click links in text for more info

Doors to the Unknown

Doors to the Unknown is an accessory for the 2nd edition of the Advanced Dungeons & Dragons fantasy role-playing game. The premise for the mini-campaign in Doors to the Unknown is that there are four'blink portals' that appear in Sigil every 500 years and which last for two months. After this the portals disappear for another half-millennium; the overall aim is for the party to find out the secrets behind them. Rumors indicate that these doors lead to restricted planes, of hyper-real super-monsters, that they were created by the god Aoskar when the Lady of Pain killed him. Trenton Webb reviewed Doors to the Unknown for Arcane magazine, he commented: "In the early'70s there was a spate of low-budget multi-story horror films where four people were thrown together to tell their tales in turn. Doors to the Unknown borrows this format and suffers from the nagging suspicion - the creators had loads of good ideas but no great ones." He stated: "The challenges are classic Planescape: find the keys to the portals, dive through, do a deed and get back.

An extra gulp factor is added with the fact that these portals kill non-key holders, that after two months they close for another 500 years - so if you're not back by it's game over." Webb continued: "Each of the portals leads to a unique mini-plane that poses specific challenges, three of which are good fun. The universe's junkyard, a hyperreal jungle and future-world of Logicus Prime all provide different takes on'standard weird planes'; the dull cave crawl that forms the fourth plane is spiced up with a healthy dose of backstabbing intrigue." He added: "The overall plot, supposed to fuel the whole campaign doesn't have the narrative cohesion that's required, though. Players who are going to have other things on their mind - such as getting back home - aren't given enough clues or guidance." Webb concluded his review by saying, "The vagaries of Planescape are one of its true blessings, because it enables games to be played in a fast'n loose style, why it's imperative that recognisable core themes are maintained, why Doors to the Unknown fails.

It serves up four mini-adventures which fail to coalesce into the single great adventure it wants to be."

Love's Kitchen

Love's Kitchen is a 2011 British romantic comedy film directed by James Hacking and starring Dougray Scott, Claire Forlani, Michelle Ryan, featured celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay in his first acting role. Hacking wrote the script for the film, it was the director's first feature-length film, it received a limited theatrical release in the UK, taking £121 on its opening weekend from five screens. It was released direct to DVD in the United States. Film critics gave it negative reviews, the film received a score of 19% on Rotten Tomatoes. After his wife is killed in a car accident, chef Rob Haley is left grief-stricken. A bad review causes him to lose customers at his once successful restaurant, so after talking to his friend Gordon Ramsay, Haley relocates to the countryside with his daughter and some loyal members of his staff to turn a local pub into a gastropub. On the opening day of the restaurant, American food critic Kate Templeton arrives, resulting in an argument with Rob, but the two go on to fall in love and buy a dog.

Some of the locals are content with the visitors that the restaurant is bringing to the area, whilst others want it closed down. Rob cooks a special dish with duck, a hit with the populace. Kate sees to it that Guy Witherspoon, a renowned food critic, visits the restaurant which results in an excellent report and ongoing success for the restaurant under Haley and Templeton. Dougray Scott as Rob Haley Claire Forlani as Kate Templeton Michelle Ryan as Shauna Simon Callow as Guy Witherspoon Cherie Lunghi as Margaret Gordon Ramsay as Himself Joshua Bowman as Roberto Peter Bowles as Max Templeton Lee Boardman as Loz Adam Fogerty as Terry Pip Torrens as Health and Safety Official Caroline Langrishe as Liz Holly Gibbs as Michelle The film was based on the story of pub owner John Hailey, on whom the character of Rob Haley was based; the character of Kate Templeton was a play on words based on the fact that the pub it was based on was a local for Kate Middleton Duchess of Cambridge. The script was written by James Hacking, who went on to direct the film, marking it as his first full-length feature.

Hacking provided funding for the film himself. Dougray Scott and Claire Forlani were cast opposite each other, although in real life they were husband and wife. Hacking pursued Gordon Ramsay for a role in the film for some time, but decided not to go through his agents and approached him directly, he wrote a personal letter to Ramsay asking him to be in the film, the first letter read by Ramsay when he returned to the UK after spending eight months in the United States, prompting the celebrity chef to agree to be in the film. The film was Ramsay's acting debut, he agreed to appear at his own expense. Ramsay's name was misspelt in the closing credits as "Ramsey". Scenes from the film were shot on site at Elstree Studios. One scene features Michelle Ryan driving an Alfa Romeo. Production on the film was completed in March 2009. Love's Kitchen was entered in the 2010 Toronto International Film Festival, it did not appear. The film made its debut showing in the UK at the Kingussie Food on Film Festival in February 2011 under its original name of No Ordinary Trifle.

The only actor from the film to make an appearance was Lee Boardman. It took £121 on its opening weekend in the UK after release on 24 June 2011, comparing poorly with the same weekend's biggest opening film, which took £3.44 million, including previews of £1.03m. Due to the appearance by Ramsay in the film, the low levels of takings was highlighted by the press who sought to get a response by the chef, but he refused to comment except to state that he wished to have no involvement in the promotion of the film. DVD release in the United States preceded the UK cinema release, with the film going straight to DVD on 7 June, it was presented at the 2011 Dances With Films independent film festival, where it opened the event, but not entered in the competition. The film was released in the UK on DVD less than three weeks after its cinema release, coming out on 11 July. Following the release of the trailer for the film, critics began to criticise it as they thought they could guess the entire plot straight away, while Digital Spy's Simon Reynolds predicted that it would be a candidate for the worst film of the year.

Following release, the film garnered a 19% approval rating from 16 critics on the review-aggregate website Rotten Tomatoes. The film was criticised upon release by the British media. David Edwards for The Daily Mirror suggested that people should see it "for a masterclass in how not to make a film; the effect is like smashing plates over your head while suffering from violent diarrhoea." However, the newspaper listed the film as a "nicely staged British rom-com". The Guardian's Peter Bradshaw described the film as "abysmal", in particular thought that Gordon Ramsay was "excruciating". Henry Fitzherbert at the Daily Express described it as "astonishingly amateur and awful", while Sky Movies critic Tim Evans described it as a "veritable banquet of awfulness". Empire gave the film a score of two out of five. Total Film thought better of the film, with Emma Dibden describing it as having a "sharp script" while praising both Dougray Scott and Simon Callow, giving the film a score of four out of five.

Love's Kitchen on IMDb Official website

George Evans (singer)

George Louis Henry Evans is a Canadian jazz singer. Born in Bloomington and raised in Cincinnati, Evans is the child of Robert Evans and Lucile Villeneuve Evans, both longtime faculty of the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, Indiana University School of Music, McGill University in Montreal; this early exposure to music inspired him to have a career in music, while his sister, Julie Evans, became an architect in Chicago and New York City. Evans attended the School for Creative and Performing Arts in the Cincinnati Public Schools, where he majored in musical theater and instrumental music, went on to study Musical Theater at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, he moved to New York City and in the 1980s worked toward a career in theater while appearing as a vocalist. He chose a career as a vocalist, broadcaster and archivist. Performing as a soloist in the late 1980s in cabarets in New York City at venues such as Eighty-Eight's and Danny's Skylight Room, Evans went on to study and perform in the Montreal.

He was heard on Montreal radio on CKUT and K103,and for the better part of a decade appeared in clubs and festivals before moving to Toronto in 1999. Working as a musicologist, Evans has been hired to select and sequence projects for Verve Records in the US, including much of "The Diva Series", focusing on Verve's best-selling female singers. In 2004 he created Here Come The Boys: a Canadian Crooner Collection for Maximum Jazz and Universal Music Canada, his discography includes the album Bewitched, his first recording with strings, Live at the Cellar, recorded in the Vancouver night club. Evans was nominated the Canadian National Jazz Awards Vocalist of the Year and Male Vocalist of the Year, he has performed across Canada in festivals including the Vancouver International Jazz Festival, Montreal International Jazz Festival and Toronto Downtown Jazz Festival. He has performed at Top o' the Senator and the Montreal Bistro in Toronto, The Cellar in Vancouver, Upstairs in Montreal, he has performed in clubs and cabarets New York City such as The Metropolitan Room and the Laurie Beechman Theater.

In 2008 Evans was nominated with vocalist Mary Foster Conklin for a MAC Award in the category of best jazz duo or group. Evans's column "Vocalizing In Jazz" was a regular feature of Planet Jazz magazine. In 2009 he produced a series entitled "The Jazz Standard" for in Toronto. Moodswing I'm All Smiles From Moment to Moment Eyes for You M-Swing, 2002) Movie Songs Bewitched Live at the Cellar Alex Pangman - Live in Montreal liner notes - 2005 Here Come The Boys: a Canadian Crooner Collection producer - 2004 Diva Series - Anita O'Day selection and sequencing - 2003 Diva Series - Ella Fitzgerald selection and sequencing - 2003 Diva Series - Astrud Gilberto selection and sequencing - 2003 Diva Series - Billie Holiday selection and sequencing - 2003 Diva Series - Dinah Washington selection and sequencing - 2003 Diva Series - Sarah Vaughan selection and sequencing - 2003 Diva Series - Carmen McRae selection and sequencing - 2003 Buddy Greco - Talkin' Verve selection and sequencing - 2001 Official site Review of Moodswing 1997 Review of From Moment to Moment 2001 Review of From Moment to Moment 2001 Review of Eyes for You 2002 Review of Eyes for You 2002 Review of Movie Songs 2004 Review of Bewitched 2006 Review of Bewitched 2006

Mark Jackson (athletic director)

Mark Jackson is the athletic director for Villanova University. Jackson was the senior associate athletic director for the University of Southern California. Jackson graduated from Xaverian Brothers High School in Massachusetts, he received a bachelor's degree in Government from Colby College where played defensive back on the football team from 1991 to 1994. Jackson received a master's degree in Public Policy from Trinity College in 1997. Jackson began his coaching career as a graduate assistant at Trinity College from 1995 to 1996. Jackson joined the New England Patriots' coaching staff as a special teams coaching assistant under then-Patriots head coach Pete Carroll in 1998. Carroll was fired following the 1999, but Jackson stayed on with new head coach Bill Belichick's coaching staff as a special teams and running backs coaching assistant through 2000. In 2001, Jackson rejoined Carroll the head coach at the University of Southern California, as the school's director of football operations and assistant athletic director, a position he held through 2005.

In 2006, Jackson served as Executive Senior Associate Director of Athletics at Syracuse University before being hired as Vice President of Athlete Development at the boxing development firm A2 Holdings. In 2007, Jackson was hired by Oakland Raiders coach Lane Kiffin as the team's director of football development. On December 15, 2008, Raiders head coach Tom Cable announced that Jackson had been relieved of his duties amid a public departure of Raider assistant James Cregg who joined Kiffin's staff at the University of Tennessee. Villanova profile

The Discovery of Slowness

The Discovery of Slowness is a novel by Sten Nadolny, written under a double conceit: first, as a novelization of the life of British Arctic explorer Sir John Franklin, second as a hymn of praise to "slowness," a quality which Nadolny's fictional Franklin possesses in abundance. Published in Germany in 1983, its fame spread through the English translation by Ralph Freedman, first published in the United States by Viking Penguin in 1987. "Slowness" — in German, "Langsamkeit" — had, before Nadolny's novel been associated with mental retardation. In Nadolny's world, this seeming disability is in fact a powerful asset; as a result, he attains victories unimaginable to the more "hurried" multitude. Nadolny's choice of a hero is apt in this regard. In a manner reminiscent of Roland Barthes' "autobiography" of Jules Michelet, Nadolny's Franklin is consistent with the known facts, all impeccably researched, yet interwoven with the truth there is an fictitious construction of Franklin as "slow," ranging from an imaginary ball-game in which the hapless John always arrives several seconds after the ball has departed to a fictitious re-creation of Franklin's efforts, at the height of Admiral Horatio Nelson's naval battles, to find and shoot a sniper from atop the masts of an enemy warship.

By waiting, without panic, noting the angle at which the sniper's shots have been discharged, Franklin pinpoints his location and takes him down with a single shot. Nadolny's choice of hero becomes more problematic in the narrative, where it seems that Franklin's sort of slowness was decidedly not what was wanted in the Barren Lands of the Arctic, where Franklin loses more than three-quarters of his expedition to starvation and exposure. Alas for both the historical Franklin and Nadolny's oddly endearing counterfeit, Franklin's death on his final Arctic expedition of 1845 leaves unresolved the ultimate merits of his slow and steady disposition. Despite this, Nadolny's novel spurred tremendous interest in Germany, most notably in the business world, where seminars for executives on how to follow the philosophy of slowness became, for a time, de rigueur. Nadolny wrote the foreword to an important non-fiction work on the 1845 Franklin Expedition, Der eisige Schlaf, published as Frozen In Time: The Fate of the Franklin Expedition in the original English.

The character descriptions refer, for simplicity, unless otherwise stated, to the protagonist John Franklin. John Franklin Hannah Franklin Tom Barker Sherard Philip Lound Dr. Orme Ann Chapell Matthew Flinders Mary Rose Denis Lacy Flora Reed Eleanor Porden Eleanor Anne Franklin Jane Griffin Sophia Cracroft Robert Macfarlane, "Read it on the autobahn," Review of The Discovery of Slowness, London Review of Books, Vol. 25 No. 24 · 18 December 2003