brian's soapbox
NOVEMBER 2015

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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.

Reference:
- Lame Claims
- Stereo and Freeview Notes
- Help with Stereo Viewing (LSC)

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Please DON'T reproduce stuff from these pages WITHOUT PERMISSION. And if you do, please give us credit (brianmay.com)!! and a LIVE link. `
Cheers ! Bri
- Also applies to FOREIGN LANGUAGE sites,
'NOT' for FACEBOOK or SOCIAL MEDIA

1 | 2

**Wed 18 Nov 15**
SPECULATIONS IN THE MEDIA ABOUT THE FREDDIE FILM
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Well, there’s a couple or three different stories like this in the media today. People are suddenly getting excited out there again about the Freddie Film. This...

DEADLINE.COM
Theory Of Everything’s Anthony McCarten Scripting Freddie Mercury Pic For GK Films; Ben Whishaw In The Wings?
18 November 2015

is one of the better ‘reports' - but it still falls short of being an entirely accurate account. Some reports have Sony making decisions about writers, etc, but that’s not the case. Sony simply have an option to pick it up, or not, once we’ve all signed off (Roger, Jim Beach, Graham King and myself) on a script we believe in. Contrary to rumour, the project has never been ‘adrift’ - and Sacha Baron Cohen didn’t walk out due to artistic differences (even though his management put that story out). It was our decision. We simply realised that we wouldn’t get the believable portrayal of Freddie Mercury we needed from Sacha, so we, as considerately and diplomatically as we could, moved on. Sacha is a great comedy character creator, but we need someone who will actually 'suspend disbelief’ so that we believe we are really watching Freddie on screen. More annoying to us was the rather mischievous impression given (and still believed by some) that we were shrinking from telling the truth, and ‘sanitising’ Freddie’s story in some way. In fact, the opposite is true. Anyone who knows us knows we have NEVER done anything by halves, and this will be no exception. The film will be devastatingly truthful, and will do Freddie justice as a human being, as well as channel his immense musical energy and the power of Queen in our Golden Days. We could never settle for anything less. It’s actually an incredible challenge to make this happen, and that’s why it’s not been quick. It will be worth the wait.

Our Producer Graham King is firmly at the helm of the ship, as he has been from the start, with incredible persistence and faith. As for casting, we are certainly hoping that Ben Whishaw will turn out to be the man to bring Freddie to life; I’ve (and Roger has) already spoken about Ben in interviews, so that’s no secret. But it remains to be seen whether the planets will align for that to happen. I’ve also recently talked in interviews about screenwriter, Anthony McCarten, who is now doing some fantastic work, collaborating closely with us. There are some radical new developments in ideas, and at this moment I’m more excited than I’ve ever been about the film’s potential. But the rest ? We’ll make an announcement when we’re ready. It may be soon.

Bri

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**Sat 14 Nov 15**
PARIS ATTACKS
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Oh my God. Just saw Paris. Our hearts and prayers go out.

Bri

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**Thu 12 Nov 15**
I LOVE CLASSIC ROCK AWARDS NIGHTS !
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Due to circumstances, Roger and I had to split our attentions these last few days … there’s a lot going on.

So Roger attended the Q Awards last week, (and did a nice presentation to the brilliant David Mallet) - and I got to do the Classic Rock awards.

I was honoured to accept the award of “Living Legends”. And I think my acceptance speech is up online somewhere...

Queen Living Legends Award Speeches Satriani and Brian May 11/11/2015
- https://youtu.be/QLoB5NfyGTM

Now, as usual, there were countless photographs of the ceremony, and me, and the wonderful Joe Satriani, and the award itself. But where are they ?

We’ll try to chase some up.

But my lovely daughter Emily took this photo of me during my acceptance address to the assembled throng. I was actually very touched by Joe's words and the fact that everybody stood up when I took to the stage. Got very choked.


Brian accepts Living Legend award

That’s Joe Satriani to the right, and on the left is presenter Steve - a well-known wrestler and musician - who did a very good job, and managed to stay sober enough the whole night to make sense … a feat not always achieved by CR presenters !! ha ha !

I got to see some old friends … Lemmy and Phil from Motorhead, the guys from Europe, Alice Cooper, and many others.

Thanks to everyone who had a hand in us being presented with this great award ! We will try to live up to it !

Cheers

Bri

With Living Legend Award

Brian acepting award - photo by Sue Ashcroft

Joe Satriani

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**Tue 10 Nov 15**
ROSETTA'S COMET - NEW STEREO WITH JETS !
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New stereoscopic portrait of Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko from images captured by Rosetta’s ‘Navcam’ camera.

Comet 67P stereo<br>
Comet 67P stereo
Comet 67P stereo

For parallel free-viewing or use a stereoscope such as a London Stereoscopic Company OWL viewer. For information on stereo viewing please click here

Photo Details:

Left image: taken April 28, 2015, 05:27:04, at a distance of 150.9 km from the comet’s centre.

Right image: taken April 27, 2015, 16:56:15, at a distance of 134.2 km from the comet’s centre.

Released: Friday 23 October 2015
Source: Rosetta NAVCAM Archive Image Browser operated by the European Space Agency (ESA)

The component images for this stereo pair are to be found in the Rosetta NAVCAM archive image browser, where the Rosetta team release all these images to the public around six months after they are taken. The browser contains thousands of great images to explore.

In this picture we are looking at the 67P Comet three and a half months before perihelion, its closest approach to the Sun, so its activity was not yet at maximum.

We see the large ‘lobe’ of the comet (with the Imhotep region in darkness) looming in the foreground, and the smaller lobe well-lit behind it. In processing, we have done some compression of intensities to enhance the faint jets which are here seen forming the comet’s coma, while keeping the highlight detail on the nucleus intact. The 3-D image positively locates the jet activity, even right in the foreground, evidently emanating from the dark part of the large lobe which faces us.

We particularly liked this stereo, and gave it the ‘full polish treatment’. In addition to fine tuning the alignment and optimising levels, the shadows needed to be fixed. In the twelve and a half hours between exposures, which has given us a perfect baseline for great stereo detail, Comet 67P has rotated enough with respect to the Sun for the shadows to have significantly moved. If these discrepancies are left in the stereo image, our eyes are troubled by ‘retinal rivalry’ – ie conflict of information getting to the brain from our two eyes. The only way to sort this out is by individually copying the shadow shapes from the left image to the right, or vice versa, by hand. Each ‘patch’ has to be morphed to match the surface it’s being attached to, so the 3-D shape of the terrain is not disturbed, to keep the final image as ‘real’ as possible.

In twelve and a half hours, the jets have not perceptibly changed, and their three-dimensional structure in space seen here is completely real. It’s a rare chance to get an informative glimpse of the 3-D structure of a coma at short range, showing the way jets apparently orientate themselves perpendicular to the surface of the nucleus they emerge from, and stream out for some way in straight lines.

 

Credits: ESA/Rosetta/NAVCAM, CC BY-SA IGO 3.0

Stereo created by Claudia Manzoni and Brian May using these images in the Rosetta archive image browser :

http://imagearchives.esac.esa.int/picture.php?/29025/category/119
http://imagearchives.esac.esa.int/picture.php?/29030/category/119

 

Big thanks to Rosetta mission boss Matt Taylor for his help and approval, and to Joel Parker for his continued help in locating suitable image pairs.

Bri

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**Sat 07 Nov 15**
HOMAGE TO MINAKO - AND NEW GOLDEN DAYS
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It’s a sad time for fans of Minako Honda. It’s the ten year anniversary of her tragic passing away [6 November 2005] … way way way too young.

Minako, of course, was an exquisite Japanese singer, whose style when she was young was a beguiling mixture of traditional Japanese influences, and modern Western Pop.

She became hugely successful in her own country, and was well loved by her fans. I met her when she was already a star, but still young enough to have to be chaperoned when she travelled to another country. Somehow the idea came up for me to write her two songs and record them in both English and Japanese. I wrote, very quickly, Golden Days and Crazy Nights (not the Kiss song which emerged a few years later). I sent her my demos, and it was arranged for her to come to London to record them. It was a time when we as Queen were going through a time of ‘being distant’ with each other, and I plunged into different recording projects. I recorded the Bad News album with those amazing comedy guys, Rick Mayall, Nigel Planer, Ade Edmondson (all famous from The Young Ones comedy series) and Peter Richardson (the creator of the Comic Strip TV Series. I was also working with an artist called Anita Dobson - on a new album for which I also wrote some new songs. She was to become pretty important in my life ! And suddenly, there was little Minako, energetic, charming, and disarmingly professional for someone so young. We romped through the songs in Japanese - she had everything prepared and never put a foot wrong. The English versions were much more difficult. Minako came from a family that spoke no English, and she simply did not have the Western consonant sounds at her command. We had an interpreter, of course, but the more Minako applied herself to the rhythm of the English language the harder it seemed for her. Her manager was determined that she would shine as much in English as in Japanese, and I think poor Minako felt a lot of pressure. She would not give up, even though there were tears (which made me feel terrible!). In the end we stitched together pretty good English versions of both songs, but really, to hear Minako Honda at her cheeky ebullient best, you have to listen to the Japanese versions.

There’s a live TV version of ‘Days’ here (not the record, and not with me, but quite faithfully rendered!) and in it she bravely sings in both languages.

Minako Honda - Golden Days
Golden Days - https://youtu.be/5GWRZSlCCxs

The songs did quite well in Japan, but visibility in Britain, which had been the whole object of the project, was much more elusive. So, sadly, very few people in the UK are familiar with our work together. Only the devoted fans.

Well, these days I have the good fortune to work with Kerry Ellis in the studio. From time to time, I open some of the old drawers and we look for material from the past that might have a new life. Kerry picked up on Golden Days a few weeks ago, and got attached to the song, so we determined to make a new version of it. It’s taken shape quickly, and Kerry, of course, gives it a luminous new life. I’ve revisited the arrangement too, but a lot of the original feel is still there. So this will be one of the tracks on the album we’re building. Right now it’s sounding like a lovely tribute to dear Minako. We began by getting out the old multitrack, with Minako’s voice clear and beautiful as the day we recorded her. It’s great how music can make the years melt away. We’ll have to get it ready soon, so you can all share this feeling.

It’s odd, because there are parallels between Minako and Kerry. They both have that fierce passion and devotion for their art, both have exceptional voices, matched by an unstoppable determination to make their talents blossom to the full. And both, as well as recording careers, devoted a lot of their lives to starring in Musical Theatre. In fact, they even have long service to Miss Saigon in common. So, when ANTHEMS II makes it on to the streets, little Minako Honda will be anything but forgotten.

Cheers all

Bri

Minako and Bri 1987
Minako and Bri 1987

Bri and Kerry
Kerry and Bri 2015

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**Sun 01 Nov 15**
ASTEROID - HALLOWEEN SKULL ???
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Amazing ! Could this REAL asteroid look any more like a Halloween Skull ???

Skull asteroid

---

MIRROR.CO.UK
15 May 2015
Couple in court for stealing food from Tesco bins had just £8 a week to live on

When will Britain wake up to the shame of David Cameron's Britain ? ... the Big Utterly Selfish Society.

Bri

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**Sun 01 Nov 15**
GIVE ME ONE GOOD REASON
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Give me ONE good reason why Bears should be killed for this ornamentation.

CHANGE.ORG

Stop using real bear fur

Bri

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www.banguniverse.com London Stereoscopic Company Facebook link Twitter link Disover the cosmos NASA John Hopkins University/APL Southwest Research Institute Rock Star/Astrophysicist Dr. Brian May Goes Backstage With New Horizons Features stereo pair intended for viewing The left hand iamge The right single image underworldly terrain Discover the cosmos NASA John Hopkins University/APL Southwest Research Institute Brian May features stereo pair intended for viewing The left hand image The left hand iamge The fithe single iamge underworldly terrain http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap150806.html