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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**Wed 19 Dec 18**
THE TRAGEDY OF THE BADGER CULL
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Perhaps some of us have got used to the idea of the badger cull ? Just politics, and perhaps something that’s necessary to solve a farming problem ?

But the truth is this is the worst atrocity against British wildlife in history.  It’s persecution on an almost unimaginable scale. 33,000 animals killed ?  Imagine driving down a road for 18 miles.  The bodies of these creatures laid end to end would stretch all the way along - 18 miles of the dead, completely innocent families of our native badgers.  In terms of animal cruelty, the Badger Cull is the national disgrace of our times.  The fact that it has achieved NOTHING towards lessening the incidence of TB in cattle, and NOTHING to alleviate the suffering of cattle farmers, makes this a tragic and unforgivable abuse.  

Nobody can cite any of the reports to date to support the claim that the badger cull is working to combat bovine TB in cattle.  Even the controversial Bunton et al paper, which has been falsely used to justify the cull, says "it would be unwise to draw conclusions” from the existing data, and the recent Godfray Report to Michael Gove says “it is wrong, we believe, to overemphasise the role of wildlife” in the spread of Bovine TB.  

New work has established that the routes of re-infection reside in the herd, in undetected shedding cows.  The project we (Save-Me) have now undertaken in The Gower Peninsula in cooperation with the Welsh farmers and the Welsh Government, is modelled on Dick Sibley’s successful strategy at Gatcombe. It will verify once and for all that Bovine TB can be eliminated from cattle herds without killing a single wild animal.

The evidence is already overwhelming; This is a fatally flawed policy: ineffective, unjustifiable, and ultimately doomed.

For sound economic, scientific and moral reasons, we call on Michael Gove to end this disgrace now. 

Brian May

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All through today I felt angry and devastated that we still haven't managed to stop the hopeless bloody mess that is the badger cull. I know we will win in the end, because I now know the truth. But meanwhile the witch-hunt blunders on, and the terrible injustice and suffering continues. Badgers and cows continue to be infected.

Infected cows are destroyed, while badgers, whether infected or not (nobody bothers to find out) are indiscriminately blasted to death. It 's a travesty.

And the farmers? They struggle with the same stress and despair, year after year, because the present government enforced strategy IS NOT WORKING. And still it goes on.

But we will never give up. Some day soon the badger cull will be viewed as just as ineffective and insane as burning witches at the stake. I hope I'm around to see that day.

Bri

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**Tue 18 Dec 18**
WAVING TO BAUBLES ¡
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Waving to baubles ! Traditional Daddy-Daughter Christmas Shopping Day ! Hope you’re all feeling relaxed, folks. !!!

DO YOU KNOW WHERE WE ARE ?!

Bri


Brian May: Waving To Baubles 18/12/2018 - https://youtu.be/EKDna5JbDq0

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**Mon 17 Dec 18**
YOU CAN MAKE VIDS LIKE THIS !!
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YOU CAN MAKE VIDS LIKE THIS !! Thanks @zodiacaldust for posting this personalised “One Night in Hell” vidéo. This little guy from our “Diableries” is the star of the #londonstereoscopiccompany and Unanico app “DIABLERIES AR”. The “Diabl-O-Scope”, which will enable this bony friend of mine to appear in YOUR living space, is only one of many adventures you can have when you explore this spooky app. We should have been promoting this at Halloween !  But It will serve just as well as a Christmas diversion ! Have Hellish fun ! Download the app now ! “DIABLERIES AR” for Your virtual stocking !!

BRI

P.S. I have talked to the creator of the app, Paul Laiken, and he says that the Android version of this app is not yet ready, but will hopefully follow in the New Year.

Bri

Diableries AR


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**Sat 15 Dec 18**
COMET 46P (WIRTANEN) STEREO - HAPPI COAT
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Comet 46P (Wirtanen) in a stereo view - created using the real movement of the comet against the star background over a few minutes to make the parallax we need, to make the comet appear to stand out in space. Please free-view (parallel) and enjoy ! If you free-view cross-eyed, the comet will appear to float BEHIND a veil of stars. Which is probably equally enjoyable !

AstroPhotography by @jamiecooperphotography @coopscamera on Twitter. No filter on this one - that green tinge is real.

Comet 46P - stereo

THANKS for my bery beautiful happi coat ! And ... Dear Japanese fans and friends - THANKS for going NUTS over our film. How wonderful that it has become a cultural phenomenon in Japan. It’s a dream come true. Thank you for your wonderful belief and support over the years.

Teo Torriate !!! With love

Bri

Bri wearing Happi Coat

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**Fri 14 Dec 18**
NEW HORIZONS - EPISODE 2 !!
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EPISODE 2 !! New Horizons sneak preview. Episode 3 is under construction ! And the full song will be unleashed on New Years Day, during the encounter of the New Horizons probe with Kuiper Belt Object MU 69 - Ultima Thule.

To see Episode 1 - the launch - please revisit my post [6 DECEMBER] ! And please search and visit the NASA New Horizons site. Thanks John Miceli for mighty drums. Thanks Kris Fredriksson for genius protools video work. And thanks Alan Stern !

Remember, folks, you can ‘reverse pinch’ your fingers on the phone screen to zoom in and see what’s going on here more clearly.

Cheers all
Bri

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**Thu 13 Dec 18**
COMET 46P/WIRTANEN
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There’s a new comet in town !! This great movie by @jamiecooperphotography shows comet 46P Wirtanen moving across the sky background (on a short loop). By the way, this object is going to come pretty close to the Earth - only 30 times as far away as the Moon. Well, on a cosmic scale that’s close. But no cause for alarm - it does this about every 5 years without causing problems ! It’s a short period comet. Wanna see it for real ? If you have access to dark skies there’s a fair chance in the next few days. I’ll show you how.

This is from the Astronomy Now website - visit them at:

https://astronomynow.com/2018/12/12/catch-close-comet-46p-wirtanen-near-the-pleiades-on-16-december/

Tonight, right now in the UK, it’s still very low in the sky - and the Moon’s light is a nuisance ! But around midnight it should be high in the southern sky near the tiny cluster of stars known as the Pleiades. If the sky’s clear these are easy to spot - they look like a very small Big Dipper !! Then check this excellent map. Tonight the comet is lower down than the Pleiades. Moving up over the next few days. Good luck !

Comet 46P/Wirtanen - from Astonomy Now website

And in 3-D ! Comet 46P - a side by side stereo I made from photos by @jamiecooperphotography - visit his site !! He’s in @coopscamera on Twitter. This is a bit extreme - viewing at normal@size the comet is very ‘in your face’ - but you get the idea !! If you’re out looking for this comet, take binoculars - not a telescope - it’s too big for that - about twice the size of the Moon.

Comet 46P by Jamie Cooper

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**Wed 12 Dec 18**
IT'S THAT TIME OF THE YEAR !!!
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It’s that time of the year !!! Duck Organisation Christmas Lunch ! Vegetarian fare, and with obligatory jokes from all participants ! This year ... Secret Santa brought this !!! Good cheer, folks.


Secret Santa brought this !!! 12/12/2018 - https://youtu.be/Nu_EYAJScAc

Me and Jacky Smith. Who knew that Jacky has run the illustrious Queen Fan Club for 36 years ?!!! It’s been going for 40 years - in the Guinness book of records as the longest running Band fan club in history. AND STILL GOING ! Probably the new Queen fans and friends the BOHEMIAN rhapsody film have brought to the fold don’t realise ... you can still join and get the special benefits of ticket pre-sales, latest updates - and even the QUEEN FAN CLUB Magazines on PAPER !! Jacky still runs it personally and organises the Queen fan club annual convention - booking NOW !! Be a part of the Queen community !! Search “QUEEN FAN CLUB” or E-mail QFC@Queenworld.com.

Jacky and Bri - Duck Christmas lunch

Secret Santa was very creative this year. A new way to drink Guinness. Recommended !!!

Bri with Novelty glass - by Anne Brummer
Photo: Anne Brummer

A perfect Stereoscopic opportunity ! To good to pass up ! Never saw a Guinness glass with wings before - did you ?

Novelty Glass stereo

Bri

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**Tue 11 Dec 18**
SEND A MESSAGE TO HELP NEW HORIZONS PROBE
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Send a message to help the New Horizons probe on its encounter with MU69 on New Years Day. Use this URL -http://pluto.jhuapl.edu/Send-Greetings/

or search New Horizons Greeting. MU69 - or Ultima Thule - will be the most distant object mankind has ever photographed up close. Be there !!

Bri

Beyond Pluto send a greeting

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**Mon 10 Dec 18**
DEAD BIRDS FOR CHRISTMAS
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OK.  Let’s be clear here.  I haven’t eaten red meat or chicken for many years now.  That’s my choice.  But I’m neither Vegan nor truly vegetarian.  I still eat a bit of fish now and then - and prawns remain a weakness.  So I’m not preaching. But I feel I’m on a journey towards eating more humanely.  More and more I enjoy Vegan food, especially since it’s getting easier, with restaurants like Pizza Express coming up with a whole vegan menu.  We’re all on our journeys - and it’s not up to me to tell anyone else what to eat. My point here is very much like the smoking thing. We all know now that smoking is injurious to health. But people still smoke. What we have managed to do is stop tobacco companies advertising to entice kids into a habit that is bad for us all.  In a similar way, eating artificially fattened turkeys is bad for our health, bad for the planet, and entails awful cruelty to the animals themselves. Some people will continue to eat turkeys. But what I’m objecting to is allowing advertising to promote a Christmas tradition which is actually quite obscene and unnecessary, causing cruelty on a massive scale.  SO .... 

Getting pretty pissed off with Tesco, forcing us to look at dead turkeys on billboards everywhere. They made a nice Christmas TV ad showing how different ethnic groups celebrate the Christmas Season. Hey Tesco ... How about next year you guys act responsibly towards animals, and show how Christmas can be enjoyed without a dead bird in the middle of the dinner table ?

#turkeyfreechristmas #crueltyfree

Bri

Tesco Turkey Billboard ad 2018

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**Sun 09 Dec 18**
KERRY'S CHRISTMAS SHOW - AND - END OF A PERFECT DAY
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Catch Kerry’s All-Singin’ Christmas show tomorrow night, Monday. One night only !!! Pizza Express live, Holborn.

Kerry's Christmas

I just had to IG this !!! T=The end of a perfect day. And our reputations !!! Ha ha ha !!! Tony Iommi. Expertly filmed by Maria Iommi.

Bri

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**Sat 08 Dec 18**
THANKS DEAR NETHERLANDERS !!! - WITH MY DEAR BRO' !!!
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Bart Vermeulen wrote:

Queen again number 1 in the top 2000 of radio 2 in the Netherlands. Form the 16th time!
Congrats!

Greetings,
Bart Vermeulen (fan since 1975)

https://www.nu.nl/muziek/5617586/bohemian-rhapsody-zestiende-keer-eerste-in-top-2000.html

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Amazing !! Thanks dear Netherlanders !!! 

Bri X

Editor: They always come up trumps.

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With my dear Bro’ !!! Yeeeay !

Bri and Tony Iommi

Don’t wanna start any rumours ... but we ARE discussing marriage ...

Bri and Tony Iommi

Bri

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**Fri 07 Dec 18**
CONGRATULATIONS DEAR RAMI and TO THE GREAT BR TEAM - SNOWMAN CUPCAKE IN 3-D
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Congratulations dear Rami. You make us so proud.

Rami Male nominated Best Actor - Golden Globes

Congratulations to the great BR film team. What an awesome achievement ! Big thanks to everyone - you all gave 1,000 per cent.

Golden Globes Bohemian Rhapsody nomination

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In response to popular demand ! My snowman cupcake, fashioned by my own fair hand at the Save-Me Christmas party. In 3-D. Please use your OWL or free-view it. (visit our Londonstereo.com website for help!)

Bri's snoeman cupcake - stereo

Bri

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**Thu 06 Dec 18**
NEW BM SIXPENCE - NEW HORIZONS ! - BARONESS ANGELIQUE !
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New BM sixpence


New issue BM Sixpence, gold plated edition. From Queenonlinestore.com. Of course I still prefer the 1947 George VI model for use as a pick. But these are nice to have !

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TO BE CONTINUED !!!  NEW !!!  New Horizons ! Launched nearly 13 years ago from Cape Canaveral, this NASA probe made history with its spectacular fly-by of Pluto in 2015. Now it’s on course to fly close to Kuiper Belt Object (KBO) Ultima Thule on New Year’s Day - 1st January 2019. This 60 second clip is the first of three brief tasters of my own new “New Horizons“ track, which will pay homage to this mission. We will reveal the song in full on 1st Jan. 

Visit the official NASA website at http://pluto.jhuapl.edu/   Image credit: NASA and APL. And watch this Space !!! With special thanks to NH Project Instigator Alan Stern.

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Baroness Angelique ! In Cinderella tonight ! Hull New Theatre - for three weeks ! Oh no it’s not !! (sorry - English Panto Joke !)

Baroness Angelique

Bri

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**Thu 06 Dec 18**
ALL RESPECTS TO PRESIDENT GEORGE H. W. BUSH
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George H W Bush


All respects to President George H.W. Bush.

In my lifetime I have seen presidents and prime ministers a-plenty come and go, as well as man other men and women who attained power over their fellow beings. It seems more and more true to me that whether or not you agree with their politics and their position on all matters, if there is a decency and honesty to their character, you can rightfully respect and even love them. If these qualities are lacking, all one can hope is that they are quickly relegated to the obscurity they deserve. In a world at present dominated by myopic nationalism and grasping materialism, just looking at this man’s face reminds me what we have lost, and what we must strive to regain.

RIP Mr Bush.

Bri

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**Wed 05 Dec 18**
SAVE-ME CHRISTMAS PARTY ! - RED SPECIAL SIGNING DAY
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Eek !Save-Me Christmas party ! Very proud of my custom cake decoration snowman, but I did not win the prize. I am not bitter ! But next year ... watch out ! Merry Christmas Season folks.

Save-Me Christmas party

A Red Special signing day ! In time for somebody’s Christmas stocking !! Brian May Guitars

Red Special signing day

Bri X

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**Tue 04 Dec 18**
CONGRATULATIONS OSIRIS-REX !!!
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CONGRATULATIONS OSIRIS-REx !!! @osiris_rex !!! On your arrival at BENNU Today, after a journey of over 2 years. Look at this luscious stereo cooked up by my friend Claudia Manzoni - the first hi-res stereo of Bennu ever ! Enjoy !!!

BENNU stereo
Credit : NASA/Goddard/University of Arizona

Bri

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**Mon 03 Dec 18**
NEW YEAR'S EVE RENDEZVOUS - THE RHAPSODY 2019 TOUR
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Spectacular !!! The ongoing New Horizons Mission (Beyond Pluto) is set to rendezvous with the mist distant object the Hand of Man has ever touched - or photographed ! I hope to be with the Mission’s creators on New Year’s Eve to experience that encounter. Watch out !

Ultima Thule Flyby

Nobody knows!!! This is an (informed) artist’s impression of what a fly on the wall might see when the New Horizons probe performs its fly-by of the Kuiper Belt Object (KBO). Is it double ? Is it dumbbell shaped like Rosetta’s comet ? NOBODY knows for sure - which is why this mission has caught everyone’s imagination. And it’s certainly inspired me!!! Wait and see !!

Ultima flyby artist's impression

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Looks like we're doing this then ! The Rhapsody Tour 2019. Click for Dates - Hmmm... Better get fit ! See you folks out there !!!

Queen and Adam Lambert Rhapsody Tour

Queen + Adam Lambert USA 2019 Tour Dates

SEE PRESS RELEASE: QUEEN NEWS

Bri

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**Sun 02 Dec 18**
ON STAGE ! WEST END CHRISTMAS !
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The ol’ team is back ! Just before our surprise appearance at The Actors Church West End Christmas @madtrust - please donate for AIDS.

Brian and Kerry selfie - The Actors' Church

On stage ! West End Christmas ! With Kerry Ellis. Hurrah !!! Merry Christmas All !!!

Bri and Kerry on stage - West End Christmas

Thank you Kerry - it was a great idea. Proud to be part of Wes tEnd Christmas with you. @madtrust

Bri and Kerry - West End Christmas
At the Actors' Theatre 2 December 2018

In the Bleak MidWinter. Nice photo by Pete.

Bri and Kerry West End Christmas - by Pete
Photo by Pete

Bri

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**Sat 01 Dec 18**
CHRISTMAS TREAT
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A Christmas treat !! Like o other ! In all my days months and years, I have to admit I have never had a pedicure. This is cool ! Thanks Thuy !!!



Brian May: A Christmas treat pedicure - https://youtu.be/25oI78SWglg

Brian's nails

This is what I came in for. These days I’m dependent on Powder Gel. My finger nails don’t hold up to the guitar playing. In fact these nail coverings have really changed my life on tour. I recommend them to any guitarist. They’re hard as iron. So much so, I often now use one of them in place of a pick. So when I drop my sixpence I don’t care any more. Of course it’s addictive. When the coverings finally fall off about 2 months later your nails are in a hopeless state - like paper. So back to the Vietnamese nail salon you go !

At Pizza Express

A nice Pizza getaway. I haven’t relaxed so much in months ! Ha ha. Notice the VEGAN menu. Now I do not pretend to be a Vegan. Or even a strict vegetarian - I’m still work in progress, so I don’t do any preaching. But I find more and more I want to eat Vegan food when it’s on offer. And it’s definitely getting easier. PIZZA EXPRESS now offer this whole vegan menu - and their Vegan Leggera Giardiniera is unapologetically delicious, washed down with a nice glass of Chianti. So I do it. Good for my health (and my waistline), good for lessening the suffering of animals (of course) - and very good for the planet. So that’s it. You don’t need to be a Vegan overnight - just eat more Vegan food !

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Me and Gracie the 9-foot hedgehog !! It happened !! We did it !The Lights of Windlesham were illumined in traditional style ! By Anne B and Grace and me. Thanks to cConrad and Graham and the Windlesham Society, and the lovely ladies who ran the raffle, and to all who made it a jolly occasion. Merry Christmas to all !!! Bri

Bri and 9-ft hedgehog
Photo: Anne

Bohemian Hogsody !! The Save-Me Team tonight in Downtown Windlesham.

Save Me Team, Windlesham, 2 Dec 2018 photo by Nigel

Photo Nigel

Bri

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