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Josh Kirby

Ronald William "Josh" Kirby was a commercial artist born on the outskirts of Liverpool in the town of Waterloo, Lancashire, in the U. K. With a career spanning 60 years, he is known for being the original artist for the covers of Terry Pratchett's Discworld novels, as well as some of science fiction's most acclaimed book cover illustrations. Born Ronald William Kirby in 1928 at 58 Argo Road, Liverpool, to Charles William and Ellen Kirby, his father was a ship owner's freight clerk, his parents ran a grocery shop. Kirby lived at this address. Kirby dreamed of his future career early on, so that at age 7, he made the trade sign that said “KIRBY – ARTIST”; as a boy, Kirby found a magazine for young people called The Modern World, which pictured a valley of giant insects and futuristic vehicles. Science fiction fascinated him from that point on, it was the genre in which "the realm of the possible was extended." As a young adult he spent six years studying various art techniques at the Liverpool City School of Art, gaining a certificate and diploma in drawing and painting respectively.

It was here that his Old Master-style portraits earned him the nickname "Josh" when colleagues likened his work to that of the painter Sir Joshua Reynolds. The nickname stuck and, from that time forward, few people called him by his original name. After leaving art school, Liverpool City Council commissioned him to paint the Mayor in 1950 – an honour for a 22-year old artist starting out. Kirby decided against portraiture as a career and turned to illustration, his professional freelance career started in the early 1950s when Kirby illustrated film posters for studios in both London and Paris. His first published cover art was by Dan Morgan, his next milestone was in 1956 when he created a cover for Moonraker. Kirby began to produce artwork for book covers ranging from westerns and crime novels to non-fiction, as well as painting covers and interior art for science fiction magazines, his illustrations appear on the covers of some of the literary science fiction and horror books of the 50s, 60s, 70s and 80s.

The list of authors includes Ray Bradbury, Isaac Asimov, Alfred Hitchcock, Guy de Maupassant, Jimmy Sangster, Richard Matheson, Ursula Le Guin, Jack Kerouac, Jules Verne, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Robert Heinlein, H. G. Wells, Robert Rankin, Craig Shaw Gardner, Stephen Briggs, Ron Goulart, Brian Aldiss as well as Terry Pratchett. In the 70s, Kirby returned to film poster art for publicity agency FEREF. Working alongside designer Eddie Paul, Kirby depicted the characters for Star Wars: Return of the Jedi; when the market for poster illustration dried up in the mid 80s, Kirby switched his attention to the booming role-playing game phenomena. He provided cover art for Wizards & Warriors. Kirby’s most significant move of the 80s was teaming up with Terry Pratchett, a commission that Kirby thought would be a "one-off", he was commissioned to produce the covers for the Discworld series, producing 26 covers before his death in 2001. Beginning with the twenty-seventh Discworld novel, The Last Hero, Paul Kidby took over as cover illustrator.

Pratchett said, "I only invented the Discworld, Josh created it.” Throughout his career, Kirby used oils, gouache, or watercolor using more than one method on a single piece. He preferred oils as they wouldn’t dry too and could be manipulated and applied in layers; this allowed for them to be retouched or painted over, whatever it took to achieve the result. Kirby worked and meticulously, it would take him four to eight weeks to complete a single painting because his process included reading each novel before illustrating it. He would draw a rough sketch in pencil to be approved by the art editor at the publisher, except in the case where Kirby would discuss the concept over the phone directly with Pratchett – unusual in the publishing world where the convention is to deal with the publisher's art director; when asked about influences, he most named three past artists. The oldest was Hieronymus Bosch, famous for his fantastic imagery, detailed landscapes and illustrations of religious concepts and narratives.

Next was Pieter Bruegel, whose religious and mythological depictions expanded the viewer’s perspective of reality. And muralist Frank Brangwyn, an avante-garde artist-craftsman notable for his boldly-coloured murals. Past collections of his work include: The Voyage of the Ayeguy, a portfolio of six linked science-fantasy pictures The Josh Kirby Poster Book, containing 13 posters inspired by Discworld Faust Eric, by Terry Pratchett with 15 Kirby illustrations In the Garden of Unearthly Delights, a large selection of 159 Kirby paintings The Josh Kirby Discworld Portfolio. Best SF Artist, World Science Fiction Convention British Fantasy Award for Professional Artist Kirby died of natural causes in his sleep at home in Shelfanger near Diss in Norfolk at the age of 72. De Lint, Charles. "Books to Look For". F&SF. 100: 24–28. Review of In the garden of unearthly delights. Official Site Josh Kirby at L-Space Web Josh Kirby bibliography "Out of this world: the art of Josh Kirby' exhibition" Josh Kirby at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database


Steinerberg is a municipality in Schwyz District in the canton of Schwyz in Switzerland. Steinerberg has an area, as of 2006, of 6.9 km2. Of this area, 62.7 % is used for agricultural purposes. Of the rest of the land, 5.2% is settled and the remainder is non-productive. Steinerberg has a population of 946; as of 2007, 6.3% of the population was made up of foreign nationals. Over the last 10 years the population has decreased at a rate of -3.5%. Most of the population speaks German, with Serbo-Croatian being second most common and Albanian being third; as of 2000 the gender distribution of the population was 48.7 % female. The age distribution, as of 2008, in Steinerberg was: As of 2000 there were 272 households, of which 52 households contained only a single individual. 27 or about 9.9% were large households with at least five members. In the 2007 election the most popular party was the SVP; the next three most popular parties were the CVP, the FDP and the SPS. In Steinerberg about 61.5% of the population had completed either non-mandatory upper secondary education or additional higher education.

Steinerberg has an unemployment rate of 0.73%. As of 2005, there were 122 people employed in the primary economic sector and about 45 businesses involved in this sector. 59 people were employed in the secondary sector and there were 13 businesses in this sector. 115 people were employed with 14 businesses in this sector. From the 2000 census, 719 or 80.2% were Roman Catholic, while 54 or 6.0% belonged to the Swiss Reformed Church. Of the rest of the population, there were 14 individuals who belonged to the Orthodox Church, there were less than 5 individuals who belonged to another Christian church. There were 23. There were less than 5 individuals who belonged to another church, 44 belonged to no church, were agnostic or atheist, 40 individuals did not answer the question; the historical population is given in the following table: Steinerberg railway station

Clare Farragher

Clare M. Farragher is an American Republican Party politician who served in the New Jersey General Assembly from 1987 until 2004 where she represented the 12th Legislative District, she served as Mayor of Freehold Township. Farragher attended St. John's University, majoring in Social Sciences She served on the Freehold Township Committee from 1982 until 1991, serving as its mayor in 1985, as deputy mayor in 1984 and 1988, as Police Commissioner from 1984 to 1991, she served in the Assembly as Deputy Speaker, on the Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee, the Appropriations Committee and on the Joint Committee on Automobile Insurance Reform. She won a special election in February 1987, replacing Assemblywoman Marie Sheehan Muhler, who had resigned from office to take a position with the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs, was sworn into office on February 19, 1987, she was re-elected, along with incumbent John O. Bennett that November, she was re-elected with Bennett and won again in 1989, 1991, 1993, 1995, 1997, 1999 and 2001 together with Michael Arnone.

Democrats Robert Lewis Morgan and running mate Michael J. Panter were elected in 2003, ousting incumbent Republicans Arnone and Farragher; as chairwoman of the Assembly Insurance Committee, Farragher proposed legislation in June 1992 that would allow drivers to purchase no-frills insurance, that would be available with annual premiums as low as $250, in the hope that it would allow the estimated 500,000 uninsured drivers in New Jersey to have access to affordable coverage for their vehicles. The savings would be achieved by reducing the level of the required personal injury protection coverage from $250,000 to $15,000 and by allowing the deductible for car repairs to be as high as $10,000. In what The New York Times described as a "food fight", Farragher argued in 2003 that the tomato has a strong historical association with the Garden State and that "the Jersey tomato does have a unique taste" that derives from the characteristics of the soil on the Atlantic coast. Legislation passed in 2003 establishing the blueberry as New Jersey's official state fruit

Harry Clifton (singer)

Harry Clifton was a British music hall singer and entertainer. A prolific songwriter, his most successful song was "Pretty Polly Perkins of Paddington Green". Clifton was born in Hoddesdon, the son of a carpenter, was baptised on 20 May 1832, he was orphaned as a child, little is known of his early adulthood, but by the early 1860s he had become well known as a singer and songwriter in the song and supper rooms and early music halls of London. Nicknamed "Handsome Harry Clifton" during his career, his repertoire included comic songs, Irish songs, "motto songs", with an improving moral message, such as "Paddle Your Own Canoe". Clifton's songs were described as "equally popular and acceptable in the drawing-rooms of the rich as in the cottages of the poor". Many taught a moral lesson, he wrote his own lyrics. Although some of his songs relied on tunes by such composers as Charles Coote, most adapted their tunes from old folk songs, his other songs included "The Dark Girl Dress'd In Blue", "There's Nothing Succeeds Like Success", "It's Better to Laugh Than to Cry", "Work, Work, Be Contented!".

A list of songs for sale held at the British Library names fifteen songs by Harry Clifton, described as "without exception, the best comic songs of the day". Lithographs of several of his other songs are held in the British Library online archive, including "The Dark Girl Dress'd In Blue", "Isabella, The Barber's Daughter" and "The Railway Bell". Clifton undertook a nationwide tour between 1865 and 1867, with his own Cosmopolitan Concert Company, for some years lived in Glasgow, he had one child, Fanny Alice, who died aged six months. He died aged 40 in July 1872, in Shepherd's Bush, is buried in Kensal Green Cemetery. One of his obituaries stated: "The popularity which his songs attained is best denoted by the fact that now they are whistled by every street-boy, played by every barrel organ and sung in every town and hamlet in the United Kingdom." The critic Peter Gammond describes Clifton as "one of the great pioneers of music-hall song." Clifton's work survives into the present day, as the Tyneside Music Hall song Cushie Butterfield is sung to the same tune as "Pretty Polly Perkins" and is a parody of it.

The Railway Children Soundtracks Discussion thread at

Nordhausen (district)

Nordhausen is a Kreis in the north of Thuringia, Germany. Neighboring districts are: Mansfeld-Südharz in Saxony-Anhalt; the district was created in 1815. The area of Lohra-Clettenberg and the free imperial city of Nordhausen were thereafter administrated together. In 1882-3 Nordhausen left the district, which led to its renaming as the Kreis Grafschaft Hohenstein in 1888. After World War II the name reverted to Landkreis Nordhausen, in 1950 the city of Nordhausen was reincorporated into the district. In the administrative reform of 1952 several municipalities changed districts: a number were transferred from the district of Sangerhausen to that of Nordhausen, while others were transferred from Nordhausen to the districts of Worbis, Wernigerode and Sangerhausen; the district is located in the southern foothills of the Harz mountains. The highest point is the Große Ehrenberg, with an elevation of 635.3 m above sea level. The main river in the district is the Zorge. To the south lie the Dün, Windleite ranges of hills.

Official website

Cefn yr Ystrad

Cefn yr Ystrad is a mountain in the Brecon Beacons National Park in Wales. It is an outlier of the Central Beacons group; the broad northeast - southwest aligned ridge reaches an elevation of 619 metres. One of the southernmost peaks in the Brecon Beacons, it rises to the east of Pontsticill Reservoir; the summit area is a great stretch of wild moorland, with the highest point marked by a trig point. The hill is formed from successive layers of Carboniferous Limestone and the overlying Twrch Sandstone; the rock strata dip to the south but are locally disrupted by foundering of the sandstone as the underlying limestone has dissolved away. There are extensive ice-smoothed pavements of the loose rock abounds; the crest and southern slopes of the hill are home to dozens of shakeholes, some of which reach considerable proportions. The hill is scattered with archaeological sites from the Bronze age through to the industrial period. Pre-eminent amongst these are Garn Carn-y-Bugail, it stands at 3m high but has been disturbed.

Numerous nineteenth century boundary stones can traced across the hill bearing the engraved letters ‘D of B, TM’ on the one side and ‘GH’ on the other, marking the boundary between the estates of the Duke of Beaufort, Tretower Manor and of the Gwynne Holford’s who were established at Buckland Hall near BwlchA number of more recent structures and tracks are associated with the now-abandoned limestone quarries of Cwar Blaen-dyffryn, Cwar y Hendre and Cwar yr Ystrad on the northern and northwestern flanks of the hill. The hill lies within open country and so access on foot is available. A bridleway running northeast from Pontsticill skirts the northwestern edge of the hill bound for Dyffryn Crawnon and the Usk Valley. photos of Cefn yr Ystrad and surrounding area