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So, this time we leave the shores of Europe, and embark on a voyage to the new world. Entering the Gulf of Mexico, and following in the footsteps of Hernan Cortes (1519), we find ourselves in the Land of Mexico.

The danzón style of music was born in Cuba, and almost simultaneous with that birth found a home in Veracruz, Mexico.  Veracruz  is the port most favoured of you wish to travel from Mexico to Cuba from there it has spread across Mexico and forms part of the Urban, dance culture of the region.

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Sorry, my French is truly bad, but I hope you get the point. Jacques Offenbach, born Jacob or Jakob, in Cologne, in what was at the time of his birth, Prussia. A prodigious talent with the Cello who composed by his own count over 100 light operas.

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Sat Nov 23, 2013 at 04:28 PM PST

Did you See it. I was there.

by Tailgunner30uk

Tonight was the first showing of the 50th anniversary celebration episode of Doctor Who.

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Things started off a little fraught. Most of the packing for the event was done. But as is often the way, a few essentials hid themselves. I was waiting for a pair of trousers to arrive, but the postman this time did not comply with my needs. I will have to arrange for his deletion. A new pair of trousers was aquired along with a new laptop rucksack, unfortunately not bigger on the inside. So away we go to the Doctor Who Celebration in London.

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It was Gioachino Rossini, who said "Wagner has wonderful moments, and dreadful quarters of an hour."

There is no doubt that Richard Wagner is one of the most controversial figures to have lived.  His anti-semitic views were and are notorious. His fervent nationalism, disturbing.  And yet his influence on music and opera are manifest, his legacy extending fully into the present.

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Tue Nov 12, 2013 at 04:05 PM PST

Forty voices in harmony.

by Tailgunner30uk

A moment of blissful peace in a wearisome world...

Written by Thomas Tallis. Spem in Alium, has become well known recently, not least due to it's 'unfortunate' association with a mildly notorious book “15 hues of Taupe” or, I believe, something like that.

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Sun Nov 10, 2013 at 12:42 PM PST

The German Butcher Bird.

by Tailgunner30uk

In the summer of 1941, the the Second World War had settled into a new phase. Germany was fully engaged in the Eastern front.  Rommel was commanding the Afrika Corps in the sands of Tunisia, and approaching Egypt.  On the home front, The Spitfire Mk V, superior to the Messerschmitt BF 109E  had become the mainstay of the British fighter force, and roving patrols by the RAF were underway over the French coast.

Then the Focke-Wulf FW190 Würger (Shrike) turned the air war upside down, to the dismay of Allied pilots.

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Perhaps one of the most iconic props in television history.  It has gone through several major revisions in it's life.  A Gallifreyan device, invented by the First Doctor played by William Hartnell, it did not appear in the Hartnell years.  The idea that the Doctor was the inventor of the sonic scrwdriver was alluded to in later stories.
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Sat Jun 15, 2013 at 06:54 AM PDT

Who (how) it all started.

by Tailgunner30uk

Welcome to my inaugural diary for the newly materialised group WHOvians, or WHOligans if your predilection lies in that area!

The Opening sequence to the first ever episode of Doctor Who.  Broadcast by the BBC at 17:16:20 GMT on 23 November 1963.

Undoubtedly the ability to regenerate the main character is one of the main factors that has imbued this series with such long life.

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The Me 163 Komet, is still the only rocket powered combat aeroplane to enter combat service. Small, light, an incredible rate of climb, blindingly quick this little fighter set World Speed records that were not surpassed until long after the end of the Second World War.
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The Fairey Rotodyne.
The Fairey Rotodyne, a compound Gyroplane, was conceived after end of the second world war, when the management at Fairey realised it would need to move into the commercial/military sector rather than being focused purely on military projects.  Chosing not to compete directly in the airliner industry, the company took the bold step of developing a helicopter that was capable of ferrying passengers from city centre to city centre without the need of long and expensive runways, and the infrastructure that goes with them,  Alongside this it would also be able to function as a military transport capable of hauling up to 8 tonnes internally or slung underneath.
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Today just before 1.00pm GMT Sir Patrick Moore passed away.  His family and cat were with him.  My condolences to them in this time of sadness.

This gentle man inspired several generations, including myself with his love of Astronomy.  His program, The Sky at Night, was broadcast for 55 years  with Sir Patrick missing only one broadcast.  Alongside his love of astronomy he was a gifted musician performing on the piano and memorably, the Xylophone which he played in a Royal Variety performance.  He also appeared alongside Morecambe and Wise, and Ronnie Barker. He wrote over 70 books on the subject he loved, two of which were written in partnership with Dr. Brian May, lead guitarist of Queen.

He played an important role in the moon landings, providing maps of the landing sites as well as presenting an informative and entertaining dialogue during these momentous events.

He will be sorely missed in this country and around the world.

I am sorry that it is such a short diary, my first.  I am sure that in the days ahead better diaries will be written.

But I wanted to say Thanks to a great man and an inspiration to many.  

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