at the entrance to 'Camp Badger' in west Somerset. The Queen guitarist and leading badger cull opponent has spoken of his anger after a car belonging to a woman member of the Wounded Badger Patrol was vandalised while she was on patrol in west Somerset Picture: Steve Roberts [MORE PHOTOS]

Queen guitarist and leading badger cull opponent Brian May has spoken of his anger that a car belonging to a woman member of the Wounded Badger Patrol was vandalised while she was on patrol in west Somerset. Dr May and others ended up changing a wheel on the car when he arrived to meet patrol members on Monday night. One of the tyres appeared to have been punctured by an instrument similar to a bradawl.

Praising the patrols in the west Somerset and west Gloucestershire cull areas Dr May said opponents of the cull "will not give in to intimidation."

Police are investigating the incident.

Dr May said: " It is quite a tough job the patrols are doing, obviously completely of their own volition, and to come back after a night trudging in the dark with people trying to fire guns around you and find this is not good."

In a statement Avon and Somerset Police said: "We are investigating a report of criminal damage to the front tyre of a car which was in a car park opposite Cleeve Abbey in Washford. The damage happened sometime between 8.30pm and 10.15pm last night. If anyone has any information we would ask them to come forward."

Dr May said: "The police were great. Sometimes the police get a bad press but everything I have seen has impressed me. They are working very hard to maintain impartiality and fairness and to focus on keeping the peace."

This is the second year that the six-week culls are taking place in west Gloucestershire and west Somerset as part of the Department for Food and Rural Affairs package of measures to fight bovine TB. They are due to continue for a further two years.

Last year's culls had to be extended because the numbers of animals shot by official shooting companies licensed by Natural England fell far short of the number that it had been estimated were needed to reduce the population by 70 per cent. A three-week extension was granted, and the number of animals needed to be killed was also reduced.

The Government and farmers insist that culling is necessary to tackle TB in livestock, which saw more than 26,000 cattle slaughtered in England last year, but opponents say it is inhumane and ineffective and alternatives such as vaccination should be pursued.

Dr May and his Save Me Trust advocate vaccination of badgers, and ultimately of cattle. He is critical of the Government's claim that a vaccine for cattle, acceptable to the EU, is ten years away and cannot be achieved faster.

Last year an independent expert panel and Natural England monitored the cull. The independent experts found that controlled free-shooting could not deliver the level of culling needed and was not humane. Badgers can also be shot after being caught humanely in cage traps.

Yesterday when Dr May visited Stop The Cull's Camp Badger in West Somerset, Stop The Cull spokesman Jay Tiernan announced that a badger had been found dead with an abdomen wound two fields away from where shooters were working. It was found overnight on Sunday/Monday. Mr Tiernan declined to reveal the location and said a postmortem has yet to be carried out.

Dr May said: "It appears to be evidence that suffering is growing, and it is quite incredible that this cull is being continued without any monitoring, any monitoring from the independent expert panel."

An NFU spokesman said: "We have seen no evidence that a badger has been found. If one has been found there is no evidence to suggest it is associated with the cull."

Some wildlife experts including Sir David Attenborough argue that the cull could spread the disease because surviving badgers would move into new territory.

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**Tue 16 Sep 14**
PICTURES: BRIAN MAY VISITS BADGER CULL ZONE IN SOMERSET
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WESTERN MORNING NEWS
16 September 2014 by Scott Harrison

Brian May has paid an overnight visit to the controversial badger cull zone in Somerset.

Brian May with Badger Patrol

Brian May with members of the Somerset Badger Patrol

Brian May with Badger Patrol

Brian May with Badger Patrol

Brian May with Badger Patrol

More photos HERE

The Queen guitarist and vocal badger cull opponent was flanked by members of the Somerset Badger Patrol during his appearance last night and this morning at the opponents’ adopted home, dubbed Camp Badger.

Mr [Dr] May, who founded the Save Me Trust in 2010 to campaign against the possible repeal of the Hunting Act, has long argued against the controversial culls.

A spokesman for the patrol said this morning: “As the second week of the Somerset badger cull gets under way, we are so pleased that Brian was able to come last night and meet us at Cleeve Abbey, near Washford. It has given us a great morale booster. The first week seems to have been very quiet but we’re expecting to hear more shooting as the days go by. However, we are determined to keep walking the footpaths both night and day to maintain our peaceful opposition to the badger cull which, as we all know, the Government seems determined to keep as secret as possible. So much is still unknown not least the cost of the culls so far.

“Now, without an Independent Expert Panel’s assessment, the Government has lost whatever shred of scientific credibility it had at the beginning of all this and thanks to all our members, we are resolved to be the eyes and ears on the ground to keep this issue alive,” they continued. “The Government doesn’t seem to care whether these badgers are killed humanely and they certainly don’t care about testing them for TB which begs the question, why don’t they care about our wildlife?”

Prior to his visit, Mr May issued a statement with the Save Me Trust, which read: “It is fantastic that these people are out at night to patrol and take care of any wounded badgers. Badgers are very intelligent with the same emotional level and pain capacity as our very own pet dogs. Many of the wounded will be cubs just a few months old and we wanted to say thank you to these amazing people who are protecting them. We do not support the cull and are advocating vaccination... It is a realistic approach that is both affordable and achievable. It seems the public are with us, as this rates as the fifth most important issue on a MORI poll of MPs.”

Mr May and members of the Save Me Trust were also due to visit a similar camp in Gloucester, the only other county in England to be undertaking a cull in a bid to eradicate the devastating spread of bovine TB into cattle.

The Environment department, Defra, claimed that England now has the highest incidence of bovine TB in Europe and said “doing nothing is not an option”.

A spokesman said the eradication policy represents a “comprehensive strategy, including tighter cattle movement controls, vaccinations and culling. Culling has worked in other countries and leading vets agree that it needs to be part of our strategy in England,” the Defra spokesman added. We have always been clear that the Independent Expert Panel were asked to assess the first six weeks in the first year of the culls only.”

Defra also said there was “good evidence” that a third of badgers in TB hotspots have the disease. “We do not have a reliable test to identify infected badgers from healthy ones,” a spokesman added.

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**Tue 16 Sep 14**
BBC WILDIFE MAGAZINE INTERVIEW BRIAN IN THE CULL ZONE
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BBC WILDLIFE MAGAZINE SAY:"We interviewed Brian May about his work with Team Badger last night.

Look out for podcast in next 10 days or so."

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**Mon 15 Sep 14**
QUEEN GUITARIST BRIAN MAY JOINS BADGER PATROLS IN NEWENT AS CULL DEBATE HOTS UP
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GLOUCESTER CITIZEN
15 Septmber 2014 by Maryam Qaiser

Brian with Badger Patrol
Brian May joined Wounded Badger Patrols

BADGER cull protesters in the Forest of Dean were given a boost this week when Queen guitarist Brian May visited a group preparing to go out on patrol. May - a figurehead for the anti-cull campaign - spent an hour with more than 20 cull opponents near Newent on Monday night to show his support as they set to go out on a wounded badger patrol. The former Queen guitarist, who founded the Save Me Trust in 2010 to campaign against the possible repeal of the Hunting Act, has long argued against the controversial culls.

His visit was the first of two to cull zones this week with the musician also spending time yesterday in Somerset - the only other county in England to be undertaking a cull in a bid to eradicate the spread of bovine TB into cattle.

Speaking to the Citizen in Newent, he said: “I am here to show support to these people who have given up their time. I am very disappointed with culling. Last year was a disaster in every way. Culling is inhumane and it needs to be stopped. Those who cull, are going out doing the same thing, but are expecting different results. I think killing is not the solution. I don’t think culling will stop until the Government is removed. It is a tragedy, some people do not respect animals and they think humans are more important.

“Last year’s cull in Newent was illuminating. It was a peaceful patrol with peaceful people. I really feel strongly about culling and something needs to change.”

Marion Oakley travelled from Kent to take part in the patrol. She said: “We need to stop culling and look at vaccinations. Many places, including Wales, have used this method and it has reduced TB by 50 per cent. It costs more to cull than it does to vaccinate badgers. I recently went to a demonstration in London and a lot of awareness about culling was raised around the world.”

A spokesman from Gloucestershire Against Badger Shooting said: “We are delighted to welcome Brian May back to support us on patrol in the cull zone.
Ultimately whatever our efforts in the media and in the courts, it all comes down to boots on the ground. That’s why we and all the other groups and individuals involved are out every night, saving every badger we can from this pointless, irrational slaughter.”

However, NFU Gloucestershire County chairman, Andrew Guest said: “I am disappointed with the badger patrols. Farmers going out there come rain or shine to put food on the nation’s table. It seems a shame that people come from outside the area cause a bit trouble and then head back and live their sweet lives.”

No arrests relating to the cull have been made in Gloucestershire so far.

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**Mon 15 Sep 14**
BADGER CULL 'IS POLITICAL POISON'  - POLL REVEALS CULL 5TH MOST COMMON COMPLAINT TO MPs
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Badger TrustTHE BADGER TRUST
Badger Cull 'is Political Poison' - Poll Reveals Cull is Fifth Most Common Complaint to MPs

Prior to Major Party Conference Debate, Wildlife Charities Call on Labour Party to Oppose the Cull in its Manifesto

The badger cull has become a hugely controversial issue in Westminster with a new poll from MORI confirming that it is the fifth most common issue of complaint to MPs from constituents in the last twelve months, ranking above issues such as pensions, child care and taxes.

Twenty five anti-cull marches have been held in towns and cities across England in the last twelve months, from London to Manchester and Bristol to Leeds. These events have brought together tens of thousands of people and generated a huge amount of media and political interest.

As the Badger Trust wins the right to take its legal challenge on the lack of independent monitoring of the badger culls to the Court of Appeal, it will be joining with Care for the Wild to host a major debate on the badger cull policy at the Labour Party Conference in Manchester on Monday 22 September

The debate, to be chaired by the Labour MP and Deputy Speaker Dawn Primarolo, features a panel including the Shadow Animal Welfare Minister Angela Smith MP; CEO of the Badger Trust and Policy Advisor Care for Wild, Dominic Dyer; member of the Independent Expert Panel for the cull, Professor Tim Coulson and dairy farmer Phil Latham.

Speaking in advance of the event, Dominic Dyer of the Badger Trust and Care for the Wild said:

"The badger cull is political poison in Westminster. The MORI poll confirms that MPs from all parties are being inundated with complaints from constituents calling for it to end. We will therefore be seeking confirmation at the Labour Party Conference that its Manifesto for 2015 will contain a clear commitment to halt all further badger culling, including the pilot culls in Gloucestershire and Somerset which are due to return in 2015.

“Wildlife protection is now a key political issue in the UK and millions of voters want a clear choice on the badger cull issue at the next election. By pledging in its Manifesto to stop badger culling and pursue a bovine TB reduction policy based on cattle based measures, backed up by badger and cattle vaccination against TB, the Labour Party will be providing this choice.”

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**Mon 15 Sep 14**
BRIAN MAY TO VISIT NEWENT TO JOIN BADGER CULL PATROL
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GLOUCESTER NEWS CENTRE
15 September 2014

Queen guitarist and animal campaigner Brian May and the Save Me Trust will be heading to the Gloucester and Somerset cull zones at the start of this week.

May will visit the Gloucester cull zone today, arriving in Newent mid afternoon, and then be in Somerset the following day, Tuesday September 16, to visit Camp Badger. The visits are being made to again show May and the Save Me Trust’s support for the wounded badger patrols operating in these two areas.

A statement issued by May and the Save Me Trust ahead of their visit says:

“We rescue and rehabilitate wildlife at our head quarters in Surrey and know only too well of the pain badgers can suffer at the hand of humans.

“It is fantastic that these people are out at night to patrol and take care of any wounded badgers. Badgers are very intelligent with the same emotional level and pain capacity as our very own pet dogs. Many of the wounded will be cubs just a few months old and we wanted to say thank you to these amazing people who are protecting them.

“We spent some time down there last year to meet the night walkers who give up their sleep, work and time to care for our wildlife. Their dedication is inspiring.

“We do not support the cull and are advocating vaccination, but we aren’t just talking about it we are actively doing something about it. It is a realistic approach that is both affordable and achievable. Following this policy, the cull zone cost would have been one tenth of its present level and would actually stand a chance of making the badger population TB free. However unless the farm that holds the infection and the cattle therein are tested and treated the whole cycle will start again. With 95% of the transmission carried between cattle to cattle, we would have to be mad to ignore it. We must not forget that during the badger cull years of 1999 – 2009, one zone in Cornwall saw bTB rise from 0.5% of the population to 10%, showing clearly that culling does not help reduce bTB in cattle and actually increases the bTB burden in badgers.

“It seems the public are with us, as this rates as the fifth most important issue on a MORI poll of MPs.

“Vaccination is used as an obvious control throughout the world and certainly among farming communities where livestock is routinely vaccinated within the first few months of its life.

“In Europe, rabies was never controlled by culling. It only halted when vaccination was used on a large scale. In the UK, the badger cull is ill advised by all peer reviewed science. The government’s own scientific research shows that it will not help control the spread of bovine TB in cattle.

“Badgers uniquely live in small but very defined territories making them easy and obvious to vaccinate.

“We are supporting the Badger and Cattle vaccination Initiative www.BACVI.co.uk as the only viable and feasible option and a viable alternative to culling and have already started vaccinating in three areas of the UK.

“The cost of cage trapping and free shooting is astronomical. It is estimated at £20 million for last year’s cull and the damning report received from the government Independent Expert Panel (IEP) has determined that the cull is unsafe, inhumane, ineffective and now financially unviable.

“We will be meeting the night walkers on Monday and Tuesday to support and thank their brave patrols.

“Brian has just come back from a hugely successful world tour as Queen and is now keen to revisit the cull zones supporting UK wildlife against this policy that defies science.”

Gloucestershire Against Badger Shooting (GABS), a member of the Team Badger coalition, said “We are delighted to welcome Brian May back to support us on patrol in the cull zone. Ultimately whatever our efforts in the media and in the courts, it all comes down to boots on the ground. That’s why we and all the other groups and individuals involved are out every night, saving every badger we can from this pointless, irrational slaughter.”

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**Sun 14 Sep 14**
QUEEN GUITARIST BRIAN MAY TO HEAD TO THE FOREST OF DEAN TO JOIN BADGER CULL PATROL
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BRIAN MAY CONFIRMS ON SOAPBOX

GLOUCESTER CITIZEN
14 September 2014

Brian with badger patrol 2013

Queen guitarist Brian May will visit Gloucestershire on Monday to protest
against the second pilot badger cull in Gloucestershire.

Queen guitarist Brian May will visit Newent on Monday to protest against the second pilot badger cull in Gloucestershire.

The rock star and the Save Me Trust will visit the Gloucester cull zone on Monday arriving in Newent mid afternoon, and then be in Somerset on Tuesday to visit Camp Badger.

The visits are to show May and the Save Me Trust’s support for the wounded badger patrols operating in these two areas.

A statement issued by May and the Save Me Trust ahead of their visit said “We rescue and rehabilitate wildlife at our head quarters in Surrey and know only too well of the pain badgers can suffer at the hand of humans.

“It is fantastic that these people are out at night to patrol and take care of any wounded badgers.

"Badgers are very intelligent with the same emotional level and pain capacity as our very own pet dogs. Many of the wounded will be cubs just a few months old and we wanted to say thank you to these amazing people who are protecting them.

“We spent some time down there last year to meet the night walkers who give up their sleep, work and time to care for our wildlife. Their dedication is inspiring.

A spokesman for Gloucestershire Against Badger Shooting (GABS), a member of the Team Badger coalition, said “We are delighted to welcome Brian May back to support us on patrol in the cull zone. "Ultimately whatever our efforts in the media and in the courts, it all comes down to boots on the ground.  That's why we and all the other groups and individuals involved are out every night, saving every badger we can from this pointless, irrational slaughter."

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**Thu 11 Sep 14**
STEPHEN HAWKING WOULD BE HAPPY TO DIE IN SPACE
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DAILY MAIL
11 September 2014 by Annabel Grosssman

  • ‘It’d be a good way to go!’: Professor Stephen Hawking reveals he’d be happy to die in space after being offered a trip on Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic
  • Astrophysicist said he would love to go to the moon or outer space
  • But he fears that doctors will not allow him to make the trip
  • Will be speaking at the Starmus festival later this month
  • Has also expressed his concern that there are not more women in science
  • But he is 'encouraged' to see number of women in astrophysics increasing

He has dedicated his life to uncovering the mysteries of the universe and has unearthed some of the greatest scientific finds of our time by studying outer space. So it is perhaps fitting that Professor Stephen Hawking should want to spend his final moments drifting among the moon, stars and planets he has always been so fascinated by.

The astrophysicist has revealed that he's been offered a trip into space aboard Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic - and far from being daunted by the prospect, he added that he would be quite happy if this was the way he died.

Stephen Hawking

Professor Stephen Hawking would like to spend his final moments drifting among the moon, stars and planets

Speaking exclusively to MailOnline, he said: 'I would love to go to the Moon, or to go into space. I was due to go into space with Virgin Galactic, courtesy of Richard Branson, but I fear the doctors won’t allow it. It would be a good way to go.' In fact, the astrophysicist reckons we should all start thinking about making the trip to space if the human race has any hope of surviving the next thousand years. He added: 'The human race faces great dangers. I don’t think it will survive another thousand years unless it spreads out into space, so that all its eggs are not in one basket, or on one planet.'

Professor Hawking, 72, who is widely considered the most famous living scientist, was speaking ahead of the Starmus 2014 Festival, which brings together some of the most brilliant minds in astronomy.

He said: 'I would love to go to the Moon, or to go into space. I was due to go into space with Virgin Galactic, courtesy of Richard Branson, but I fear the doctors won’t allow it. It would be a good way to go.'

Professor Hawking, 72, who is widely considered the most famous living scientist, was speaking ahead of the Starmus 2014 Festival, which brings together some of the most brilliant minds in astronomy.  He will be speaking about quantum theory, and how this allows for the extraordinary idea of the existence of many possible universes.

'In a sense, they all exist together,' he said. 'Many of them are unsuitable for any form of life. Thus our presence selects the small subset compatible with our existence. This is called the Anthropic principle.'

The festival will see Hawking joined by the likes of Richard Dawkins, Brian May, Nobel Prize winners Robert Wilson and Sir Harold Kroto, and astronauts Walt Cunningham and Charlie Duke from the Apollo 7 and Apollo 16 missions.

With past speakers including Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin, Starmus - which this year takes place in the Canary Islands between 22 and 28 September - has become one of the most important dates in the astronomy calender.

But it's not all hard work. Hawking revealed that - with Brian May and Rick Wakeman among their numbers - the scientists would have plenty of time to kick back and relax with some live music in the Spanish sunshine.

He said: 'The science community is dedicated and serious, but it can let its hair down, and enjoy itself. [At Starmus] we will unwind by listening to rock music, and watching dance grounds. I like rock music. It is extreme, like Wagner of whom I’m also a fan.'

Rick Wakeman
 
Brian May

Brian May and Rick Wakemen will be two of the live
music acts performing at the Starmus festival

Astrophysicist Garik Israelin, founder and director of the Starmus, said he couldn't quite believe it when Hawking agreed to speak at the festival and credits him with raising the profile of the event.

'People love Stephen Hawking, everyone knows him,' Mr Isralian said. 'He is a symbol of someone who can fight.
Astronaut Neil Armstrong made a one of his very rare appearances at the first Starmus festival in 2011

Astronaut Neil Armstrong made a one of his very rare appearances at the first Starmus festival in 2011. Moonwalker Buzz Aldrin is another famous astronaut to have spoken at the inaugural Starmus festival.

But although Starmus will see some high-profile speakers take to the stage, Mr Israelian explained that amateur astronomers were at the heart of the festival. He said: 'There are no events like this where we can get amateurs and huge names all together. It’s important to remember that it's a festival not a conference. 'It’s just a big party where you learn. We have tried to combine pleasure with education and make sure everything is fun. We let people enjoy their time during the day and then they are invited to listen to four really high profile speakers each evening.'

Professor Hawking agreed that this was the aim of Starmus and insisted that he will be directing his talks at an amateur audience. He said: 'I hope the non-specialist audience takes away the idea that the origin of the universe did not require the hand of God, but can be explained by the laws of science.'

A Starmus book with a foreword by Stephen Hawking is being published in time for the festival.

CONTINUES HERE

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**Thu 11 Sep 14**
AUTHOR PENS BOOK AS VOICE AGAINST CRUELTY - FOREWORD BRIAN MAY
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HASTINGS & ST LEONARDS OBSERVER
11 September 2014

Kim Stallwood and dog ShellyA new book championing the welfare of animals has been published.bHastings author Kim Stallwood, of Swan Avenue, penned. The book describes his journey from a meat-eating slaughterhouse worker to a vegan and activist.

Opposite: Kim Stallwood and his dog Shelly

Mr Stallwood’s dedication for the animals’ cause was sparked during childhood – an elderly lady rescuing dogs, having to take part in dissection during biology lessons, and seeing dolphins swimming desperately around a tiny aquarium. When he was a student he worked one summer in a chicken slaughterhouse and saw what he describes as ‘institutionalised animal exploitation’. He became a vegetarian in 1974 and a vegan two years later.

Since 1976, Mr Stallwood has held leadership positions with animal welfare organisations, such as Compassion In World Farming, British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection, RSPCA, and Vegan Society in the UK, as well as People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, Animals and Society Institute, and Minding Animal International in the USA, where he worked for 20 years. He said: “We may not be able to save the world. But we can save the world that is ours, including the animals we share the planet with.”

GrowlMr Stallwood’s book has received the support of Dr Brian May, legendary guitarist and founding member of Queen.

He said: “I was honoured to be asked to write a foreword for Kim Stallwood’s definitive book about the journey of men and women towards decency. I believe this book is important enough to be essential reading for anyone who has begun to listen to what their conscience says, as regards how we, as humans, behave towards the other beings on Earth, whether human or nonhuman.” Continues

There will be a reading and book signing with Mr Stallwood at Book Buster [39 Queens Road Hastings] on Saturday (September 20) at 5pm, with copies on sale for £15.99.

 

Available in Kindle ediion and paperback on Amazon

Growl: Life Lessons, Hard Truths, and Bold Strategis from an Animal Advocate
Kim Stallwood (Author), Brian May (Foreword)

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**Wed 10 Sep 14**
FANS MEET BRIAN AFTER FINAL AUCKLAND SHOW
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Markus Wanner sent this:

I have found this wonderful video on youtube which shows Dr. May has met some fans in the middle of a street in Auckland. I do love to see these big moments, he is the nicest rock star in the world! There are not many stars who took time for their fans. My biggest respect for that, he's wonderful. Hope they will continue the tour in Europe later!

Many greetings from Switzerland
Markus


Fans meet Brian May after Queen + Adam Lambert 4th September Auckland
- http://youtu.be/kE4Vpms27XQ

Hamish Gavin
Published on 5 Sep 2014
Brian took the time to meet fans and sign some autographs after the final show of the Queen + Adam Lambert US/Asia/Australasia tour.

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**Wed 10 Sep 14**
SONIC UNIVERSE CONCERT COMPETITION!
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Win a FREE Ticket to see Rick Wakeman and special guest Brian May live on stage in Tenerife on 26th September.

Three lucky people will have the opportunity to attend the Sonic Universe Concert at the Magma Congresos & Arte in Tenerife, on Friday, 26th September.

All you have to do is come up with a "tagline" (a memorable phrase or sentence) that will capture people's imagination, and can be used on the festival's website to promote the concert. Please note the competition closes on Friday, 19th September.

Click here: http://bit.ly/1oJAjws

Sonic Universe poster

Ticket links: Ticketmaster | El Corte Ingles | Magma
Starmus.com

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**Tue 10 Sep 14**
BADGER PATROLLERS NEED ADDITIONAL VOLUNTEERS
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An appeal from the Badger Trust:

Badger TrustTHE BADGER TRUST
10 September 2014

We are sending this message on behalf of those campaigning peacefully in the West Somerset and West Gloucestershire cull areas – now that the shooting of badgers has started for the second year, they desperately need additional volunteers to supplement their existing resources. Whatever time you can give will be appreciated and your presence may help to prevent the death of a completely healthy badger. Even one evening can make a difference so please contact them.

The key message from the Somerset and Gloucestershire Badger Patrols is:

We are a peaceful presence in the countryside. Law abiding and non-confrontational, we:

• Walk along roads and public footpaths within the cull area
• Never intimidate land owners
• Inform the police of our intentions and whereabouts
• Respect the countryside code
• Make new friends with likeminded people

Get in touch:

E: somersetbadgerpatrol@talktalk.net
M: 0789 960 4217
F: Facebook.com/Somerset-Badger-Patrol

E: info@Glosagainstbadgershooting.org
Website: www.glosagainstbadgershooting.org

Thank you for reading this and please help if you possibly can.

Kind regards,
Pat Hayden,Vice Chairman.

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**Tue 09 Sep 14**
BADGER CULL PROTESTERS SPEND £50,000 ON 'TECHNOLOGY WAR' AGAINST FARMERS
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Brian adds as comment to this article …

"Of course the war is not with the farmers - the war is with bovine TB. And what the Government is doing is likely to make things worse for farmers - see the new Rosie Woodroofe article at theconversatiom.com.

Time to stop wasting the tax-payers money on window dressing - a cull that has already failed miserably - and get serious about eradicating bTB at source - in cattle farming, and ensure the future health of cows AND badgers by vaccination. See also the BACVI website." - Brian May

THE TIMES
9 September 2014 by Ben Webster Environment Editort

Caged badger

Poor marksmanship had increased the risk of badgers dying slow and painful deaths,
a report found. Adrian Sherratt/The Times

Protesters will use night-vision goggles and heat-seeking equipment to disrupt plans to shoot at least 900 badgers in the next six weeks.

Anti-cull groups have spent about £50,000 on specialist equipment that they hope will make it easier for them to spot marksmen operating at night on farms, and also help them find badgers trapped in cages. The Badger Trust said that the equipment, funded by donations, was similar to that being used by the marksmen to kill badgers in Somerset and Gloucestershire and would give the protesters a greater chance of saving some of the animals.

The culls are expected to resume this week, with farmers having a licence to kill at least 615 badgers in Gloucestershire and 316 in Somerset. The government says that culling is necessary to reduce bovine tuberculosis, which resulted in more than 26,000 cattle being slaughtered last year.

The trust points to a report by an independent panel of experts on the first year of culling, which found that poor marksmanship had increased the risk of badgers dying slow and painful deaths. Dominic Dyer, the trust’s chief executive, said the night-vision goggles and heat-seeking equipment would help protesters find wounded badgers.

“It’s going to be a bit of a technology war down there. This equipment will also make it more difficult for the contractors to operate in darkness because the protesters will be able to spot them.

“If badgers have been trapped in cages, people will find them and let them out before they can be shot.”
Mr Dyer said that about 500 people would be involved in “active disruption” and hundreds more would be “walking the lanes in peaceful protests”. He said that cage-trapping was likely to be used more frequently now because the culling contractors had found it difficult last year to kill enough badgers through “free shooting”.

A farmer said yesterday that his herd had been declared TB-free for the first time in more than a decade after 92 badgers were shot during last year’s cull on his 500-acre farm. The farmer, identified only as “James” on BBC Radio 4’s Farming Today, said: “In the last 12 months not much has changed — the [cattle] are all on the same diets and in the same buildings — except for this badger cull. I am not a great one for sticking a knife into the badger as the sole culprit, but it does seem rather coincidental perhaps that after taking 92 badgers off our farm, we now have gone clear [in TB tests].”

George Eustice, the farming minister, said there had been better training of marksmen this year to help ensure badgers were killed instantly.

The independent panel, which criticised last year’s cull for failing to meet targets for humane treatment and effectiveness, will not be assessing this year’s cull. A spokesman for the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs said field observations would be made by Natural England.

The spokesman added: “We have a comprehensive strategy to make England TB-free, including strict cattle movement controls and badger vaccination. But overseas experience shows that we will not beat the disease without also culling badgers where the disease is rife.”

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**Tue 09 Sep 14**
QUEEN ROCK LEGEND BRIAN MAY SUPPORTS CARE UK STRIKE
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SEE SOAPBOX COMMENT

THE STAR
9 September 2014

Brian May joining Care UK strikers
Brian May joining Care UK strikers protesting at the headquarters
of private equity company Bridgepoint in London

Legendary musician Brian May joined striking Doncaster Care UK workers at a protest in London.

May, who achieved international fame as the lead guitarist of the rock band Queen, turned up to support strikers at the headquarters of private equity company Bridgepoint in London.

Members of Unison working for Care UK travelled to London to demonstrate outside the offices.

They are involved in one of the longest running disputes in the history of the NHS, having launched a further three-week walkout following months of action.

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**Tue 09 Sep 14**
QUEEN GUITARIST BRIAN MAY BRANDS SECOND BADGER CULL IN GLOUCESTERSHIRE A “DISGRACE”
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GLOUCESTERSHIRE ECHO
9 September 2014

Brian May
Dr Brian May

Queen guitarist Dr Brian May has said the second badger cull in Gloucestershire is a “disgrace” that will rebound on the Government at election time.

The first badgers of the 2014 cull were shot last night in Somerset and Gloucestershire as the six week programme to reduce numbers in an effort to bring bovine TB under control got under way.

Dr May, from the Save Me Trust, said:

"It's almost beyond belief that the Government is blundering ahead with a second year of inept and barbaric badger killing. TB in cattle in England is currently at it lowest level in 10 years, the drop being predictably the result of improved husbandry in cattle. So this is a most inappropriate moment for [Prime Minister David] Cameron to be wasting tax payers' money persecuting our wildlife against the advice of every independent scientist in the field; even the Government's own expert panel has branded the cull as ineffective and inhumane.

Current revelations from a whistle blower damn the process even more - making it clear that the numbers the present shooters are working towards are completely unreliable. This cull is a failure and a disgrace - no more than the fulfilment of a dirty promise - which will rebound on this Government at election time."

Campaigners against the cull launched their evening Wounded Badger Patrols in anticipation for the start of the shooting last night. Dozens of patrollers from across the country signed up to join the nightly walk last night.

Culling is allowed for a maximum of six weeks between June 1 and January 31.

Targets have been set for the number of badgers to be shot with a minimum of 615 in Gloucestershire and 316 in Somerset, the other county targeted for culling. The maximum number of badgers to be killed has been set at 1,091 in Gloucestershire and 785 in Somerset.

The cull, managed by Natural England, remains hugely contentious with opponents wanting an emphasis on vaccination and tighter cattle movement measures. However, farmers and the Government insist a cull of badgers is needed to stop spiralling rates of TB in herds.

Team Badger, representing 25 different organisations including the Save Me Trust, is calling for the cull to be cancelled.

Defra confirmed this morning that the cull has begun. Gloucestershire police said there had been no arrests.

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**Tue 09 Sep 14**
'51 DEGREES' MOVIE IN DIGITAL FILMMAKER MAGAZINE
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Check out article about the 51 Degrees movie in this month's Digital FilmMaker, Issue 18. The film will premiere at the STARMUS Festival in Tenerife, later this month... And did we mention Brian May's involvement with the project, on a musical front.... he wrote the music for the film !!!

EXTRACT:

THE FEARLESS FILMMAKER
Grigorij Richters is the filmmaker behind the bold new feature-length sci-fi project, "51 Degrees", that was made with minimal budget and plenty of guerrilla tactics.

“The film is about Damon Miller, a filmmaker who is tasked to capture the last moments of life on Earth before it collides with an asteroid," so says Grigorij Richters when he first contacts Digital FilmMaker to tell all about this curious new project….

Digital Filmmaker cover


Sample page from article...

Digital Filmmaker preview

DIGITAL FILMMAKER
Subscriptions: www.selectps.com / Digital: www.pocketmags.com & iTunes
Twitter: @DFM_magazine

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**Mon 08 Sep 14**
PRESS RELEASE: POLITICS TWO, BADGERS NIL, AS THE GUNS START AGAIN IN THE CULL ZONES
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Badger TrustFor Immediate Release:

THE BADGER TRUST
8 September 2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

News that badger culling has started again in Gloucestershire and Somerset has been greeted with sadness and anger by animal welfare and wildlife protection groups.

The government has issued licences for the further killing of badgers (a protected species), despite huge question marks over the effectiveness and humaneness of the 2013 pilot culls from its own Independent Expert Panel and from the Chief Scientific Advisor at Natural England, who has called the policy an "epic failure".

The government has shelved plans to roll out culls to a further ten areas per year, for four years, in England, but has pledged to continue in Somerset and Gloucestershire for a further two years should they be re-elected in May 2015. The Labour Party by contrast has confirmed it will bring an immediate halt to all badger culling should it form a Government. They will also implement a strategy for bovine TB (bTB) reduction based on the Welsh model, which has reduced new incidents of the disease by 48% in the last five years by implementing cattle based measures, with no badger culling.

A Judicial Review challenge by the Badger Trust on the need for independent monitoring of the cull operators failed and is now likely to go before the Court of Appeal. The shooting has begun again despite the growing political scandal on the public safety of the 2013 cull, following reports in the Sunday Times by a government employed cull monitor who has alleged that cull contractors risked the lives of the public by stalking and attempting to shoot badgers on a golf course and near residential housing. This has led to criminal investigations by the Gloucestershire Police in respect of the incident on the golf course and the Avon & Somerset police regarding the shooting near residential housing.

Dominic Dyer, CEO of the Badger Trust and Policy Adviser to Care for the Wild, said:

“This is a triumph of politics, pride and persecution over common sense and science. Potentially, almost 2,000 badgers could die – that’s more than last year – and for what? These culls are ill-conceived and incompetently managed, and will contribute nothing to reducing bTB in cattle. Here we have a government and the National Farmers’ Union pushing ahead with a policy simply because they don’t have the guts to admit that it is wrong, and a complete and utter disaster for the farming industry, tax payer and the protection of our native wildlife.

“The same discredited arguments are being wheeled out. They say no country has beaten bTB without culling wildlife – not true, the UK did it in the 1960s and 1970s. They say falling bTB rates in Ireland show that culling works – but the same reduction has been achieved in Northern Ireland without any culling. They say that ‘closed’ herds are being infected, so it can only be the badgers spreading the disease – but the bTB skin test misses 20% of infected cows, meaning they never know for sure that a herd isn’t hiding a sick cow.

“To cap it all, as the Chief Veterinary Officer for Wales told the Badger Trust Conference on the 29th August, in the past five years the Welsh Government has achieved a 48% drop in the number of cattle slaughtered due to bTB purely by increasing the amount of testing and thus ensuring sick cattle are less likely to be moved around. The answer to this mess is self-evident but the government is too stubborn to back down. Meanwhile, badgers will die, peaceful protesters will flock to the cull zones, neighbour will turn against neighbour, cattle will continue to contract bTB and farmers will continue to be sold false hope. What a sad and pathetic state of affairs.

Contacts:
Dominic Dyer CEO Badger Trust Tel: 07876 596233
Jack Reedy Badger Trust – Media Adviser Tel: 07751 731107 or 01564 783129

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**Sun 07 Sep 14**
PRESS RELEASE: STARMUS FESTIVAL AND STEPHEN HAWKING LAUNCH THE BOOK
"STARMUS, 50 YEARS OF MAN IN SPACE"
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  • Garik Israelian presents the first copy to Stephen Hawking, the author of the foreword, who later today sets out from Southampton to Tenerife to headline Starmus 2014

  • The organisation also releases unpublished material from the first festival: the video 108 minutes of the round table discussions and a video interview with the cosmonaut Alexei Leonov.

  • A book signing will be organized at the festival; the book will be available for sale at the festival and on the Starmus official website.

Stephen Hawking and Garik Israelian presenting Starmus Book

Stephen Hawking and Garik Israelian presenting the Starmus Book

TENERIFE, Spain, September 7, 2014 --

Just two weeks before the Starmus Festival 2014, the organisers launch Starmus, 50 years of man in space, a book about the first Starmus festival. During the launch, held in the British city of Southampton, Garik Israelian, the festival's founder, presented Stephen Hawking, the author of the foreword, with the first copy of the book, before Hawking set sail to Tenerife.

Islas Canarias logo

"I'm bringing with me the first copies of the Starmus book about the first Starmus Festival that took place in 2011. This is a historical document, because it contains the last lecture by Neil Armstrong and talks by the Soviet and Apollo astronauts, as well as the rest of the festival material. I wrote the foreword of the first Starmus book and I'm really looking forward to participating in the second edition" stated Professor Stephen Hawking.

"The history of Starmus seems as improbable as the Apollo 11 mission and the phenomenon of Stephen Hawking. This inspired us to publish the book in which we captured the incredible experience of Starmus for scientific dissemination" stated Garik Israelian.

The publication's editors in chief are Garik Israelian and Brian May, and the executive editor is David Eicher, the editor-in-chief of the Astronomy magazine. With a foreword by Hawking, the book is dedicated to Yuri Gagarin and Neil Armstrong and contains their published papers.

Together with the book the organisation has released unpublished material from the first festival: a video entitled 108 minutes about the round table discussion in the La Palma Observatory with a prestigious panel of speakers such as Neil Armstrong, Alexei Leonov, Brian May and Buzz Aldrin, among many others, as well as an interview with the cosmonaut Alexei Leonov.

Driven by Garik Israelian and sponsored by the Government of the Canary Islands and the Council of Tenerife, the second festival entitled Beginnings. The Making of the Modern Cosmos, to be held from the 22nd to 27th of September, will bring together a line-up of internationally renowned participants. According to its director: "Having Stephen Hawking, Brian May, Richard Dawkins and many other leading lights in Tenerife at the same time is like having an extremely unique supernova explode - a supernova that creates a black hole attracting enthusiasts from all over the world"

As a model astro-touristic destination, demonstrated by the EU Sky Route project, Tenerife will be an exceptional festival venue.

http://www.starmus.com


"108 minutes" video - GTC La Palma round table Starmus 2011 - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4fc-qEsyW_Q

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**Sun 07 Sep 14**
HAWKING:  GOD PARTICLE COULD DESTROY UNIVERSE
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Ahead of the Starmus Conference, Stephen Hawking writes today:

SUNDAY TIMES
7 September 2014 by Jonathan Leake, Science editor

Stephen Hawking
Hawking’s prediction would need an accelerator bigger than Earth to test, but scientists are
excited by the theoretical implications (Discovery Channel)

THE Higgs boson, once hailed as the God particle, may actually have the potential to destroy the universe, Professor Stephen Hawking has warned.

He suggests that, at very high energy levels, the Higgs could suddenly become unstable, causing a “catastrophic vacuum decay” that would cause time and space to collapse.

Such a disaster is, he stresses, very unlikely — and the fact that such a possibility even exists is exciting because it suggests a whole new realm of physics.

Hawking’s comments are contained in his preface to a new book, Starmus, out next month, containing lectures by renowned cosmologists and astronomers first given at a scientific conference of the same name.

In his preface, he says: “The Higgs potential has the worrisome feature that it might become metastable at energies above 100bn giga-electronvolts (GeV).

“This could mean that the universe could undergo catastrophic vacuum decay, with a bubble of the true vacuum expanding at the speed of light. This could happen at any time and we wouldn’t see it coming.”

Other scientists may be concerned at Hawking’s comments, not because he is wrong but for fear it might alarm the taxpaying public, which funds their experiments.

In particle accelerators, scientists push subatomic particles to ever-higher energies, using powerful magnetic and electric fields to accelerate them to near light-speeds, before smashing them together.

The idea of such experiments is to try to spot all the fragments coming out of such a collision, measuring their speeds, angles and energy levels in the hope that, once in a while, they will yield something new to science.

This is how, in 2012, scientists at Cern discovered the Higgs boson, by accelerating two beams of protons in opposite directions around a 17-mile ring of superconducting magnets and then smashing them together.

After many trillions of collisions, they found a few hundred where the debris ejected by the collisions was anomalous — suggesting the particles had finally generated the elusive particle first predicted by British physicist Peter Higgs in the early 1960s. The particle and its associated “Higgs field” are thought to be the mechanism that gives matter its mass.

Cern’s success means there is now pressure to build machines that are bigger and far more powerful. The Large Hadron Collider (LHC)at Cern is itself undergoing an upgrade that will double its power.

Hawking, however, suggests there is little danger to humanity or the universe yet — because the power of even the biggest planned machines is so far below what theory predicts would be needed to destabilise the Higgs field.

In the Starmus preface he adds, perhaps ironically: “A particle accelerator that reaches 100bn GeV would be larger than Earth, and is unlikely to be funded in the present economic climate.”

However, he goes on to suggest that the knowledge to be gained by finding out if the Higgs destabilises at high energies is too great to be ignored, saying: “If the Higgs potential is metastable, it places important constraints on the evolution of the universe.”

The best alternative approach, he suggests, is to look back at the very early universe, just after the Big Bang, when it went through a period of expansion known as inflation, during which the energies needed to disrupt the Higgs field might have been generated — and whose effects could still be seen today in the form of gravitational waves, a phenomenon that several teams are competing to detect. “Gravitational waves . . . could give us a unique view of the creation of the universe,” he said.

Hawking will today embark on a cruise from Britain to Tenerife where he will give two talks to the next Starmus conference (starmus.com), one on black holes and another on the origin of the universe.

Professor John Ellis, a theoretical physicist at Cern, said Hawking was right to suggest that the Higgs could become unstable at very high energy levels. “This is not an issue of risk. It illustrates something exciting, that there is new physics yet to be discovered.

“One thing should be made clear. The discovery of the Higgs boson at the LHC did not cause this problem, and collisions at the LHC could not trigger the instability, because their energies are far too low.”

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**Sun 07 Sep 14**
STARMUS BOOK: 50 YEARS OF MAN IN SPACE
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"Starmus", out next month, containing lectures by renowned cosmologists and astronomers first given at a scientific conference of the same name. Includes Brian May contribution and introduction by Dr Stephen Hawking

Starmus: 50 Years of Man in Space Hardcover – 9 Oct 2014 - PRE-ORDER
Hardcover: 192 pages
Publisher: Carlton Books (9 Oct 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1780975597
ISBN-13: 978-1780975597
Product Dimensions: 21 x 15 x 2.2 cm

Starmus is an incredible series of talks, articles and recollections that celebrate the human exploration of space. It is the result of the Starmus meeting in 2011, where legendary Russian and American pioneers of the space age met up for the first time to share the moments that electrified the human race. The next Starmus meeting is in September 2014. An all-star cast of international celebrities have joined forces in this book to discuss and celebrate man's first half century in space.

 

Starmus book

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**Fri 05 Sep 14**
COZY FANS CALL FOR HOMETOWN PLAQUE
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Cozy Powell

CLASSIC ROCK reports (2 September 2014):

Petition launched to have Cirencester recognise iconic drummer

Cozy Powell fans have launched an online petition to have the iconic drummer’s home town recognise his legacy with a plaque – and they’ve already received a favourable response from authorities.

Read more HERE

Petition page HERE

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**Fri 05 Sep 14**
PRESS RELEASE: QUEEN LEGEND BRIAN MAY SUPPORTS
NEW ZEALAND BAN ON COSMETICS ANIMAL TESTING
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Brian May supporting Be Cruelty Free, New Zealand

AUCKLAND (5 September 2014) — Rock guitar legend and founder of the Save Me Trust, Brian May, took time out from his Queen tour in Auckland, to urge New Zealand to help end the suffering of animals used to test cosmetics such as shampoo and mascara. As he prepared to rock out the Vector Arena, Brian met backstage with #BeCrueltyFree New Zealand campaigners who are leading efforts to achieve a national ban on cosmetics animal testing and the sale of cosmetics animal tested abroad.

The star, who tweeted a photo of himself wearing a #BeCrueltyFree tshirt, said:

"I am really shocked that in the twenty first century we are still subjecting animals to pain and suffering just to test vanity products like cosmetics. Not only does it sadden me as a compassionate human being, but it also stuns me as a scientist that companies, regulators and governments around the world are still relying on these woefully inadequate, out-dated animal tests when we know very well how unreliable they are. New Zealand has a great opportunity to say enough is enough, just like the European Union and India have already done. So I'm urging policy makers in this great country to join me in backing the #BeCrueltyFree campaign, please let's end cosmetics cruelty in New Zealand and the world once and for all."

#BeCrueltyFree New Zealand is headed by Humane Society International, the New Zealand Anti-Vivisection Society and Helping You Help Animals (HUHA), part of the largest campaign in the world to end cosmetics cruelty. So far, more than 60,000 people have sent #BeCrueltyFree e-cards to New Zealand’s party leaders.

Political support for a New Zealand ban has been growing. In March Green MP Mojo Mathers proposed introduction of a cosmetics animal testing ban as part of amendments to the Animal Welfare Act, and the Labour Party has also pledged a ban should it succeed at the upcoming national election. #BeCrueltyFree campaigners are determined to see the issue debated when Parliament reconvenes in November.

Stephen Manson, spokesperson for NZAVS, said: “Our #BeCrueltyFree campaign is thrilled to have the support of someone like Brian May. Not only is he respected globally for his music, but he is also an immensely important voice within animal protection campaigning and brings real gravitas to our call for New Zealand to end the cruel and unnecessary practice of cosmetics animal testing. We know that New Zealand’s politicians are listening, now we need them to act.”

Be Cruelty-Free campaigns are leading policy change across Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, India, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, Russia, Taiwan and the United States.

Brian May’s Save Me Trust is a non-profit organisation speaking out against the persecution and torture of wildlife for sport. But it’s not just foxes and badgers and other wild animals who are at risk. The Trust also periodically expresses support for other initiatives dedicated to ending animal cruelty. Today, Save Me Trust wishes to add its voice to Humane Society International and their campaign to end cosmetics tests on animals in New Zealand. We urge the New Zealand government to join with the European Union in banning the testing of cosmetics on animals (2009) and the marketing of newly animal-tested cosmetics which came into force in 2013.

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**Fri 05 Sep 14**
BRIAN MAY REMEMBERS FREDDIE MERCURY
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Friday (9/5) would have been late Queen singer Freddie Mercury’s 68th birthday. While the legendary performer is gone, his music lives on. Guitarist Brian May reflected on what made Freddie such a great frontman.

LISTEN HERE...

 
 

“Well Freddie just completely had the outrageous persona I suppose and he always was that way, he didn’t work at it, he didn’t decide he was going to play this part. He just was this guy who had a very unusual way of coming across and came from an unusual place I guess. He had an insane belief in himself which was wonderful, his driving force, and in us as his friends and partners in crime.”

Brian went on to describe how Freddie performed.

LISTEN HERE...

 
 

“I mean Freddie had the amazing voice but I think he also had this thing that he could also make people feel like they were making contact. So we could play things like Wembley Stadium, which up to that time, had not been done. People didn’t do it because they couldn’t really get across in this vast space but Freddie particularly had this knack of making everybody feel like they could be personally in contact and almost, I think he made them feel like they could do it too, you know, this business of singing along and stuff. He just had that kind of common touch I suppose. I don’t know what it’s called. It’s a kind of magnetism that he had.”

VH1 CLASSIC ROCK RADIO REPORT

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