brian's soapbox
OCTOBER 2013

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

 

 

COPYRIGHT NOTE:
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 SITES AND TWITTER


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**Fri 11 Oct 13**
DIABLERIES ARE ALREADY MOVING OUT
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Pre-release copies of the book are getting wild receptions !!

Official release date is Halloween, of course. But some of the little devils just would not wait !

3 Authors and their Book
The little lost souls. (Photo: Denis Pellerin)

2 autors
Ready to rock. Spot the chap who is not a living author. (Photo: Sally Frost)

Diableries Book
And a Diableries set which has hooked up with a classic Victorian viewer. (Photo: Sue Foxford)

Bri

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**Thu 10 Oct 13**
'OWEN PATERSON'S BADGER PENALTY SHOOTOUT'
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I was beaten by goalpost-moving badgers in 'Owen Paterson's Badger Penalty Shootout'! How about you? http://toys.usvsth3m.com/owen-patersons-badger-penalty-shootout/

Later...

I got one past goalpost-moving badgers in 'Owen Paterson's Badger Shootout'! How about you? http://toys.usvsth3m.com/owen-patersons-badger-penalty-shootout/ … Owen failed, sadly.

Bri

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**Thu 10 Oct 13**
SAVING THE SKY AT NIGHT (VIDEO)
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A rather moving video - about saving the SKY at NIGHT

Who's Watching the Skies? (Save "The Sky At Night") - http://youtu.be/kM9Rg0gC8O8

Bri

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**Wed 09 Oct 13**
FAVOURITE QUOTE OF THE YEAR?
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This could be my favourite quote of the year.

Owen Paterson:

"I am not moving the goalposts.
The badgers are moving the goalposts".

Bri

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**Tue 08 Oct 13**
PRIDE OF BRITAIN - ITV AIRING
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My new Pal is on ITV right now, Pride of Britain awards from last night. ITV. Right now.

Prog was very edited down, of course, from about 3 hours to one and a half. So you didn't see me add my own invitation too. Daniel Black gave away his money for a healing operation to a little boy who had never walked alone. Amazing guy.

Gotta add I thought Carol Vorderman conducted the occasion with such grace.

Bri

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**Tue 08 Oct 13**
COMET ISON - ON THE WAY
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The first proper pictures of Comet ISON are beginning to appear. This comet is approaching - and has been predicted to be the 'Comet of the Century'. Of course we have heard this before ! Comets are hard to predict.

But this is looking pretty good so far.

Here's my shot at producing the FIRST stereo of Comet ISON 2013 !

Comet Ison

www.planetary.org/multimedia/space-images/small-bodies/comet-ison.html

Bri

PS - It's in the late night/ early morning skies right now … not far from Mars.

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**Tue 08 Oct 13**
I WAS HOOKED COMPLETELY - STEREO PHOTOGRAPHY
(TRAVEL TO HELL WITH BRIAN MAY}

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I sat down for a chat with Waterstones at the Cheltenham Literature Festival last Friday... this is what I said:

TRANSCRIBED AND EDITED
by Jen Tunney
© brianmay.com

I discovered stereoscopy, I think, due to Weetabix, because in those days all sorts of cereal companies used to give away toys for kids in the packets, which was great for kids.  I don't know why it doesn't happen now, but in Weetabix you used to get a little card with each packet, and it was a stereo card, so you get two little pictures of,  say, a lion, or a bus, or a train or something and they look very flat and ordinary, but you send away one and sixpence for your stereo viewer, and you put the card in the viewer and you look at the card and suddenly instead of a flat card, you've got a window that you feel like you could walk through and you could actually touch these things.

I was astounded.  I thought this was just the best magic I've ever seen. And I always remember thinking, “Well this is photography - what's the use of having flat photography if you can have stereoscopic photography?” 

So I was hooked completely, and you know it's never left me.  That kind of thrill of stereo photography's been with me all my life, you know, and I still find it absolute - you know - an excitement every time two little pictures that are flat turn into a stereoscopic world.

I discovered pretty soon that stereo photography went back a very long way, in fact it goes back to the very dawn of photography itself, and the principle was discovered by Charles Wheatstone in the 1840s, before there were the first photographs. 

So these photographs - these Diableries - I discovered in my teenage years, going to Portobello Market and looking for things, you know.  These mysterious cards, framed in yellow mounts were of skeletons and devils doing mysterious things.  I couldn't understand what it was about.  Some of it was funny.  Some of it was a bit sinister, and I was again, I was hooked, and I spent the next 40 years looking for these cards all around the world and eventually I was able to put a full set of the first 72 together. 

There's actually 180 of them in all and I still don't have them all.  We're missing two pictures, but the other 178 are in this book and they're all restored by my own hand, with a little help from friends sometimes, but my dream was to communicate these pictures to a new audience - to be a channel for these beautiful scenarios to be viewed in the 21st century, as they should be viewed in stereo - in proper 3D.

So there wasn't a stereo viewer and I had to design and have this manufactured in Sunbury-upon-Thames in Middlesex and it's a very useable Victorian stereoscope, if you like, and it focusses, which is unusual.  That really makes it look accessible to everyone no matter what kind of eyes you've got.  And it collapses.  It fits into the book's structure, which is great, so every book that we sell there's an OWL viewer in.

And what happens is, all these pictures are reproduced very faithfully in here [the book], having been through many hundreds of hours of PhotoShop to restore them, and you put your stereoscope on here [places on page] and you can view them in glorious stereo.

Can you see that in here?  You probably can't.  Can you see? …   You can't see them in stereo because unfortunately you're not filming me in stereo, but this is the experience.  And time and time again I see people go "How can I do this?  What do I do?  I look through in here", and they go "My God!  Wow!", and they're doing it, the same as I did.  They're walking through.  They're feeling they could touch these little models… skeletons… they were done on a table top, but in extraordinary detail.  Every one tells a different story.

In spite of this huge explosion in 3D films, the community which actually cares about stereoscopic images is still quite small.  It's quite strange.  Obviously there's a new generation of stereographers who've grown up and they're very good.  I mean, James Cameron's people, who are extraordinarily good in designing new bits of hardware and understanding artistically how to create in 3D.  But there's a very small band of people who are dedicated to the history of the subject and I guess I'm one of them.  It's probably a couple of hundred people who are really into it and who treasure these fantastic works of art from 150 years ago, which really are as vibrant as they ever were.

I actually love analogue.  I'm a sort of analogue geek really.  You know, and the same in sound, you know.  I love vinyl records, the whole technology of having a record with a groove, and you know, it's a different sound.  It's a different feeling.  There's no doubt whatsoever.  And we're analogue creatures.  So all that digital does is simulate analogue really.  It simulates it better and better and the higher sampling rate that you have and the greater number of bits you have.  But it's never quite analogue, so I mean, I know I'm saying this, but this whole book was produced because of digital techniques applied to analogue images and it couldn't have been done otherwise.  So, there's a place for everything. 

But of course, once you print it back onto the page, you're back to analogue, you know, and this is an analogue machine [OWL viewer].  And it's extraordinarily good.  It's actually still the best way of viewing stereo pictures because you get no cross talk, you know.  It does …. a 3D movie your brain is slightly struggling, 'cos your right eye's getting little bits of the left-hand image, and vice versa.  This, no.  You get total hundred percent separation and your brain is comfortable, and you're - you really feel like you're there. You feel like you're where the stereo camera was, experiencing this.

We're in a very grim situation, I think in this country, you know. There's so much spin being directed at us by the Government to persuade us that they're great people and they're doing great things.  I think we're in an appalling situation because more and more wildlife and animals in general are being treated as if they are worth nothing, and to me that is totally the wrong way for humanity to be going.  You know, we should be understanding.  We should be beginning to understand that human beings are not the only species on this planet and not necessarily the most important species on this planet.  This is ancient sort of anthropocentrism and, you know, a thousand years ago people realised that the Earth was not at the centre of the Universe, you know, and this is very significant.  We think we're so important and we think that we can just trash the whole planet.  You know, global warming is only one part of it.  We are trashing every other species, every other thinking animal on this planet, and to my mind it's a tragedy.

So, yes, we fight.  We're very small.  We're David against Goliath, and Goliath is the Government in bed with the National Farmers Union, in bed with the Countryside Alliance, which means the alliance for blood sports - in bed with most of the Press - so we're up against something really difficult.  And they're killing badgers at the moment.  They're shooting them and a lot of them are crawling away wounded and dying a horrible death, and they're telling us it's humane.  They're keeping everyone away.  It's done in complete secrecy.  It's outrageous.  They should never have been allowed, and compounding this is the tragedy that it won't even help farmers.  It will not solve the problem of bovine TB.  There is no possible way that culling badgers can eradicate bovine TB.  The only thing which can is vaccination.

So we held a conference just a couple of days ago on vaccination of badgers - also of cows - and things actually look good, but the Government is not listening.  The Government is saying "Oh, it's years away.  We can't do it.  It's too expensive".  Well, we should be doing it and we should be starting to respect the animals around us.  Wild animals, domestic animals, cows, sheep, horses, pigs, chickens, and those animals that are being submitted to appalling pain in laboratories around the world.  You know, it's a very big subject and I believe that the work has to change.

It's just as William Wilberforce changed our view of other versions of our own species, you know.  It was no longer okay to have black people as slaves.  The same must happen, you know.  We no longer burn witches at the stake but we do abuse animals and it has to change.

Bri

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**Tue 08 Oct 13**
PRIDE OF BRITAIN
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Very moving award show tonight [7 Oct] - Pride of Britain. Watch it this evening (Tuesday) on ITV

The guy I presented to - Dan - is amazing.

Bri

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**Mon 07 Oct 13**
TO WARRIORS OF 13TH WWRY CAST
[AND OTHER STUFF]
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Warriors of 13th WWRY

OTHER STUFF....

Guitarists ! Watch a venerable master at work here ! Scott Henderson http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sm_VSjadCiU … He's in London Wednesday night at Shaka-Zulu.

PLEASE HELP US WITH THIS https://www.facebook.com/SaveMe2010?ref=hl

DEFRA now claims to have a ‘risk-based approach” to trade and compensation. Yippee ! At least they're not pretending to be science-based. You have to laugh. Apparently now the numbers of badgers killed in the Pilot Culls are 'irrelevant' ! You couldn't make it up. Oh - they did.

Strange. Anthropomorphism is already become an outdated word. NEW YORK TIMES … Fox-hunters and pro-cullers take heed.

Some advice on how to see Comet ISON. It MIGHT be the brightest comet of the century ? Hmm ... we shall see ! www.armaghplanet.com

Hardcastle in the Mail

 

 

Aah ! Countryside Alliance (Blood Sports Club) so unfairly treated, poor things ...

 

 

Cheers

Bri

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**Sun 06 Oct 13**
DAILY MAIL THINKS JOLLY
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I struggle to understand the smiles in this picture. The Daily Mail [Mail On Sunday 6 Oct 2013] thinks it's rather jolly. This is Britain 2013 - Having a pheasant break? Pippa poses with 50 dead birds on shooting trip in Scotland. Ah ... for quick reference ... here's that jolly weekend picture. Lovely !

Mail On Sunday
Shoot: Pippa (third left) poses with the party, including Charlotte More Nisbett (far left) and 50 birds

and - Is this me ?! Bohemian Crabsody ?! Ha ha !

Bohemian Crabsody

Bri

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**Sat 05 Oct 13**
SATURDAY THOUGHTS
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I've been quoted about The Sky At Night and Stargazing Live, so let me be clear - I believe BOTH programmes are precious. But The Sky At Night needs our support.

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This speech from Dominic Dyer honestly exposes so many lies. Show this to all who care.

Dominic Dyer at Taunton Anti Cull March 7.9.13 - http://youtu.be/jbl5iR2GxA0


When does Britain stand up and say NO to these despicably cruel despots? A sickening disrespect for life:

The Times 5 Oct 2013 page 9
THE TIMES 5 Oct 2013 p9 - Full text HERE

How incredible that the NFU was saying they didn't want to EXTERMINATE badgers. And now they want to gas the setts ??! Unbelievable. Shout it from the rooftops. The NFU/Government have failed in shooting of badgers, and now they are 'researching' GASSING the badger setts. I can only ask, DEFRA how much 'research' on gassing badgers do you need to do to discover that you are now wildlife criminals?

We all know some farmers are doing it already. That's not hearsay. I've had some making sure I knew it. Law and Order broken down.

Yes, I know a lot of good Conservatives too who are decent and on side. But somehow we have to remove this cruel corrupt clique.

My own comments at June Badger rally:

Stop the Cull Rally: Brian May's Speech 1.6.2013 London - http://youtu.be/xyFN4pwBNyQ

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Thanks to great audience at London's WE WILL ROCK YOU tonight. A milestone - 11 years of Rockin !!! & Huge thanks to our brilliant team. Rachel John tore the place apart tonight singing No One But You. Did anybody video it ? Tell me.

The fabulous Rachel John in action with some old bloke. Good luck out there Rachel.

Bri and Rachel John
Bri and Rachel John

Bri and Rachel John
Bri and Rachel John

Thanks to Ed Carter for photos

Bri

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**Sat 05 Oct 13**
ROCKORCHESTRAL BORN FREE
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[Thursday 3 October] Kerry and Bri premiered our new rockorchestral version of BORN FREE. I think it rocked! See it at XMAS Ch 4.

Tribute to Don Black
With Kerry Ellis at Royal Festival Hall - conductor Mike Dixon

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**Sat 05 Oct 13**
THANKS FROM CHELTENHAM
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Thanks to all who attended our DIABLERIES 3-D lecture in Cheltenham tonight. It was a pleasure.

I'm doing some Breakfast TV from here 9.30am.

Bri

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**Sat 05 Oct 13**
FAREWELL TO BRILLIANT 2012 WWRY CAST TONIGHT
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Last night of present cast.

FINAL night of brilliant 2012 cast of We Will Rock You London tonight Saturday [5 October] . SEE YOU THERE.

Yes … I'm playing - evening perf only. I'm booked to be a guitar hero.

Bri

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**Thu 03 13**
AT ZSL VACCINATION CONFERENCE
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At ZSL - vaccination conference. Rosie Woodroffe kicks off. Speaking about immunities in populations. This will all be available - filmed.

Great talk Gordon McGlone - you issued a fair challenge to all. [TB vaccination]

Bri

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**Wed 02 Oct 13**
REHEARSALS , FILM MEETING, USA
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Amazing inspiring Queen meeting with amazing inspiring film director this morning. All will be revealed soon !

Bri at the BBC

Bri at the ancient home of British Broadcasting - Maida Vale. Rehearsals for Festival Hall tomorrow complete.

Bri with Only Men Aloud BBC
Bri with Only Men Aloud at BBC

Right now I'm quietly practising. One-song, one-off with Kerry and a huge orchestra tomorrow at the Festival Hall will be - a worthy challenge !

USA

To me, selfishness of Republican America is beyond shameful. Call themselves Christians? Love thy neighbour? No - let him die in the street. Also the blind arrogance of destroying the workings of democracy ? I will be praying for Obama to succeed in championing compassion in USA.

Bri

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**Wed 02 Oct 12**
HOPE4APES SONGS
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Kerry and Brian performing at Hope4Apes 27 September 2013
Kerry and Bri at Hope4Apes - The Savoy 27 Sept 2013

A great audience. Kerry and I played 5 songs ---

I who have nothing.
Born Free (joined by Stuart Morley on Keys)
Dust in the wind
Nothing really has changed (with a special Apes video)
Crazy little thing called love. Kerry

Bri

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**Wed 02 Oct 13**
REHEARSING TODAY...
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We (Kerry and I) are joining the concert at Don's special request - with a new orchestral (and electric) arrangement of Born Free. Rehearsing new orchestra parts today, ready to perform BORN FREE with Kerry Ellis on Thursday at Festival Hall in honour of Don Black.

Bri

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**Wed 02 Oct 13**
iHEART. AND THE HEART OF THE USA
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Bri introduces FUN at the iHeart Radio Festival (on Telly!)

Brian May introduces Fun

Thanks Pepi for the screen shot. Haven't seen it yet myself. Ah well, it's too late to do anything about it ! ha ha .

Glad it has generated some excitement.

Thanks USA folks !

Sorry to see that your Govt got 'shut down'. The powers of Darkness, Selfishness and Greed are very strong in the world today.

I find it breathtakingly sad. For you, and for us all.

Bri

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**Tue 01 Oct 13*
AT CAMP BADGER
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I'm in the War Zone of the Badger Cull in Somerset with the wounded badger patrols.

Talking to the farmer who has given his land over to Camp Badger. He says "The cull is a waste of time and everybody down here knows it." He says "We do not own these lands - we are custodians, and it's our duty to protect wildlife - not kill it." This farmer also says the NFU doesn't represent the farming community. They're just trying to make a name for themselves.

Moving around fields here in the cull zone astonishing how few cows there are. However there are pheasant farms everywhere - real motives ?

Meeting the wounded badger patrol guys and sabs - what a wonderful bunch of decent people. I'm reminded that the likes of the Daily Mail have long deliberately blackened reputations of peaceful people dedicated to animal protection. Down here in Somerset in bloody badger cull zone, going out into the night, a kind of miracle is happening. Dozens of small groups appearing. In cull zone, I'm overwhelmed - good folks from far and wide give up their nights just to walk the footpaths. Their presence stops shooters.

Today one found dead badger was collected by the RSPCA as we arrived. Not known yet how it died. It's brutal - and the secrecy is sinister. A dead badger found yesterday had crawled off to die. DEFRA said it was miles outside the cull zone, But the man who shot it said within zone.

Obviously DEFRA and NFU have a lot to hide here. Or else why all the secrecy ? Is this really England in 2013 ?

There are middle-aged couples here sitting on ancient badger setts all through the night. And the coordination is impressive.

Time to meet another group - down here in the Killing Fields. Saving badgers by their presence.

Mike Rigby - local county councillor - outraged at the cull. Says others feel the same but nervous to speak.

Councillor Mike Rigby and Brian May
Councillor Mike Rigby and Bri

More dangerous activists - retired teacher & nurse -no wonder they have to be kept away from NFU arse nals.

Brian with a teacher
Brian with a retired teacher and a nurse

Off for a walk. Lots of badger setts here. No cows in sight !

And with some excellently impartial officers keeping the peace ! courtesy of Nick Gargan!

Brian and police

I'm going off line now, just in case I'm being 'located'.

Bri

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**Tue 01 Oct 13**
THE SKY AT NIGHT
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Here's a thing, Save Sky at Night fans. The BBC are saying there is no money left for The Sky At Night - but - wanna know a secret ? .... I guested on Stargazing Live too and I learned that the budget for just one night of Stargazing would pay for one WHOLE YEAR of The Sky At Night. What does that say?

Bri

SAVE THE SKY AT NIGHT PETITION - HERE

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