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Thomas Hardy (English painter)

Thomas Hardy was a portrait painter born in Derbyshire, England. Not much is known about Hardy's background and career, he enrolled at the Royal Academy Schools at the end of 1778, where records show he had turned 21 in the previous June. He exhibited some 31 paintings at the Royal Academy from 1778 to 1798 — all portraits — and four portraits at the Society of Artists exhibition in 1790. Thomas Hardy’s sitters included musical figures active in London during the 1790s. Most of Hardy's portrait paintings were painted for the British music seller and publisher John Bland. Bland appears to have commissioned oil portraits of several leading musicians of the day from Hardy, although the details surrounding this are uncertain, published the resulting engravings based upon them. Thomas Hardy is known for the famous portrait of the composer Joseph Haydn now hanging in the Royal College of Music; the subsequent engraving by Hardy and published by Bland, has been reproduced and copied since it first appeared in early 1792.

He is known for the noted portrait of the composer and pianist Muzio Clementi. The stippled portrait was published on 31 October 1794 by the London music publisher John Bland No. 45 Holborn, now at the British Museum. Thomas Hardy painted the portraits of Johann Peter Salomon, Ignaz Pleyel, Wilhelm Cramer, Samuel Arnold, William Shield. Hardy exhibited four of these portraits at the Royal Academy: Joseph Haydn and Johann Peter Salomon in 1792, Wilhelm Cramer in 1794, Samuel Arnold in 1796. Hardy’s portrait of Wilhelm Cramer is at the National Portrait Gallery and his portraits of Joseph Haydn, Johann Peter Salomon and William Shield are at the Royal College of Music; the date of Thomas Hardy's death had been uncertain until now, but the Gentleman's Magazine of October 1804 states that he died "after a long illness" on 14 September 1804. His life before attending the Royal Academy Schools was a mystery; the diary of the topographical artist Joseph Farington, states that Hardy was born in Derbyshire and that he studied under Wright of Derby.

Farington adds that he "died aged 47 in consequence of a cold caught at the Academy while painting Copies of the Portraits of the King & Queen for Lawrence", consistent with the Gentleman's Magazine notice. The painter Thomas Hardy has sometimes been confused with another Thomas Hardy: the shoemaker and founder of the London Corresponding Society who lived 1752–1832. Hardy the artist did paint the politician John Horne Tooke, associated with Hardy the radical, the latter two were both put on trial for high treason in 1794. Royal College of Music, An essay with Thomas Hardy's paintings by Alan Davison in music iconography. Getty Database Thomas Hardy at Npg.org.uk

Sandcastles in the Sand (song)

"Sandcastles in the Sand" is a song written by Craig Thomas and Carter Bays for the CBS television series How I Met Your Mother. The song was performed by Canadian actress Cobie Smulders in the role of Robin Scherbatsky, who has a secret past as a teenage Canadian pop star under the stage name Robin Sparkles. A follow-up to "Let's Go to the Mall", "Sandcastles in the Sand" was inspired by several 1980s pop ballads; the song was made available for streaming on April 15, 2008, before it appeared in an episode of the same name that aired on April 21. It was released as a single on April 23, appeared on the soundtrack album How I Met Your Music. "Sandcastles in the Sand" is a breakup ballad song about teenage love. The music video was shot at Zuma Beach, featuring Tiffany, Alan Thicke, James Van Der Beek as her love interest. Television and music critics praised the song's humor and compared it to "Let's Go to the Mall", it had sold 1,000 digital downloads in the United States as of August 2008, the music video attracted more than 70,000 views online after 3 days of release.

Smulders reprised the role of Robin Sparkles in "Glitter" and "P. S. I Love You". Thicke and Van Der Beek returned in multiple episodes. Cobie Smulders played Robin Scherbatsky, a devoted broadcast journalist who moves from Canada for a job in New York, in the CBS television series How I Met Your Mother. In season 2's "Slap Bet", the character was revealed to have been a Canadian teen pop star under the stage name Robin Sparkles; that episode featured the song "Let's Go to the Mall", which had sold 4,000 digital downloads in the United States as of August 2008, while its music video received more than 300,000 viewers on MySpace and the CBS official website within the 10 days of its TV premiere. Smulders was pleased about the favorable reception towards the song, calling it "hilarious". During the production of "Slap Bet", creators and executive producers Craig Thomas and Carter Bays had deliberated over the idea of bringing back Robin's musical past in a season. Thomas revealed that the storyline would mention another song by her that "wasn't as big a hit".

Bays said that they had to "somehow build on or find a new dimension to it," and that the song would be "the perfect way to see another side of ". Kourtney Kang, who wrote "Slap Bet", had been "pushing for another " and was excited when they got a chance to do it. In March 2008, Thomas confirmed that there would be an episode featuring Robin Sparkles in season 3, with a B-side song to "Let's Go to the Mall". Titled "Sandcastles in the Sand", it was one of the three original songs written by Thomas and Bays for season 3, along with "Ted Mosby is a Jerk" and "You Just Got Slapped", they found the inspiration for "Sandcastles in the Sand" from several 1980s pop ballads Belinda Carlisle's "Circle in the Sand", Debbie Gibson's "Foolish Beat", Martika's "Toy Soldiers". Smulders spent hours in the recording studio with Thomas, where she changed parts of the audio "bit by bit". Thomas noticed. John Swihart, one of the show's composers, advised her to eat a green apple to smoothen it. Thomas and Smulders were pleased with the final results.

Smulders improvised the line "I'm on the pill now!" and it was added to the song. "The technology that these studios now have is pretty amazing. Anyone can go in and come out sounding OK, so I have that on my side," Smulders said. In the episode, character Robin Scherbatsky reveals that "Sandcastles in the Sand" was a less-successful artistic follow-up to her minor hit "Let's Go To The Mall", with both songs released by Dominant Records on an album called Make It Sparkle, it was about her first boyfriend Simon, who led a rock band and had a collection of Hard Rock Cafe T-shirts. The couple met while making the music video for the song and broke up behind his van after spending a week and a half together. Written by Bays and Thomas, it is a breakup ballad song with a runtime of 33 seconds. Lyrically, "Sandcastles in the Sand" discusses teenage love; the creators labeled it a "slow, mournful breakup song". The song begins with the line, "Met you at the mall / Didn't know how far I would fall", she recalls "the greatest week and a half" of her life with her love interest: he taught her how "to French" while sitting on her favorite bench, they were "gonna travel the globe / From Alberta to Ontario".

Lines such as "You're a fool!", "Shut up!", or "I'm on the pill now!" can be heard in the background. Kelly West of Cinema Blend thought that the song resembles "every other moany pop-ballad from the 80's". PopSugar and Isabelle Carreau of TV Squad described it as a "wistful", "touching", "overwrought, obviously-written-by-a-16-year-old" ballad. Whitney Pastorek of Entertainment Weekly felt that it was a "heartwrenching B-side" track, CBC.ca called it "campy". Vlada Gelman of TVLine declared the song a "temporary foray into semi-serious balladry". Alyssa Fikse of Uproxx noted similarities from the song to Gibson's power ballad "Only in My Dreams". Fox News interpreted the recording as a "melodramatic torch song near and dear to Robin's heart". According to TV Squad, the show began to enlist more guest stars after the ratings success of "Ten Sessions", in which Britney Spears appeared in a cameo role. Writer Greg Malins, who had worked with James Van Der Beek, offered him a role in the episode.

In March 2008, it was announced that he agreed to play Sparkles' love interest. A week Tiffany and Alan Thicke confirmed their roles as Sparkles' friend and father, respectively

Fire World

Fire World is the sixth and penultimate novel in The Last Dragon Chronicles series by Chris d'Lacey. In an interview with ThirstforFiction on the publication day, Chris d'Lacey stated that Fire World would be set in an alternate universe, that all of the recurring characters from the previous novels would return, but in different guises, it opens on the planet Co:pern:ica with Counsellor Strømberg talking to Professor Harlan Merriman and his wife Eliza, their son David walks in. They talk about dreams that David has been having as Strømberg and Harlan watch a video they had recorded while he was sleeping. On Co:pern:ica, they have commingled with Fain to make themselves higher beings, although there is a power called The Higher which governs those on Co:pern:ica; the dream is strange and David has been visited by Firebirds and they are seen blowing their special fire over him. It is shown that a temporal rift had opened up and the fire birds came to close it up. Although Bernard Brotherton believes that David imagineered the fire birds, they come to the conclusion that someone, somewhere on another universe had been calling out to David.

Eliza and Harlan travel back to their pod where they decide to commingle their fain and produce another child, a daughter for when David comes back. To be able to have a child on Co:pern:ica they must be assessed by an agent of the higher, one of the Aunts, they request the Aunt they had for David but she is otherwise engaged and are given Aunt Gwyneth. Whilst they are being assessed Harlan insults Gwyneth and she denies them to have a child, but says that Eliza could become an Aunt. Eliza reluctantly agrees and the next day she is taken to the Dead Lands and begins to learn more about the world they live on. Gwyneth states that Eliza spent her childhood with her and that she was brought back into the system at the age of five. Whilst Harlan is at work at the Ragnar Institution of Physics, he brings in data from the research on David and asks his partner Bernard to put the information into SETH, which we are led to believe is some sort of super computer; the equipment that they have set, is meant to open up a controlled rift and let someone pass through it like a teleport.

Strømberg suggests sending David to a librarium, a huge building going up past the clouds to be tutored by Charles Henry and have an'adventure'. Eliza and Harlan drop David off there and they a meet a young girl called Rosa who says that the Librarium is hers, she tells Harlan and Eliza that they may leave and Rosa and Mr Henry will look after David. After a meeting with Mr Henry, they both tell David that to get around the Librarium they have to think of where to go and picture it in their heads. David practices by finding a wardrobe where he dresses a little like Rosa. David enjoys his time with a Rosa, they become friends whilst cataloguing the library for Mr Henry. Whilst they are cataloguing they ask Mr Henry how to get to and above floor 43, because although they have searched for it they have never been able to reach it. Mr Henry says they must work hard to be able to access the secrets of the upper floors and it is revealed that there is a huge Firebird eyrie up there. One day David and Rosa are teasing each other about a book each wanting to put it into their own collection when Rosa challenges David that when she throws the book out of the window whoever reaches it first will be able to catalogue it.

When Rosa throws the book it hits her Firebird Runcey and David rushed down to help him telling Rosa to fetch Mr Henry. When Rosa and Mr Henry reach David they find Runcey gone and David has entered a state of Melancholia, because a evil large, Red Firebird named Azkiar finds Runcey and David, the Azkiar flies away with Runcey. Rosa finds a book about Dragons which she accidentally mispronounces as'drargones', fearing that Strømberg and Mr Henry will take the book from her, she runs for a place to hide. Rosa manages to find the door to floor 43 but the door is locked and there is no visible lock to the door. Gwyneth appears and asks why she is trying to go up there and Rosa lies several times, Gwyneth asks about the dragon book and Rosa tells her. Gwyneth forbids her to read it. Gwyneth, visiting to check on David, demands to be taken to David and Mr Henry. At first Gwyneth wants David to be de:stroyed but Strømberg steps in and says they should assess David as he is a special ec:centric. Back in the Dead Lands, it begins to rain as Eliza finds clay and begins to model with it making an egg.

The rain becomes strange as it is driving Eliza away, although when the drops fall on the ground they recreate images of dragons. Eliza finds them beautiful and they start to scare her until she shouts'I AM ELIZA!' and they turn away. The lead dragon, described as bony and human like to Eliza breathes over her. Eliza collapses into a heap. Sometime a group of Firebirds find Eliza and they are trying to take care of her, when they discover the egg and wonder how one could have gotten out of the eyrie. Two days Harlan and Strømberg are about to open up the rift when it cuts to Aunt Gwynteth in the Dead Lands, she finds a trail of stones leading towards some caves. Reaching the cave she sees that Eliza has created lots of clay dragons acting as guardians to the slope that they are on. Gwyneth furiously confronts Eliza about the heresy she has committed and Eliza shows that she has a baby daughter and cracked the family anomaly. Back at the Librarium, a fire bird named Aurielle, picks up the fire tear enclosed in one of David's own tears, a daisy chain that Rosa made for D