16 November 2008

Sunday 16 November 2008 Chat

Singer, songwriter and pianist Aretha Franklin has topped Rolling Stone magazine's list of Greatest Singers of All Time.
179 musicians, producers and other music industry insiders submitted their top 20 choices for the poll, including James Blunt, Ginger Baker, Liam Gallagher, Iggy Pop, Etta James, Booker T Jones, Carole King, Brian Wilson and Keith Richards.
The soul legend's top 5 playlist was (You make me feel like) A natural woman, Respect, I never loved a man (The way I love you), Think, and Chain of fools.
Second in the poll came (my hero) Ray Charles with, What'd I say, Pts 1 & 2, and Elvis Presley was third with Mystery Train.
Sam Cooke was 4th, John Lennon 5th and Marvin Gaye came 6th.

Aretha, who has influenced Mary J Blige, Annie Lennox and Alicia Keys, among others, is the definitive soul singer of the 60s and one of the most influential voices in popular music.
Known as The Queen of Soul, she has made more than a dozen million selling singles and 20 Number One R&B hits in the US alone.

That success, despite a turbulent private life, enabled her to become
the first black woman to appear on the cover of Time magazine.
was the first woman inducted into the Rock and Rock Hall of Fame and in 2005 was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom. She has won 21 Grammy Awards to date.
Now 66, she thankfully shows no sign of giving up her remarkable gift, has launched her own record label and studies piano at the Juilliard School, New York.

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Mamma Mia!, the musical, has become the highest-grossing British film at the UK box office.
The film, starring Meryl Streep and Pierce Brosnan, features the songs of 70s pop group, Abba, and has taken £67.2m in the UK since its July release.
Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone was the previous holder of the British record with sales of £66.1m.
If just a few more go to see the feel-good sing-along, Mamma Mia! could beat the highest ever grossing film, Titanic, which has made £69m in the UK.

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From this week it'll be possible to purchase XO laptops in Europe.
The XO is a small, powerful laptop designed for school children, primarily in the third world.
Supposed to cost less than $100 per unit and sell by the million, the final version ended up costing $188 and the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) organisation has apparently sold only 600,000 units.
Yet the distinctive and robust green and white machines are becoming a design classic and under the Give one, get one scheme 190,000 units were purchased & given by Americans over a 2-month period in 2007.
Through Amazon this scheme is now being opened up to 27 European countries where the XO is expected to cost the equivalent of c. £260.
If you're thinking of buying a new laptop, do consider the XO through Give one, get one; you'll be purchasing a hardy and functional machine with excellent design credentials AND be giving a worthwhile gift to a school child in a one of the world's poor countries.
On the basis that a country's future lies in its young people, the XO could be a more valuable gift than a goat this Christmas.

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