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PARANOID LONDON // DUB 1

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On this day in music history: June 28, 1986 - Wham! play their last live concert at Wembley Stadium in London. Dubbed “The Final”, the British pop music duo perform before a sold out audience of over 72,000 fans. With the demand for tickets topping 1,000,000 requests, originally two concerts are planned, but ultimately the decision is made to do only a single show. Tickets are priced at £13.50 (approx. $20 US), and sell out within fifteen minutes of going on sale. The day long event also includes the premiere of the film “Wham! Foreign Skies”, documenting the duos historic concerts in China in April of 1985. The concert also features guest appearances by Elton John and Duran Duran lead singer Simon LeBon. Though the concert is professionally filmed, to date, only brief clips have been shown publicly and has yet to be released in its entirety. Other than a brief appearance together during the encore of George Michael’s set at Rock In Rio in 1991, it is the last time that Wham! perform live in concert.

I spent forever and five days with the lineart and base colors and then I just shaded it in one hour. Go me. Now with low budget background and better shading!

I’m determined to stick this guy everywhere he doesn’t belong, so I turned him into a horribly anachronistic Fallen London character dubbed The Fervent Scholar. Because why not. 

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On this day in music history: August 23, 1969 - “Honky Tonk Women” by The Rolling Stones hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for 4 weeks. Written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, it is the fifth chart topping single for the legendary London based rock band dubbed “The World’s Greatest Rock & Roll Band”. The song is inspired while Mick Jagger and Keith Richards are on vacation in Brazil from late 1968 to early 1969. The two of them see Brazilian gauchos (cowboys) on a ranch Matão, São Paulo when they begin forming ideas for the song. Initially it is recorded with the title “Country Tonk” in February of 1969 during sessions for their next album “Let It Bleed”. Eventually, Mick and Keith re-tool the central riff of the piece as well as writing a risque lyric about a dancing girl (aka “prostitute”) in a western bar. The final version of “Honky Tonk Women” is recorded in June of 1969 at Olympic Studios in London with new guitarist Mick Taylor, having recently replaced Brian Jones in the band. Ironically, the single is released in the UK one day after Jones’ untimely death on July 4, 1969 (US release date is on July 11, 1969). The band perform the song publicly for the first time at a free live concert at Hyde Park in London on July 5, 1969 which is dedicated to Jones’ memory. “Honky Tonk Women” is an immediate smash upon its release. Entering the Hot 100 at #79 on July 19, 1969, it rockets to the top of the chart five weeks later. Initially released as a stand alone single, the song makes its LP debut on The Stones’ second greatest hits compilation “Through The Past, Darkly (Big Hits Vol. 2)” in September of 1969. Appearing on the B-side of the single is the ethereal and highly memorable “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” (#42 Pop) which is also included on “Let It Bleed” when it is released in early December of 1969. “Honky Tonk Women” is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.

We tend to see a lot of the same books around the YA community so we thought about doing a list of some of our favorite underrated books. These are the ones that we’d love to see more edits, gifsets, fanmix, discussions being brought here on tumblr and other social medias. Take a look at the summaries and find which one fits more what you like to read about, they may surprise you with an amazing story!


Charm & Strange by Stephanie Kuehn

“Andrew Winston Winters is at war with himself.

He’s part Win, the lonely teenager exiled to a remote Vermont boarding school in the wake of a family tragedy. The guy who shuts all his classmates out, no matter the cost.

He’s part Drew, the angry young boy with violent impulses that control him. The boy who spent a fateful, long-ago summer with his brother and teenage cousins, only to endure a secret so monstrous it led three children to do the unthinkable.

Over the course of one night, while stuck at a party deep in the New England woods, Andrew battles both the pain of his past and the isolation of his present.

Before the sun rises, he’ll either surrender his sanity to the wild darkness inside his mind or make peace with the most elemental of truths—that choosing to live can mean so much more than not dying.”


Colorblind by Siera Maley

“Harper has a secret…and it’s not that she likes girls. She has a rare and special gift: she can see how old other people will be when they pass away. Nothing she does changes this number, and that becomes especially clear when her mother dies in a car crash. With only one other person in the world who knows about and shares her gift, Harper is determined to keep her distance from everyone. Then she falls for Chloe… whose number is 16.

That means that Chloe doesn’t have twelve months to live. She doesn’t even have six.
She is going to be dead by the end of the summer, unless Harper can find a way to stop it.”


Conviction by Kelly Loy Gilbert

“Ten years ago, God gave Braden a sign, a promise that his family wouldn’t fall apart the way he feared.

But Braden got it wrong: his older brother, Trey, has been estranged from the family for almost as long, and his father, the only parent Braden has ever known, has been accused of murder. The arrest of Braden’s father, a well-known Christian radio host, has sparked national media attention. His fate lies in his son’s hands; Braden is the key witness in the upcoming trial.

Braden has always measured himself through baseball. He is the star pitcher in his small town of Ornette, and his ninety-four-mile-per-hour pitch al- ready has minor league scouts buzzing in his junior year. Now the rules of the sport that has always been Braden’s saving grace are blurred in ways he never realized, and the prospect of playing against Alex Reyes, the nephew of the police officer his father is accused of killing, is haunting his every pitch.

Braden faces an impossible choice, one that will define him for the rest of his life, in this brutally honest debut novel about family, faith, and the ultimate test of conviction.


Dirty London by Kelley York

“All London Noble wanted out of her senior year of high school was anonymity. The complete opposite of Jasmine, her emotionally unstable baby sister, London has worked hard to stay out of the spotlight.

Then she discovers that Wade, one of the most popular guys in school, is gay like her and their new-found closeness based around their shared secret has half the student body convinced they’re hooking up…and a lot of girls aren’t happy about it. Now she’s been dubbed “Dirty London.” Rumors are flying about her inability to keep her clothes on, and London is pretty sure she’s developing a crush on the one girl who sees through it all.

If she could admit why stealing boyfriends is the last thing on her mind—not to mention find out what’s going on with Jasmine and her rapidly disappearing psych medications—her life would be a much brighter place. But if her and Wade’s truth gets out, and if she doesn’t find a way to help her sister, London faces losing a lot more than her obscurity.” 


Every Last Word by Tamara Ireland Stone

“Samantha McAllister looks just like the rest of the popular girls in her junior class. But hidden beneath the straightened hair and expertly applied makeup is a secret that her friends would never understand: Sam has Purely-Obsessional OCD and is consumed by a stream of dark thoughts and worries that she can’t turn off.

Second-guessing every move, thought, and word makes daily life a struggle, and it doesn’t help that her lifelong friends will turn toxic at the first sign of a wrong outfit, wrong lunch, or wrong crush. Yet Sam knows she’d be truly crazy to leave the protection of the most popular girls in school. So when Sam meets Caroline, she has to keep her new friend with a refreshing sense of humor and no style a secret, right up there with Sam’s weekly visits to her psychiatrist.

Caroline introduces Sam to Poet’s Corner, a hidden room and a tight-knit group of misfits who have been ignored by the school at large. Sam is drawn to them immediately, especially a guitar-playing guy with a talent for verse, and starts to discover a whole new side of herself. Slowly, she begins to feel more “normal” than she ever has as part of the popular crowd … until she finds a new reason to question her sanity and all she holds dear.”

Keep reading

Jack the Ripper: CASE SOLVED?

In the last day, a news story has been going around that an author claims to have solved the mystery of Jack the Ripper. My entire timeline is filled with this fact. The reason people keep sending me links about the news is because I wrote a book called The Name of the Star, which involves the murders of Jack the Ripper recreated in modern day London. (I won’t derail this by talking about my book. If you want to read it, it’s available, and you can read the first 1/3 of it for free here if you want. But you don’t have to. I’m just letting you know.)

Because of this, two years of my life were devoted to reading about Jack the Ripper. I read primary sources and secondary sources. I walked East London over and over, sometimes on Ripper tours, and then by myself. I was proficient enough to go to all the crime scenes without aid of a map, to know where the bodies had been located, to know where the now-demolished buildings and streets were. I’m an ARMCHAIR EXPERT, if you will, and maybe even if you won’t. I don’t have the expertise of a dedicated Ripperologist, but I do all right.

For this reason, I have a lot of interest in this piece of “news” (see how I put it in quotes)—and I want to answer the two hundred people who are writing to me saying, “DID YOU SEE THIS?”

 I saw it. Here is the super long-winded answer of what I think about it. Get ready. You did ask. HERE I GO.

There are a few things about this case in general that need to be said before you can address the question of solving it. Jack the Ripper is a popular folk character, almost of mythical proportions. There’s a cartoonish image of the murderer—spooky, tall hat, maybe a cape, taunting the police. He’s an industry—the subject of dozens of books (including mine), movies, tours, haunted houses, television shows, etc. For all of this publicity, the actual, verifiable information about the case is thinner than you might imagine.

 If you Google Jack the Ripper, you’ll get a lot of images like this. It’s a bit cartoonish.

The reality is this: there were murders in Whitechapel, a very poor area of London, in the fall of 1888. Some of these murders fell into a very particular and disturbing pattern: the victims were all prostitutes, all female, all at the end of the social scale. The murders were notable for their significant dismemberment, arrangement of body parts, and (in some of the cases) speed. The actual number of murders attributed to “Jack the Ripper” is disputed, ranging from four to eleven, with a general consensus falling with a canonical five: Mary Anne Nichols, Annie Chapman, Elizabeth Stride, Catherine Eddowes, and Mary Jane Kelly. These five murders took place on the 31st of August 1888 (Nichols), the 8th of September (Chapman), the night of September 29th-30th (Stride and Eddowes), and the 9th of November (Kelly).

The name Jack the Ripper comes from a signature on a letter that was reportedly sent by the killer to the Central News Agency of London (dubbed the “Dear Boss” letter). Opinions are divided, but the letter was widely considered to be a fake and written by a journalist. Hundreds of such letters were received.

The involvement of the news media is a huge part of the Jack the Ripper story. At the time, newspapers had just become affordable. There was a sudden push to get lurid stories. And so the Whitechapel murders became a hugely popular topic, boosted by the various (and likely fake) communications from the killer himself.

So there are a number of issues already with the case in terms of who the victims were and how they were related—as well as the known characteristics of the killer, since there was a mix of fact and fiction in the reported accounts. Add to that the fact that the case was investigated by two separate police organizations (the City of London and the rest of London were legally differentiated and the two police departments did not share a lot of information). Add to that the fact that murder investigations in 1888 were extremely primitive. People walked in and out of murder scenes. People took souvenirs. Bodies were taken, in whatever way possible, to whatever place was handy. Only Mary Kelly’s murder scene was photographed, and again, not in a way that even remotely approaches anything we are used to. The police files on the case—the ones that currently exist—are just a small pile of folders. Most of the case material is missing. Police files were not archived carefully. Officers took evidence files on the case as curiosities (some of these have turned up over time). Some of the materials are simply gone—lost to time and circumstance.

In sum, there’s not a lot of established facts to work with. But people do work with these facts all the time. Ripperologists—people from all walks of life who devote their time and talents to investigating this case—have poured over the available materials for over a hundred years. There are no shortage of theories.

Someone “solves” the Jack the Ripper murders on a regular basis. Probably the biggest last public solving of the case was in 2003, when Patricia Cornwell solved the case and identified the painter Walter Sickert as Jack the Ripper, also using DNA evidence and her own private investigation. Among people who study the case, Cornwall’s conclusions are considered inconclusive at best, at worst, ridiculous. (You can read all about her theories, if you wish. She wrote an entire book on the subject.)

Eleven years later, we again have an author and more DNA evidence. Again, the “solving” is presented in terms of someone having just written a book on the subject. The person named as the killer in this case is Aaron Kominski. Kominski is a popular suspect, almost always named in the pool of best known possibilities. (You can see a listing of popular suspects here.) It is thought that Kominski was the person the police in 1888 thought was behind the crimes, but there is some debate on this subject.

The proof being offered now (as I understand it, from my reading of the news articles in the last 24 hours) comes from Catherine Eddowes’s shawl. The man who claims to have solved the case, Russell Edwards, says he obtained her shawl from relatives of one of the policemen who was on duty the night Eddowes was murdered. This policeman allegedly took the shawl as a gift to his wife. (I just want to stop here and say that I know a lot of you will pause right there and say, “WHO TAKES A SHAWL FROM A MURDER SCENE AND GIVES IT AS S GIFT?” That is a fair question, and one that does require an answer. However, it’s not as crazy as it might sound to us. At the time, clothing was simply more valuable. You didn’t just throw it away. So as super-gross as a crime scene shawl is, yes, there is a possibility that a policeman making little money in 1888 might pick it up as a gift. Yes, it’s still gross, and according the news articles, his wife DID think it was gross and put it in a box.)

So we have one piece of evidence here, and it’s going to be very hard to determine the provenance of that item. It might be her shawl. It might not be. Let’s say it is. How many people handled it? There is a concept in law enforcement called the chain of custody—and it’s all about limiting and identifying who or what has touched a piece of evidence from the moment a crime has happened up until the time that item is examined. This shawl, even if it did belong to Catherine Eddowes, has been floating around for 126 years. And the DNA itself: what’s the quality of the sample? Samples degrade. This is a fun fact I learned when serving as the forewoman of a murder trial. The murder in that case took place in 1989 and I was treated to two days of testimony from experts from the NYPD about what happens to DNA samples that are maybe twenty years old and in modern storage conditions.

There are a lot of questions here, and it will be interesting to hear independent reviews of the case. It could be true—maybe there is something to this. But I think there are a lot of reasons to hang back before applying the solved label to this case. I think this is an great example of how we need to question things presented as facts—when in fact, all we have so far are the claims on someone’s press release. People like to sell books, after all.

Having said that, maybe buy The Name of the Star. At least read the free sample.

Oh, come on. This was a long post. Throw me a bone.

If you want to read more on this subject:

Here is an article from The Smithsonian talking about the quality of the evidence.

If you want to know more about the case, I strongly recommend casebook.org—probably the most complete and carefully curated site on the subject of Jack the Ripper.

In terms of books, there are many to choose from. I’d recommend The Complete Jack the Ripper by Donald Rumbelow. It’s widely considered to be one of the very best on the subject. 

If you’re in London want a tour, I highly recommend London Walks–and Donald Rumbelow’s tour in particular.

 

 

I witnessed my lovely @supportingharrystyles scratching her head, trying to find a reason for Briana to show up at every concert if it is made so very clear that Louis doesn’t spend time with her like, ever. He was out celebrating with girls the other night, spending today at the match, the only time he finds himself in the proximity of the mother of his child is two hours per night in an arena full of thousands of people (to everybody their choice of intimacy) and two stuffed gay bears. While I respect her desperate quest for logic and sense, I guess the simple answer here is that this really is a war. Literally. OT does send her there to bother the band, to spite us, there’s no more rationality when you’re left to fight a battle you know you can’t win. I do believe that the best way to stem his actions is to keep doing exactly what we’re doing, ignore her, ignore the whole mediatic circus around her, ignore Simon. He’ll have to get other people to take pics, not the fandom. And luckily NT will easily find its way to spin this in a more positive way (already is!). 

It reminds me of Alexander the Great spending his precious time suppressing multiple, pointless, pesky risings on his way to Babilonia. Like, they made him waste some time, but he easily ended up conquering Persia. So.

Capt. Edward Teach [Edward Thatch: c. 1680 – 22 November 1718]; ‘Blackbeard’ The Pirate.

'A General History of the Lives and Adventures of the Most Famous Highwaymen, Murderers, Street-Robbers, &c. to which is added, a genuine account of the voyages and plunders of the most notorious pyrates. Interspersed with several diverting tales, and pleasant songs. And adorned with the Heads of the most remarkable Villains, curiously engraven on Copper.’

-Oliver Payne.

Johnson’s General History (London, England), c. 1736.