July 26, 2014

OwnFone Launches First 3D-printed Braille Phone In Australia


Fortunately this phone is available in many countries.

Australia’s vision-impaired community has a new and affordable connectivity tool at its disposal as the world’s first braille mobile phone launches in Australia.

The stripped-down OwnFone handset -- there’s no touchscreen, no text messaging and no voicemail -- can be programmed with up to three personalised numbers, each dialled from 3D-printed buttons labelled in braille.

It’s the 3D-printing technology has enabled the British company that produces the handsets to bring costs down for vision-impaired consumers.

“In the past, the cost of developing a braille phone versus the market size has been a barrier to entry,” OwnFone’s UK-based inventor, Tom Sunderland, said.

“3D printing provides a fast and affordable way to overcome this barrier.”

Through a wholesale partnership with Vodafone, Australian customers can now purchase the handset from $89, with a range of pre- and post-paid price plans starting at $2.35 a week.
OwnFone has been selling its handsets in Britain for the last 2.5 years. Its Australian operations, headed by Brad Scoble, launched in April with the release of non-braille handsets designed for elderly and primary school-age children.

“The only difference is in the design of the phone,” Mr Scoble said.

“Kids and seniors have the option of words or images as buttons, whereas people who are blind have braille.”

At $69, OwnFone’s non-braille handsets are even cheaper, but Mr Scoble told Business Spectator the cost of producing the braille version is higher.

“Braille is a very unique language and the alphabet’s very lengthy, so we had to make some modifications to the phone to make it user-friendly,” Scoble said.

Additionally, the manufacturing process requires each individual handset to be customised, with users providing up to three contact numbers (for example, of family, friends, carers or Triple Zero) which are then pre-programmed into the handset and printed on the front in braille.

OwnFone consulted extensively the vision-impaired community in Britain in developing the product to best meet users’ requirements.

Mr Scoble said the handset had been “very well received” in Britain because it was “very simple to operate”.

“There’s one-button dialling and any-key call-answering, so there are a few features about the handset that make it quite different,” he said.

Local vision-impaired advocates are also welcoming the product.

Australian Communications Consumer Action Network disability policy adviser Wayne Hawkins said the affordability of the OwnFone handset was a “positive addition” to the choices for the 35,000 or so consumers in Australia who are blind.

Mr Scoble told Business Spectator OwnFone is currently working on a new handset and will “potentially” look at moving into the popular wearables space as it continues servicing its target seniors market.

“We’re looking at how best to meet the needs of the community, through for instance how to tie the handset in with hearing aids and improving the way the handset will provide voice feedback to customers as well,” Mr Scoble said.

“We’re certainly not in the business of trying to compete with smartphone people.”

By Hannah Francis 

With thanks to The Australian

From You Tube:

Tom Sunderland, the UK-based inventor of the OwnFone, talks about it's special features, including being able to change the phone numbers at any time due to the Cloud technology this simple 'dumbphone' utilises.

OwnFone is a mini, light, low cost mobile phone that just calls the people you need; simply press the name of the person you want to call. You can have up to twelve names on your OwnFone and it receives calls too. It's about the size of a credit card so you can keep it on you at all times.

Use your OwnFone day to day or as an emergency phone. It is rechargeable and in Shutdown mode your OwnFone will last up to a year without a charge.

It comes in a wide range of colourful designs so there's an OwnFone to suit everyone.

For more information, visit www.ownfone.com.au

July 23, 2014

Five Brilliant Mathematicians And Their Impact On The Modern World


Of course there have been many more brilliant mathematicians than five as the above heading suggests.

We owe a great debt to scores of mathematicians who helped lay the foundation for our modern society with their discoveries. Here are some of the most important. 
Math. It's one of those things that most people either love or hate. Those who fall on the hate side of things might still have nightmares of showing up for a high school math test unprepared, even years after graduation. Math is, by nature, an abstract subject, and it can be hard to wrap your head around it if you don't have a good teacher to guide you.
But even if you don't count yourself a fan of mathematics, it's hard to argue that it hasn't been a vital factor in our rapid evolution as a society. We reached the moon because of math. Math allowed us to tease out the secrets of DNA, create and transmit electricity over hundreds of miles to power our homes and offices, and gave rise to computers and all that they do for the world. Without math, we'd still be living in caves getting eaten by cave tigers.
Our history is rich with mathematicians who helped advance our collective understanding of math, but there are a few standouts whose brilliant work and intuitions pushed things in huge leaps and bounds. Their thoughts and discoveries continue to echo through the ages, reverberating today in our cellphones, satellites, hula hoops and automobiles. We picked five of the most brilliant mathematicians whose work continues to help shape our modern world, sometimes hundreds of years after their death. Enjoy!

Isaac Newton (1642-1727)

We start our list with Sir Isaac Newton, considered by many to be the greatest scientist of all time. There aren't many subjects that Newton didn't have a huge impact in — he was one of the inventors of calculus, built the first reflecting telescope and helped establish the field of classical mechanics with his seminal work, "Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica." He was the first to decompose white light into its component colors and gave us the three laws of motion, now known as Newton's laws. (You might remember the first one from school: "Objects at rest tend to stay at rest and objects in motion tend to stay in motion unless acted upon by an external force.")
We would live in a very different world had Sir Isaac Newton not been born. Other scientists would probably have worked out most of his ideas eventually, but there is no telling how long it would have taken and how far behind we might have fallen from our current technological trajectory.

Carl Gauss (1777 - 1855)

Isaac Newton is a hard act to follow, but if anyone can pull it off, it's Carl Gauss. If Newton is considered the greatest scientist of all time, Gauss could easily be called the greatest mathematician ever. Carl Friedrich Gauss was born to a poor family in Germany in 1777 and quickly showed himself to be a brilliant mathematician. He published "Arithmetical Investigations," a foundational textbook that laid out the tenets of number theory (the study of whole numbers). Without number theory, you could kiss computers goodbye. Computers operate, on a the most basic level, using just two digits — 1 and 0, and many of the advancements that we've made in using computers to solve problems are solved using number theory. Gauss was prolific, and his work on number theory was just a small part of his contribution to math; you can find his influence throughout algebra, statistics, geometry, optics, astronomy and many other subjects that underlie our modern world.

John von Neumann (1903-1957)

John von Neumann was born in Budapest a few years after the start of the 20th century, a well-timed birth for all of us, for he went on to design the architecture underlying nearly every single computer built on the planet today. Right now, whatever device or computer that you are reading this on, be it phone or computer, is cycling through a series of basic steps billions of times over each second; steps that allow it to do things like render Internet articles and play videos and music, steps that were first thought up by John von Neumann.

Von Neumann received his Ph.D in mathematics at the age of 22 while also earning a degree in chemical engineering to appease his father, who was keen on his son having a good marketable skill. Thankfully for all of us, he stuck with math. In 1930, he went to work at Princeton University with Albert Einstein at the Institute of Advanced Study. Before his death in 1957, von Neumann made important discoveries in set theory, geometry, quantum mechanics, game theory, statistics, computer science and was a vital member of the Manhattan Project.(pictured above).

Alan Turing (1912 - 1954)

Alan Turing a British mathematician who has been call the father of computer science. During World War II, Turing bent his brain to the problem of breaking Nazi crypto-code and was the one to finally unravel messages protected by the infamous Enigma machine. Being able to break Nazi codes gave the Allies an enormous advantage and was later credited by Winston Churchill as one of the main reasons the Allies won the war.

Besides helping to stop Nazi Germany from achieving world domination, Alan Turing was instrumental in the development of the modern day computer. His design for a so-called "Turing machine" remains central to how computers operate today. The "Turing test" is an exercise in artificial intelligence that tests how well an AI program operates; a program passes the Turing test if it can have a text chat conversation with a human and fool that person into thinking that it too is a person.

Alan Turing's career and life ended tragically when he was arrested and prosecuted for being gay. He was found guilty and sentenced to undergo hormone treatment to reduce his libido, losing his security clearance as well. On June, 8, 1954, Alan Turing was found dead of apparent suicide by his cleaning lady.

Turing's contributions to computer science can be summed up by the fact that his name now adorns the field's top award. The Turing Award is to computer science what the Nobel Prize is to chemistry or the Fields Medal is to mathematics. In 2009, then British Prime Minister Gordon Brown apologized for how his government treated Turing, but stopped short of issuing an official pardon.

Benoit Mandelbrot (1924-2010)

Benoit Mandelbrot landed on this list thanks to his discovery of fractal geometry.
Fractals, often-fantastical and complex shapes built on simple, self-replicable formulas, are fundamental to computer graphics and animation. Without fractals, it's safe to say that we would be decades behind where we are now in the field of computer-generated images. Fractal formulas are also used to design cellphone antennas and computer chips, which takes advantage of the fractal's natural ability to minimize wasted space.

Mandelbrot was born in Poland in 1924 and had to flee to France with his family in 1936 to avoid Nazi persecution. After studying in Paris, he moved to the U.S. where he found a home as an IBM Fellow. Working at IBM meant that he had access to cutting-edge technology, which allowed him to apply the number-crunching abilities of electrical computer to his projects and problems. In 1979, Mandelbrot discovered a set of numbers, now called the described by science-fiction writer Arthur C. Clarke as Mandelbrot set, that were "one of the most beautiful and astonishing discoveries in the entire history of mathematics." (To learn more about the technical steps behind drawing the Mandelbrot set, click over to the infographic I made last year for a class that I'm taking.)

Benoit Mandelbrot died of pancreatic cancer in 2010.

With thanks to  Shea Gunter at MNN

  And now a movie about Alan Turing:


'Imitation Game' trailer gives us Benedict Cumberbatch as code-breaker Alan Turing.

The first trailer for the "The Imitation Game," starring Benedict Cumberbatch as codebreaker Alan Turing, has arrived — and it has Oscar bait written all over it.

The drama tells the true story of gifted British mathematician Alan Turing and his efforts to crack Nazi Germany's "unbreakable" Enigma code. Taking place during "the darkest days of WWII," audiences will be transported back to Britain’s top-secret code-breaking center, Bletchley Park, where Turing and his team made history.

Turing, widely considered considered the father of computer science and artificial intelligence, unfortunately was later charged by his own government with "gross indecency," after admitting to having a sexual relationship with another man. Forced to take hormone injections, he was later found dead at age 41 from an apparent suicide.

In recognition of his accomplishments, Queen Elizabeth last year gave Turing a rare posthumous royal pardon. Justice Minister Chris Grayling, who requested the pardon, said the mathematician "deserves to be remembered and recognised for his fantastic contribution to the war effort and his legacy to science. A pardon from the Queen is a fitting tribute to an exceptional man."

This article by Michael d'Estries and also at MNN.

In the past there was another movie about the Enigma machine. 

It will be interesting to compare them, as there is no mention of Alan Turing.It was co-produced by Mick Jagger.

Arthur Benjamin: The Magic of Fibonacci Numbers

Claude Shannon Jr: The Greatest Genius No One Has Heard Of

John von Neumann: This Hungarian-American Mathematician May Have Been Smarter Than Einstein 

Great Minds: Filippo Brunelleschi

Great Minds: Leonardo da Vinci

The Genius of Nicola Tesla

Hedy Lamarr - Beauty And Brains in Abundance

The New Turing Test:Brainy Machines Need An Updated IQ Test, Experts Say 

Benedict Cumberbatch And Eddie Redmayne: The Changing Face Of Hollywood

Alan Turing Manuscript Sells For $1 million 

John Nash’s Astonishing Geometry

July 21, 2014

3D Scanning At The Smithsonian




What can you do to bring some of the Smithsonian's 137 million objects to life? Put them in 3D!

This is a full-time job for two of the Smithsonian's very own "laser cowboys," Vince Rossi and Adam Metallo, who work in the Smithsonian's 3D Digitization Program Office. They work hard to document, in very high three-dimensional detail, many of our priceless and important collections so that the objects are available for research, education and general interest.

Smithsonian 3D Digitization on Facebook:

Gunboat Philadelphia:

Cornell Imaging:

Smithsonian Gardens' orchid collections:

Euglossa ignita bee:

With thanks to You Tube.

Picture Credit:SIA


July 20, 2014

45th Anniversary Of The Apollo 11 Moon Landing - July 20th 1969



We got over the moon too soon, Neil Armstrong’s biographer says.

 VETERAN NBC reporter Jay Barbree makes a damning point about the US space program as we approach the 45th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing: it’s been 42 years since a manned spacecraft last broke Earth’s orbit. 
Despite the shuttle program and its contribution to the International Space Station, Barbree accuses the US and others of spectacularly failing to follow up once its foray into outer space ended with Apollo 17 in 1972.

And if anybody ought to know, it’s Barbree, 80, who is now in his 56th year with NBC and has covered the space program since 1958.

He makes the point about failure not just on his own behalf but on behalf of his good friend Neil Armstrong.

Barbree has done something his friend would have found extremely uncomfortable: he has told Armstrong’s story — from his time as young fighter pilot in Korea to his career as a test pilot with the X-15 rocket plane and beyond his historic moon walk.

The notoriously private Armstrong, who in his twilight years enjoyed not being recognised, agreed to a book by his trusted friend late in his life, but it had barely got under way when he died suddenly after a heart operation.

“He was a friend of Charles Lindbergh, he developed a friendship with him and Charles told him how to keep private because he did that after his baby was kidnapped and he lost his baby,’’ Barbree says. “I tried to explain to Neil the difference was that Lindbergh’s flight from New York to Paris was on his own dime and his backers’, it was a private venture, whereas the taxpayers paid $US25 billion for Apollo to go to the moon and land. Therefore, they signed contracts at the time that any part of the flight was open to the public; the public paid for it, they were ­entitled to know .’’

Armstrong read and approved of the first chapter of what became Neil Armstrong: A Life of Flight dealing with his ejection from an F9F Panther after hitting an anti-aircraft wire stretched between two mountains.

The wire ripped off half of Armstrong’s right wing and, after grappling with his crippled plane, the young pilot was forced to eject.

The official report at the time, picked up by military newspaper Stars and Stripes, said Armstrong had hit a wire between power lines, which was something he had always wanted to correct.

Barbree had covered some of Armstrong’s flights in the X-15 but didn’t meet him until he joined the Gemini Nine, the astronauts who would take the US space program from the Mercury era into its next phase. But it was the shared tragedy of the death of young children that would make them friends.

“I knew Neil from just being in the news conferences but he came in a restaurant that morning where I was and he could tell I was down so he told me about his little girl that he lost to a brain tumour,’ says Barbree. “So we got pretty close talking about our children that we lost and we developed a trusted friendship. In fact, there are things that Neil told me in confidence that I never put in the book, and I never will.’’

Barbree’s book provides a riveting insight into the man history will remember as the first person to step on a world other than our own, but who had already carved out a name for himself.

He paints a picture of a humble son of small-town America who never actively sought the honour of being the first man on the moon but was determined to do the best he could when it arrived.

He was a man of integrity who refused to capitalise on one of humanity’s greatest achievements and Barbree says there was nothing phony about a man NBC newscaster Brian Williams once observed could have been as wealthy as Donald Trump.

“In fact, he never considered himself poor but he never had any money,’’ Barbree says. “He was comfortable because he was from a small town and he started making his living at the age of 10 — mowing a local cemetery lawn and he got a dollar a day for mowing it.’’
Armstrong was recognised by his peers as a phenomenally skilled pilot who was dedicated to getting it right.

It was Armstrong’s commitment to practising on the lunar landing training vehicle that gave him the skill to land the Eagle after onboard computers almost dumped it in a crater the size of a football field.

But it was the same man whose aversion to public speaking probably led him to drop the “a” out of his historic first words and say “one small step for man” instead of one small step for a man.

“He didn’t know,’’ Barbree says of the reason for the mistake. “I thought it felt like a nervous time for him and knowing the difficulty he had with speech he probably just dropped the ‘a’. I think he did, too.

“It’s like when they looked around to take a picture of the first footprint on the moon and it was covered up. He realised that when he went around to inspect the lunar module he walked over himself and he was quite angry about that.’’

Generally, however, Armstrong was a man who thought everything out thoroughly.
“He was the slowest person in the world taking a decision on the ground but he had the fastest hands of any pilot because split-second decisions (got him) out of trouble,’’ Barbree says. “He was a very unique individual. A lot of times you would go to speak to Neil and you would ask Neil a question and you would see his eyes kind of look off and a lot of times his mouth would start twitching. He’s mulling it over so you come to the conclusion he doesn’t understand what you asked so you start asking it again, and out would come the answer.’’

That trust between the two men meant Barbree was the man Armstrong turned to when, along with fellow Apollo veterans Jim Lovell (Apollo 13) and Gene Cernan (Apollo 17), Armstrong wanted to break his silence on the US space program and he gave the veteran reporter an op-ed written by the three space veterans. It was Barbree again who helped write a series of articles about the space program in the present decade and who also helped Armstrong with his testimony before the 2010 Senate hearings on NASA.

Armstrong was dismayed by America’s failure to capitalise on the moon landing and to move incrementally further into space.

“And he didn’t appreciate that, because he never understood after what they did to go land on the moon, we left,’’ the author says. “That made no sense. It still doesn’t today.’’

Armstrong was also unhappy about the fuss made about commercial attempts to get into space and do what essentially had been done before. Barbree says Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic is fine but is not doing anything that wasn’t done in the 1960s, and it is not exploration.

“Exploration is developing something new and we haven’t been developing anything new in manned space flight now really for 42 years,’’ he says. “That’s the way I look at it. Not to go knock them but this is what Neil thought about it and … Neil suggested doing it increments and this is what we should be doing.

“We should be increasing our knowledge of going farther and farther in space because we’re all occupants of a spacecraft 8000 miles in diameter and it’s finite, it’s not going to be able to support us always. So if we can’t get off — because this is really our cradle — if we can’t get out of our cradle and go out and explore, we’re doomed.

“That’s the end of the human species.’’

Barbree admits much has been learned from the International Space Station but he notes it remains in Earth’s magnetosphere, which gives us protection against radiation.

But he agrees with Armstrong about the need to go back to the moon and from there to the gravity balancing Lagrangian points to learn more.

“And it’s the only sensible thing to do,’’ he says, noting the folly of building a spacecraft capable of going directly to Mars without developing our knowledge of space flight and knowing how to survive on our own in space.

“(Neil) felt that until we knew how to survive on our own in space we should never be more than three days from Earth or three seconds from being able to talk to mission control.

“Because when you go to land on Mars it’s going to take nine minutes and something on average for that signal to get back to Earth. So mission control’s not going to be any help to you.’’

Barbree believes that a mission to Mars could well be one way and should be preceded by a barrage of unmanned rockets landing supplies. He likens it to the wild west wagon trains, and envisages a colony being set up first before two-way traffic is developed.

Despite the disappointing aftermath to the Apollo program, Barbree hopes that the new Space Launch System and Orion program presage a new US thrust into space. An unmanned Orion vehicle is due to orbit the moon in 2017 but Barbree is optimistic that if a first flight in December is successful, there will be pressure for a manned flight in 2017. A number of astronauts have told him they will be pushing for this outcome.

“That can get us out of low Earth orbit and we’ve got to be able to do that,’’ he says. “And then once we do that and once we start exploring again … beyond low Earth orbit, then I think people will get excited and the knowledge stockpile will increase.’’

By Steve Creedy

Jay Barbree broadcasts live Neil Armstrong's first step on the moon.

With many thanks to The Australian

From You Tube:
Original Mission Video as aired in July 1969 depicting the Apollo 11 astronauts conducting several tasks during extravehicular activity (EVA) operations on the surface of the moon. The EVA lasted approximately 2.5 hours with all scientific activities being completed satisfactorily. 

 The Apollo 11 (EVA) began at 10:39:33 p.m. EDT on July 20, 1969 when Astronaut Neil Armstrong emerged from the spacecraft first. While descending, he released the Modularized Equipment Stowage Assembly on the Lunar Module's descent stage. 

A camera on this module provided live television coverage of man's first step on the Moon. On this, their one and only EVA, the astronauts had a great deal to do in a short time. During this first visit to the Moon, the astronauts remained within about 100 meters of the lunar module, collected about 47 pounds of samples, and deployed four experiments. After spending approximately 2 hours and 31 minutes on the surface, the astronauts ended the EVA at 1:11:13 a.m. EDT on July 21. 

Iconic Apollo 11 View of Earth Turns 45
On July 21, 1969 — 45 years ago — Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first humans to walk on the face of the moon. 

The televised views of lunar desolation are the most famous images from this mission, Apollo 11. But Armstrong, Aldrin and their third crew-member, Michael Collins, got some gorgeous views of Earth, too. 

This "blue marble" image of Earth against the blackness of space was taken July 16, 1969, the same day Apollo 11 launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida, according to NASA's Earth Observatory. Most of what is visible here is the Pacific Ocean, though portions of California, the Pacific coast and Alaska peak through swirling clouds. A Hasselblad 500 EL camera captured this shot.  

The trip from Earth to the moon took three days. The crew launched at 9:32 a.m. local time from Florida, after a breakfast of steak, eggs, coffee and orange juice. Within 12 minutes from launch, they were in Earth orbit. From there, they fired their third-stage Saturn V engine (the first two phases had already been jettisoned) and set a course for the Sea of Tranquility on the moon's surface. 

The first day was calm and orderly, and gave the crew time to "ooh" and "ahh" over Earth's scenery. In the flight transcripts, Aldrin tells Mission Control that he can see snow on the mountains in California and a clear, smog-free view of Los Angeles. When asked how Baja, California, looks, Aldrin says, "Well, it's got some clouds up and down it, and there's a pretty good circulation system a couple of hundred miles off the west coast of California … OK, Houston. You suppose you could turn the Earth a little bit so we could get a little bit more than just water?"

People on Earth would get a taste of what the astronauts saw the next day, July 17, 1969, when the crew participated in a color television broadcast from 147,300 miles (237,000 kilometers) away. 

Editor's Note: If you have an amazing nature or general science photo you'd like to share for a possible story or image gallery, please contact managing editor Jeanna Bryner at LSphotos@livescience.com.

Follow Stephanie Pappas on Twitter and Google+. Follow us @livescience, Facebook & Google+. Original article on Live Science.

 Mad Geniuses: 10 Odd Tales About Famous Scientists

July 19, 2014

Australian Parrots: Majestic Birds


 I consider myself quite lucky. Many of these beautiful birds come into my backyard.

From You Tube:

NATURE tracks down the cockiest characters in the land down under in Parrots in the Land of Oz.

We keep them in cages in our homes, but in their natural state they are independent birds who can seek out water over hundreds of miles through pure instinct. We feed them seed from a pet store, but they can find food in a wide variety of habitats. We give them plastic toys and mirrors to play with when in fact in the wild some have figured out how to use tools to communicate and attract mates.

For tens of millions of years, parrots have survived and thrived in Australia even as the continent underwent dramatic changes, including some brought about by man. Though some, like the golden-shouldered Parrot are threatened, these tough Aussies have adapted well to deal with harsh life in the outback. Clever, resourceful, opportunistic and resilient, parrots may be Australia's toughest survivors, and they're certainly its most beautiful.

Picture below is not of Australian parrots but I think all parrots are worth looking at.
They are quite spectacular!

   Here are some more:                                                                  

Below via Twitter: Lorikeets. These beautiful birds come to my garden twice a day.


60 Years of Rock And Roll: Elvis Presley Anniversary 2014


A bit late but a very important event for many rock fans!

I like to remember him as he appears in this clip and I am sure you have your own favourite memories of The King.

Elvis Presley Enterprises, Inc. (EPE) is announcing plans and debuting artwork today for a yearlong celebration to commemorate Elvis’ first professional recording, considered by many music historians to be the birth of the rock ‘n’ roll music movement. Joining EPE’s CEO Jack Soden for the announcement will be Kevin Kane, President of the Memphis Convention and Visitors Bureau and Jayne Ellen Brooks from Sun Studio.

On July 5, 1954, Elvis walked into Sun Studio in Memphis and recorded a sped up version of Arthur Crudup’s “That’s All Right” with guitarist Scotty Moore and bassist Bill Black. Memphis DJ Dewey Phillips first played the song July 8, 1954 on WHBQ radio and the switchboard lit up, the song was repeated fourteen times in a row during the “Red HOT and Blue” broadcast due to public demand. Rock ‘n’ Roll was born and the world of music changed forever.

Kicking off the year-long celebration in 2014 is the New Year’s Eve Hard Rock Café Guitar Drop on world famous Beale Street. Thousands will gather on the famed blues alley in Memphis to take in live music and watch a 10-foot guitar wrapped in the 60 years of Rock ‘n’ Roll art  as it descends 100 feet onto Beale Street at midnight in the Central time zone.

On January 8th, fans from around the world will gather at Graceland to celebrate the birth of the undisputed King of Rock ‘n’ Roll as a cake fit for a king is cut during the Elvis Presley Day Proclamation Ceremony. Events continue through the 11th and include a concert by the Memphis Symphony Orchestra as they showcase symphonic interpretations of the songs that helped give Memphis the title of Birthplace of Rock ‘n’ Roll.

A special exhibition will open at Graceland on March 3, 2014 showcasing Elvis’ impact on music and popular culture over the past 60 years and chronicling the birth of rock ‘n’ roll . The vaults of the Graceland Archives have been opened to help develop this unique exhibit that will be included as part of the Graceland VIP Tour.

The site of Elvis’ first professional recording session, Sun Studio, will be the site of a global celebration on July 5th as Memphis and the world mark the birth of rock ‘n’ roll with Elvis Presley’s recording of “That’s All Right.” Additional details for festivities planned at the famed Memphis recording studio will be announced at a later date.  

The impressive ‘ELVIS PRESLEY – ON STAGE’ music experience will kick off a 23 date tour of the United Kingdom starting in April through the end of May, taking the 60th Anniversary celebration on the road to Europe. Using the latest technology, Elvis performs via state-of-the art video screens singing lead vocals backed by a live band, singers and an orchestra. Together, this multi-media creation puts the audience inside an Elvis Presley concert presented exactly like one of his classic live performances in a Las Vegas showroom. The contemporary staging and overall production create the illusion that Elvis is on stage for his finest concert performances. The concert tour schedule is available here, with tickets on sale on September 6, 2013.

During the 60th Anniversary year, the Elvis® Fans Holy Land Tour will take place February 23 - March 4, 2014. Fans will have the chance to explore the Gospel side of Elvis with an Israel tour experience unlike any other. 

Travelers will cruise the Sea of Galilee, experience the Western Wall and ancient city of Jerusalem, float in the Dead Sea, roam the beaches of Tel Aviv, experience baptism in the Jordan River and much more. More information and how to reserve a spot at Israelthemetours.com/elvis.

An anniversary year of this magnitude will also include the debut of a variety of officially licensed products featuring the 60th Anniversary of Rock ‘n’ Roll artwork. Elvis.com will also celebrate the 60th Anniversary music milestone with an online clock countdown to July 5th, 2014.

A schedule of events for the yearlong celebration, an online countdown clock and additional details about planned festivities can be found at Elvis.com/60years.

With thanks to Elvis.Com       
More here.                             


Keith Richards on Elvis Presley - Excerpt from "Classic Albums" documentary.


Related: Elvis At 21 - National Portrait Gallery, Canberra

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