brian's soapbox

DECEMBER 2018

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EXPERT OPINION - LETTERS

 

As always, the opinions expressed in these pages are purely and personally those of myself, Brian; they are not the official views of Queen, or of any other organisation or individual.

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**Mon 31 Dec 18**
NEW HORIZONS - MEETING THE NAVIGATORS
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I just wanted to remind us all of the wonderful past achievements of New Horizons - this flyby was over three years ago - giving mankind its very first view of this lone and distant world - which in my childhood was known only as a white dot. I was lucky enough to be there in the NH nerve centre when these two images arrived, and put them together to make this first stereo view.

Pluto flyby stereo

Pluto flyby stereo

Enjoy !! If when you free-view, Pluto looks like the inside of a hollowed out ping pong ball. And crossed eyes view.

Brian May and New Horizons team 29 December 2018

New Horizons !!! Meeting the Navigators ! I have 4 days to get reacquainted with the fantastic team who power the NH Mission. These guys have piloted the space probe 4 billion miles to the perfect placing which will allow New Horizons to sidle up close to an object never seen before by human eye - the Kuiper Belt Object known as “2014 MU69” - or “Ultima Thule”. Great excitement here - it’s exactly the moment when this mysterious tiny object begins to reveal its shape. Amazing stuff ! And at exactly 12.02 am Eastern Time we launch my New Horizons track !!! Hurrah !!!

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Me at my press call a couple of hours ago - in JHUAPL. 4 hours to go here before we count down into the New Year, and we premiere my theme for New Horizons ! It’s an eerie feeling !!!

Bri at John Hopkins University APL 31 Dec 2018 - Press call

Look ! A great 3-D visualisation of the New Horizons journey viewed from the OUTSIDE !!! From Claudia Manzoni - created from the Safari Pluto app.

3-D New Horizons journey - by Claudia Manzoni

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!!!

News Week 31122018

Bri

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**Sun 30 Dec 18**
OFF TO NEW HORIZONS TODAY - CONGRATULATIONS CHRIS PACKHAM
- OSIRIS REX
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OK Folks ! I’m off to New Horizons today. In their coming New Year, perhaps we ALL need New Horizons. I know I do.

Hands up anyone whose Christmas didn’t feel perfect ? Well, me too. I’m grateful for so much, but there are problems and pain in my life that I’m not able to fix, and I think Christmas magnifies this stuff. So this year I will keep busy (it helps!) and I will look for new horizons - new ways of looking at life and making the best of it. OK !

One more time - this time in WIDE SCREEN - the third ‘teaser trailer’ for my own New Horizons Track released on New Years Day - at 12.02 am Eastern Time - that’s 5.02 am in Britain. I’ll be counting down to the New Year for NASA New Horizons !! Watch for details !!!

CONGRATULATIONS Chris Packham on the well deserved award of your MBE. Thank you for your work fighting for British Wild Animals.

Bri and Chris Packham

Good luck to Dante Loretta and the OSIRIS REX Mission on their insertion into orbit around asteroid BENNU in New Years Eve. Amazing astro achievement ! My colleague CLAUDIA Manzoni seized an opportunity to make a synchronous stereo from OR’s recent pass over Bennu’s North Pole. Here it is - quite extreme in parallax, but very enjoyable, I think ! Free-View in parallel or use an OWL viewer.

Asteroid BENNU parallel stereo

OK !!! In response to popular demand !! Crossed-eyes version of Bennu’s North pole in 3-D ! Stare at this - Go cross-eyed - and enjoy !!


Asteroid BENNU - crosseyed stereo

Cheers folks !

Bri

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**Sat 29 Dec 18**
SECRET SANTA - and - PANIC AT THE DISCO
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Secret Santa at ‘Nativity! The Musical’ this afternoon [28 [Dec] at the ol’ Hammersmith Apollo. @nativityuk (it’s great, by the way - for all the family - very touching).


Brian May as Secret Santa at Nativity Musical 28 Dec 2018
- https://youtu.be/SxWU4gqncrc

Look at these guys ! Future stars ! Working hard at Nativity Musical - as was Santa tonight ! (28 Dec)

Brian as Secret Santa with young Nativity Musical actors

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Nice job, guys ! Big Big thanks ! Panic at the Disco performing live and dangerous at the American Music Awards.

Bri

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**Fri 28 Dec 18**
ANDROMEDA GALAXY- ULTIMA THULE: WHERE TO WATCH
- BAD BOY (AGAIN!)
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A brand new portrait of M31, the Andromeda Galaxy, the closest Spiral Galaxy to the Milky Way in which we live. Astonishingly, this was taken from the ground, IN ENGLAND !! At the New Forest Observatory by my friend Prof Greg Parker, with processing by Noel Carboni.

Approaching New Year, with my spirit struggling for reassurance, this lifts my perspectives to the infinite grandeur of the Universe.

For more wonders, Google these guys, and check out EPOD.usra.edu every day. (Earth Science Picture of the Day)

Bri


Earth Science Picture of the Day 28 December 2918 - by Greg Parker

Want to follow the amazing NASA encounter with MU69 at New Years Eve ? And witness the premiere of my new NEW HORIZONS music track ? Here’s how to do it. See you there !! I will be physically there in Maryland for this momentous moment !

Ultima Thule - where to watch


OK - I’m a bad boy (again!) - but I couldn’t resist capturing this moment, sitting in the small theatre in New York at the USA premiere of our film - BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY. This was my first opportunity to witness the effect that my arrangement of the FOX FANFARE would have on an audience not composed of Queen fans as such. And the very beginning of the film’s journey in the USA. Chills up the spine ! And now - as the film continues to smash records around the world (thanks folks !!)! I can’t resist sharing this early tentative moment. ******* The icing on the cake is the finishing touch we added in the mix suite - Freddie’s “Hey Hey Hey” at the end enables him to put his stamp on this opening declaration. And the finished piece is a clear signal to the audience, I think, that this movie got our (Rog and my) seal of approval. I think this will make me smile to my dying day !

Bri

Bri

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**Wed 26 Dec 18**
BOXING DAY
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5am start on Boxing Day ?!! No rest for the wicked. I’m going hunting. Wanna join us ? Clean Boot Hunting. With Compassionate Riders. No animal will be harmed, human or otherwise. You will see !



Brian May: Good Morning Wales ! - https://youtu.be/N_gi0EQkaMI

Good Morning Wales !!! I should probably explain.. over the last few years we’ve been supporting ‘Hunting the Clean Boot’. Fox-Hunting - actually pursuing foxes and tearing them apart with packs of dogs - has been illegal since the Hunting Act came into effect in 2005. But Boxing Day then became the day when the old school blood hunts paraded in British cities to declare their defiance, and celebrate the fact that they were still killing foxes. That is still going on in some places, and will doubtless be reported by the Telegraph again this year as a ‘victory for the countryside’. But the countryside is changing fast. On the whole country folk are eschewing cruelty like the rest of the country. Our great friend Byron John made his own decision to move from Fox Hunting to the humane and actually more challenging sport of hunting a human runner. He created the Three Counties bloodhounds and - in spite of abuse from all sides - including, mistakenly, some animal lovers - has spread this philosophy and practice with great success.

Save Me team on way to Wales

Good Morning !!! From the Save-Me executive team !!! On the way to support Byron John’s completely humane Boxing Day Clean Boot Hunt. Wanna come and see ? There’s an explanation of Clean Boot Hunting in my previous post. This is the future of Hunting in the UK. And no animal will be harmed. And they won’t be ‘accidentally’ chasing foxes ! That’s why, as Save-Me, we’re here. And there’s much more to say.

Byron John and Brian

With the Master of the Three Counties Bloodhounds. Byron John. Let’s go !

Bri and runners

With the intrepid RUNNERS ! Ready to be the quarry.

A very traditional scene. But these are bloodhounds - they are the world’s experts at following a scent - but the scent is of humans. No bloodshed today. 

The Master of the Hunt - Byron John - doing his welcome speech - and catching us by surprise !

The chase begins ! The runners are way ahead. So are the hounds !!! 

Gower Peninsular view - stereo

Fantastic view up here - looking over the entire Gower Peninsula - coincidentally (?) the site of our new campaign against Bovine TB in collaboration with the Gower farmers. The runners have passed us. The hounds are on the way !!

Five years ago, this sound would have filled me with dread and loathing - knowing that the end result was going to be an innocent animal being torn alive limb from limb. But these doggies are not trained to kill. They are excited to follow a human scent - and happy to accept some food and a cuddle as reward for successfully following the human line. As we shall see. It’s a great game for all involved.

Cuddles !!! Job done !! The happy ending of a hunt where all the boots are clean (clear of blood). A great day out !

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URGENT NEWS :

New Horizons Kuiper Belt Extended Mission

The coverage of the New Horizons fly-by on New Years Day is likely to be disrupted by Mr Trump’s shut-down. Both NASA TV and NASA social channels are now suspended. So if you want to follow the amazing KBO Encounter events from late December 31st onwards, follow @alanstern on Twitter, and @newhorizons2015. And watch this space for further news. At present my tribute track to New Horizons with dedicated video is still set to be premiered to the world at 12.02am (EST) 1st January 2019. That’s 5am Greenwich Mean Time (UK). Come what may, it will almost immediately thereafter be available on iTunes, and streamed on Spotify. See you there !!

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A precious rare gem ! My song, ‘39, from ‘A Night at the Opera album. Thanks Bryan Singer ! A lot of great Bo Rhap footage lies on the cutting room floor ! Perhaps some day we will see it all !!! What do you think, folks ?! 

Gotta love Rami Malek. You can bet Freddie would, too.

Bri

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**Tue 25 Dec 18**
MERRY CHRISTMAS ALL !!!
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Once again my pal Chiara has supplied me with the perfect Christmas card ! Thanks Chiara Tomaini - and it’s that time again ..... Merry Christmas folks !!! Peace on Earth and Good Will to all creatures !!

This is our London Stereoscopic Company Yuletide message ! Hurrah! Apologies for being so upbeat !! Hope your Christmas Day is proceeding well, folks. It’s not always as easy as it’s painted, is it ?! But ... Onwards ! With love - Bri

 

I always had a fondness for our little Queen Christmas song. But it never got much attention out there. Probably partly because it never had a video. So now maybe we have one - thanks to the wonderful team who made our Freddie film.

Merry Christmas all !!!

We’re makin’ the best of things !!! Hope you all are too

Bri

Brian and Anita making the the best of Christmas

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Just sayin’ .... No need to pressure people into doing what we do; we’re all on our own journeys. But I do find myself wondering - because I ate Turkey at Christmas for years - if we’ve all been the victims of brainwashing about ‘traditional’ Christmas fare by the advertising pressure from the producers of those unfortunate fattened birds. There’s a lot wrong with our society. I try to strike a blow for Common Decency every day. Which usually means smashing outdated and no longer acceptable beliefs and ‘traditions’. Here’s to re-evaluating everything with a compassionate sensibility in 2019. Wanna join me ?

Anita picture on Christmas table

A pretty face on a Christmas table accessory !! She’s a cracker !!! We’ll be watching this lady on TV tonight. There’s a choice ! Classic Angie getting her divorce papers on East Enders on the Drama Channel - or Orville and Dean at 9pm on ITV. Happily I get to see her in real life - but not for long - she’s journeying back up to Hull at 5am to do another 10 shows in Cinderella the Pantomime. Easy life ? Not entirely !! But we all makes our beds !

Aa ah ... from them Golden Days ... QUEEN at the old Wembley Stadium on Pick TV on Sky right now

Bri

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**Mon 24 Dec 18**
CAN YOU SEE MU69 ? NEW HORIZONS CAN !
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Can you see MU69 ? NEW HORIZONS CAN ! A version of this very first stereo image of the Kuiper Belt Object (KBO) also known as Ultima Thule is posted on the official New Horizons website. (I’m proud? !) it was created using the movement of this mysterious rock, over a few days, against the star background to give the necessary parallax - the small shift in position of the object. I challenge you to spot the object WITHOUT free viewing in stereo, or with an OWL or similar stereoscope! But, viewing in 3-D, you will see the faint white dot standing out. Clue: it’s very near the centre of the field. Swipe (twice) to zoom in, and it gets a little easier! http://pluto.jhuapl.edu/News-Center/News-Article.php?page=20181222

Tod Lauer, who processed these photographs into the form we see, says : 

As seen from the spacecraft, MU69 appears to be in the constellation of Sagittarius, hovering in front of the heart of the Milky Way, not far from the central plane of our galaxy. As such the field is filled with stars in the most crowded and rich area of the sky.

Each half of the pairs of images represents a combination of several dozen images taken with the NH LORRI camera to search for faint companions, rings, and dust clouds around MU69. The first sequence was taken on December 6 when NH was ~32,128,000 km from MU69. (61 30s images for a total exposure of ~ 30 minutes)

The second sequence was obtained a week later on December 13 when NH had closed to ~23,559,000 km from MU69. (40 30s images for 20m total exposure). Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory/ Southwest Research Institute/Brian May.

Thanks to Alan Stern.

Ultima Thule stereo

Ultima Thule stereo

NEW HORIZONS !!! - TO EXPLORE !! Here - just for fun - is a more graphic way of seeing the Kuiper Belt Object MU69 - Ultima Thule - which the amazing NEW HORIZONS spacecraft will visit on New Years Day. The probe is heading towards this rock at over 30,000 Miles per hour. This little video was made by successively zooming in on a similar stereo image to the one in my previous post. So the effect of the KBO hurtling towards us here is a convenient illusion ! ENJOY !!! Credit: NASA/John Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute/Brian May/ Claudia Manzoni. With thanks to Alan Stern.

Bri

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**Sun 23 Dec 18**
IT COULD BE FANTASY - AND - SHOCKING NEWS
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You know ... it COULD be just Fantasy ... certainly beyond MY wildest dreams ...

Carnaby Street 23 December 2018

Me and my boy !!! 

Bri and Jimmy - Carnaby Street 23 December 2018

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Such sad and shocking news. Sending prayers to you guys in Seventeen and all who are suffering from this tragedy.

Bri

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**Sat 22 Dec 18**
FILMING TODAY
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Update on Philomena, our 3-legged rescue hedgehog pal. Remember her hair-raising op ? Well, she’s doing really well. A little plump ! But she’ll soon shed that, once she’s back outside in the Spring, running about. We were filming today for the follow-up TV special to ‘Meet the Hedgehogs’. The screech in the background here is Claudia, the director, being playfully pecked by our resident talking magpie, who is called OWL ! (long story - tell you later !) thanks for all your good wishes for Phil - she will appear again soon.

Philomena and me this afternoon.

Bri

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**Fri 21 Dec 18**
TEASERS
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Widesceen Teasers open in new window. Then click on the small cental image to open in large format.

EPISODE 1
New Horizons 1min video footage_KJF1_6.mov

EPISODE 2
New Horizons 1min video footageT2_KJF1_17.mov

EPISODE 3
New Horizons 1min video footageT3_KJFv2_1.mov

Ultima Thule Episode 3

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**Thu 20 Dec 18**
NEW HORIZONS EPISODE 3 !!!
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New Horizons EPISODE 3 !!! Final teaser clip for the track which will be broadcast in full on NASA TV 12.02 am EST on New Years Day. That’s 5.02 am Greenwich Mean Time ! From then on, the track should be available on iTunes, Spotify, etc. At this time the song will be beamed a million miles beyond Pluto to the New Horizons space probe, as it performs its flyby of Ultima Thule - Kuiper Belt Object, and the most distant rock ever to be visited by the human race.

 

Bri

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